Local business leaders want to retain the Oakland Athletics and say they’ll look at buying the team rather than losing it to another market.
Though Lew Wolff has clearly stated the team is not for sale, that’s not stopped potential suitors from stepping up, with the intention of keeping the team in Oakland. We’ve already written about two other potential buyers; now a third group is stepping up.
Clorox CEO Don Knauss and other business leaders held a press conference yesterday to proclaim their love for the A’s and their willingness to work with Wolff and fellow owner John Fisher on generating sponsorship and ticket support for the team, as well as funding for a new ballpark. If that doesn’t work to keep the A’s in Oakland — as opposed to a move to a new San Jose ballpark — then the business leaders say they’ll work to raise money to buy the team and build a new ballpark on their own.
The offer puts even more pressure on Wolff. The A’s ballpark situation is not expected to be on the agenda for the May 16-17 owners meetings, and there seems to be little activity from the commissioner’s office on the matter. It’s been Bud Selig’s long-stated belief that a community should be given every opportunity to retain a team, and as long as Oakland officials keep hope alive on the ballpark front — a redevelopment of the Coliseum area is under study — that probably won’t change.
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