SAN FRANCISCO — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s hoping there is concrete news regarding an A’s ballpark solution within the next calendar year.
“I hope in the next year to have a good idea about how the project is going to proceed,” Manfred said in a media briefing before Game 3 of the Giants-Cubs National League Division Series. “… I hope the first piece of news will be a decision on which site will be the focus of their effort to get their plan and financing (together).”
Manfred also said that Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has told him multiple times over the past year that “baseball is her first priority. She’d like to keep both teams but baseball is her first priority, and I think that’s a good spot for baseball to be in.”
That’s a relevant statement in that the Raiders’ own search for a new stadium, both in Oakland and in Las Vegas, complicates the A’s own search for a venue site within Oakland.
But the wheels are in motion in Las Vegas for the Raiders’ potential move there. Reports coming out of Las Vegas on Monday were that lawmakers were in a special session discussing whether to approve a hotel tax that would help fund construction of a $2 billion stadium for the Raiders. Some of the city’s top casino executives are backing the idea of luring the Raiders as well.
If that gets approved, NFL owners would then need to green-light a Raiders move.
Meanwhile, Manfred reiterated what A’s officials have been saying all along: The baseball team continues to analyze multiple sites in Oakland, including the Coliseum, Howard Terminal and others.
Manfred said he’s had more communication with the A’s regarding their ballpark search than he’s had with any of the other 29 major league teams since he took over as commissioner in January 2015.
Manfred was asked if A’s principal owner John Fisher is taking a more active role in the A’s ballpark hunt, as reports have suggested. Managing partner Lew Wolff remains the A’s most public voice when it comes to stadium talk.
“John has been much more active,” Manfred said. “He’s been in to New York to visit with me on a number of occasions on the stadium issue. Lew is still the control person in Oakland, but John is definitely very engaged.”