In the days following the passing of Raiders owner Al Davis, there’s increased speculation Oakland and the 49’ers might collaborate on a shared new stadium in Santa Clara. If such an event comes to pass, the SF Chronicle’s John Shea reminds us that while the A’s would have the Coliseum to themselves (“which would be every bit as stinky without the Raiders”), they’d no longer need the football club’s approval for new works on the premises, including, perhaps, massive renovations and/or tearing the fucker down and starting fresh (“the latter being the preference”).
The infrastructure is in place, and BART trains are running. It’s not downtown or bayside, but it’s easier to enter and exit than other proposed Oakland sites. Tearing down and rebuilding a baseball park in the same location is nothing new. It was done by the Cardinals, Phillies, Reds, Braves, White Sox, Yankees and Mets.
Commissioner Bud Selig’s three-man committee examining the A’s stadium situation, in its 31st month of dithering, could wait out the Raiders thing. These guys are good at waiting and apparently can’t find anything worth a darn to report anyway. Why not step back further and wait for a Raiders-49ers joint production to play out?
The minute the football teams put their signatures to a stadium kumbaya, the Selig committee could recommend the Coliseum site for the A’s. A cozy baseball-only park on the premises would re-energize the franchise, boost attendance and help make the A’s more competitive.
I passed this by Lew Wolff (above), the A’s managing general partner. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t keen on the idea, saying he has looked into Oakland sites and wouldn’t be able to privately finance a park as he could in San Jose. His focus remains San Jose or bust, even if Selig hasn’t budged on dismissing the Giants’ territorial rights to the area.