Mayor Johnson press conference (updated with reactions)
Notes coming shortly.
The mayor’s message here is if Oakland or San Jose don’t work out, Sacramento would make a great Plan C.
- This is the start of a 10-12 week exploratory process. No public dollars will be spent on any studies. It is assumed that Think Big Sacramento would pick up the tab. The process could end sooner than the 10-12 weeks if MLB says it’s not interested. This exploratory study would not include an EIR.
- There may be discussions about bringing in other sports (NHL, MLS) but baseball’s considered the clearest path at this point due to the A’s situation.
- West Sacramento and Raley Field are being considered, though the financial and political calculation there is unknown. The $255 million “pledged” for the Kings arena was brought up but not addressed directly. Per Think Big’s mission, this is very much a regional effort.
- The last year negotiating with the NBA and the Kings has left the public and the media very jaded and skeptical. There were one or two questions about whether the public can go through this process again.
- Kevin McClatchy, who is on board as an informal advisor, is not interested in owning the A’s. He’s there as a resident with unique insight as a former owner.
- No formal requests or meetings have been requested with MLB or A’s ownership. There has been a long history of trying to bring a team to town, mostly dating back to Gregg Lukenbill’s efforts in the late 80′s.
- Mayor Johnson was very respectful of what Oakland and San Jose are doing currently and clearly didn’t want to denounce or belittle their efforts.
- There was a question about whether or not this move was gamesmanship targeted at he Kings and the NBA. Johnson denied that.
More as it comes.
Now word has come in from Lew Wolff via the Chronicle’s Susan Slusser: The A’s aren’t leaving the two-team Bay Area market.
Added 8:46 PM – West Sacramento Mayor Mike McGowan isn’t pleased with how Johnson and Think Big have handled this new exercise. McGowan was only notified Sunday night of the press conference. He also believes that Sacramento can’t support a MLB franchise.