Rob Manfred, the commissioner of North America’s Major League Baseball, is hopeful that the saga surrounding the Oakland Athletics will be resolved within the next year.
The team’s first choice is to switch to the Coliseum, the current home of the Oakland Raiders NFL American football franchise. The Raiders are in talks to move to a proposed new stadium in Las Vegas and a decision by the Nevada legislature is due by no later than early 2017.
However, if the Raiders stay put and the Coliseum move fails to materialise, Athletics officials have earmarked a nearby plot of land at 66th Avenue and Interstate-880.
Another site, Howard Terminal north of Jack London Square, has been suggested by the city, but access problems and clean-up costs are a concern.
“Right now, the A’s ownership is engaged in an analysis on multiple sites in Oakland,” Manfred said. “I hope the first piece of news will be a decision as to which site will be the focus of their effort to get their plan and finances together.
“The Mayor in Oakland has made it clear to me that baseball is her first priority. She would like to keep both teams, but baseball is her first priority. And I think that’s a good spot for baseball to be in.”
He added: “I do believe that John Fisher and Lew Wolff are committed to the idea that they need to get something done in Oakland.
“I’ve told them. They understand that it is my strong preference that the team stay in Oakland. There is ongoing work. They have weekly calls that my office monitors in terms of the work that’s ongoing, in terms of selecting a site and determining what the development opportunities are around those sites.”