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After ‘secret’ meeting, Lew Wolff disses Oakland waterfront ballpark proposal

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Mercury News caught up with A’s co-owner Lew Wolff today as he prepared to board his private jet back to LA after the A’s game—and after word leaked of last week’s secret meetings in San Jose and Oakland with baseball commissioner Bud Selig and members of his blue-ribbon panel considering the A’s situation. Wolff wasn’t invited to either confab. And he was dismissive of Oakland’s presentation led by Clorox CEO Don Knauss along with Mayor Jean Quan and others pitching Howard Terminal, the waterfront site at the Port of Oakland, as a future home for the A’s:

"We have analyzed Howard Terminal upside down and sideways," he said, "and it has no ability to be implemented for a ballpark."

Wolff also took umbrage at Knauss’ suggestion at the Oakland meeting that if Wolff et al aren’t interested in keeping the team in Oakland, they should sell to someone who is. As reported by the Merc, his reply:

"That has as much credibility as our group trying to acquire Clorox."

Someone (in the Giants’ organization, maybe?) leaked the existence of the “top secret” meetings with Selig and the MLB folks to the Chronicle’s Matier & Ross, who posted an item about them yesterday (it was in today’s print edition).

The Howard Terminal site about which Wolff is so dismissive is about 4 blocks north of Jack London Square, and would provide enough space for a ballpark and parking, as well as residential and commercial development opportunities that Oakland officials would almost certainly dangle . . . if only Wolff would give them the time of day. Meanwhile, it’s been three years and counting and, for all the talk about it, the effort by Wolff et al to move to San Jose, vehemently opposed by the Giants for territorial reasons, is adrift with no shoreline in sight.

Image: Howard Terminal, Port of Oakland;

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