MLB: San Jose Files Lawsuit Against Athletics Over Proposed Move

The city of San Jose has filed a lawsuit over the delay in allowing the Oakland Athletics to move to a new ballpark in their area.

Jun 18 2013, 7:26pm CDT | by

MLB: San Jose Files Lawsuit Against Athletics Over Proposed Move
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The city of San Jose has filed a lawsuit over the delay in allowing the Oakland Athletics to move to a new ballpark in their area. 

CBS San Francisco says the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in federal court, also challenges the territorial claims by the San Francisco Giants over the South Bay region. The Giants have objected to the Athletics' potential move on grounds they relied on territorial rights to the San Jose-area market when the Giants built their ballpark. 

According to the Associated Press, the Athletics say those rights were only meant to support the Giants' failed efforts in the early 1990s to build a San Jose-area ballpark themselves. 

The lawsuit says the league is taking too long in having owners vote on the A's move to San Jose. It also says the MLB has controlled the location of teams under the "guise" of an exemption - which the lawsuit is disputing - to federal antitrust law. 

Peninsula attorney Joe Cotchett says the lawsuit would in essence state that MLB could not block a move by the Oakland Athletics to downtown San Jose. 

"It's going to cost the city millions of dollars in tax revenues. It's all about economics, but more importantly, it could bring over 1,000 jobs building the new stadium here. It's all about the commissioner of baseball denying for years now, the right [for] the 10th largest city in the nation, San Jose, one of the fastest-growing cities."

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejected a proposal earlier this year from San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to sit down and talk about the Athletic's plans and said Reed's reference to additional litigation at the time was "neither productive nor consistent with process that the Athletics have initiated under our rules."

Oakland owner Lew Wolff said he is focused on a new stadium in San Jose rather than a move outside the Bay Area. He is allowed to consider other areas within the team's territory such as downtown Oakland. Those which fall outside this area would need league approval.

Wolff also released a brief statement about the San Jose lawsuit.

"I have no details. I am not in favor of legal action or legal threats to solve business issues."

Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle says Wolff and his co-owner John Fisher have been eager to move the Athletics out of the Oakland Coliseum, which they complain is outdated and puts the team at a financial disadvantage. The team suffered a public relations black eye over the weekend when raw sewage flooded locker rooms in the stadium, which opened in 1966 and was expanded in the 1990s. 




Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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