SF Business Times’ David Goll highlights a new memo by San Jose mayor Chuck Reed to the City Council. In the memo (PDF download) is the first mention of a request to MLB to “be freed of restrictive territorial rights.” Verbatim:
3. Resolution of Support
Authorize the Mayor to send a letter to Major League Baseball with the October 5, 2004 Resolution of the City Council of the City of San José, (Resolution 72344), which includes a request to be freed of territorial rights.
Direct staff to prepare and return to Council with a Resolution indicating the desire of the City of San José to support the A’s if MLB favors a relocation of the A’s to San José along the lines of the attached draft.
There are other instructions outlining how related issues should be addressed, such as the EIR, site and area development plans, community outreach efforts, etc. But the meat is in the new Resolution, which is on the third page of the memo.
Again, just like with the Dellums letter to Selig, I have to ask if this is the most effective way to deal with the T-rights problem. It could be said that Dellums got some traction by getting the blue ribbon committee to evaluate Oakland (cynics like me would say that traction is very slight). A city resolution doesn’t carry much weight unless it comes with a plan, or least a proper leadup to a plan. That’s definitely what the City is putting together, but we’re still around two months from seeing it.
This might be more of an indicator that it’s time for MLB to take the negotiating reins from Lew Wolff, who would take more of Samson/Loria-in-the-background role.
Here’s the full resolution for those who are interested:
RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN JOSE REQUESTING MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AWARD TERRITORIAL RIGHTS TO THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA TO THE A’S
WHEREAS, the local and regional economies would benefit from the relocation of the A’s to San José; and,
WHEREAS, the San Francisco Giants currently have territorial rights to the County of Santa Clara, which were granted in 1992, during its consideration of a move to the County of Santa Clara; and,
WHEREAS, the A’s have identified San José as its principal choice for its new location; and,
WHEREAS, the proposed site is immediately accessible by multiple transportation networks, including bus, light rail transit, Caltrain, and High Speed Rail and BART in the future; and,
WHEREAS, the City of San José’s rights of self-determination, autonomy and independence are being compromised through a decision over which it has no control; and,
WHEREAS, the A’s were gracious and cooperative in 1992 when asked to agree with the assignment of the territory; and,
WHEREAS, the County of Santa Clara is one of two primary economic markets in Northern California, and includes San José which is third largest city in California.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council does hereby respectfullly request that Major League Baseball allow the A’s a fair opportunity to move to San José.
Next week’s gonna be very interesting. One more thing: Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors is on board too.