Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said the city is trying to get the A's to buy into the idea of a potential downtown ballpark in Oakland.
Speaking to CSN Bay Area's Jim Kozimor on "Sports Talk Live" Thursday, Schaaf spoke about her presentation to NFL owners in New York concerning Oakland's effort to keep the Raiders, but also about a "friendly call" she put in to the Major League Baseball offices in that city.
"... I am just as passionate about keeping the A's as I am about keeping the Raiders," Schaaf said.
Talk of a new A's ballpark in Oakland has taken a back seat, in the public arena at least, as the spotlight has been on the Raiders, their possible relocation to Los Angeles, and the city of Oakland's efforts to keep the team in the East Bay.
The Raiders want to rebuild at the Coliseum site, but so do the A's. There's a widely held belief that building two new venues for both teams on the site isn't workable. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is among those to express that belief.
The idea of a downtown baseball stadium, theoretically, is one way to keep both teams, though it isn't known how realistic such a plan is to accomplish.
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"Obviously we are working with the A's on a potential new ballpark with them," Schaaf said. "It could be at the Coliseum, which is something they've expressed interest in in the past. But we are also trying to get them excited about a potential downtown site. We think that would really help revitalize our downtown. It's certainly a trend we're seeing in baseball, and it certainly would simplify our situation out at the Coliseum."
Of course, getting the A's on board with that plan would be the crucial first step. A's co-owner Lew Wolff has stated a strong preference for the current Coliseum site as the spot he wants to build a new ballpark. Local business leaders in the past have tried to rally support for an A's ballpark at the Port of Oakland, an idea that Wolff shot down.