PHOENIX – Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants the A’s to stay in Oakland, but he does not want to get involved in whether the team builds a ballpark downtown or at the current Coliseum site.
Those were the thoughts shared by Manfred during a media Q&A at the Arizona Biltmore to mark the start of spring training.
“My overriding thought is I would like the A’s to find a site that is within their current market of Oakland,” Manfred said. “The differentiation between the Coliseum site and maybe a site that’s downtown, that’s a local issue. That’s for the A’s to sort out.”
And for Oakland city and Alameda County officials to sort out as well.
In recent comments, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has stated that she’d like the A’s to build somewhere in downtown Oakland or on the waterfront. Part of the reasoning is the potential economic boon that a new ballpark could bring. But also, having the A’s move from their current site would simplify the city’s efforts in trying to get a new Raiders stadium built at the Coliseum.
A’s co-owner Lew Wolff says his team remains very interested rebuilding at the Coliseum but is also keeping its options open regarding other sites around Oakland.
Complicating matters is the Raiders’ uncertain future, with the possibility they could either build at the Coliseum or perhaps move out of the Bay Area entirely.
Raiders owner Mark Davis stirred things up recently by saying the A’s need to “commit” to the Coliseum site if they want to build a venue there alongside a new Raiders stadium. Wolff refuted Davis’ claim that the A’s are holding up the Raiders’ efforts, saying there’s nothing stopping the Raiders from building there if they wish.