The Oakland Athletics as owned by Lew Wolfe are prohibited from moving to San Jose, both by Major League Baseball and by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte. The much written about, but little-understood-by-the-media court records specifically say, in black-and-white, that the the City of San Jose and the Oakland A’s have exhausted their attempts to relocate away from Oakland to the South Bay.
According to the court, MLB informed the Oakland A’s and the City of San Jose that the relocation request was rejected – that was done June 17, 2013.
And while there has been comment that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejected that specific relocation request, the court’s view is that San Jose and the Oakland A’s have lost their chance to land the team, both because of MLB’s order of rejection, the court’s deletion of San Jose’s lawsuit, and San Jose’s illegal use of the now-defunct California Redevelopment Law.
The “RDA” in court records refers to the San Jose Redevelopment Agency that was assembling the land deal for the stadium for the Oakland A’s, but that organization and its ability to develop land, have been eliminated by the State of California.
This view is specifically expressed in page 22 of the court documents:
Since MLB has discretion to deny the relocation request, and since MLB did deny the relocation request, San Jose cannot bring a claim based on any of those speculative damages theories. Even San Jose’s claim for the “purchase price under the Option Agreement” must fail. The Option Agreement expressly states that the land can only be purchased “provided the use of the Property is restricted . . . for use as a Major League Baseball park.” Op. Agmt. § 3.B. Since MLB has denied the Athletics’ relocation request—and since this Court has held that MLB has the right to deny the relocation request—no damages can result from the fact that the Property cannot be used by the Athletics to build a “Major League Baseball park.” Significantly, Plaintiffs have not identified any damages that they claim to have suffered in connection with the one remaining theory on which their interference claims are premised — MLB’s supposed delay in rendering its relocation decision.
Thus, Lew Wolfe’s comments that he intends to pursue his course of action of trying to move the A’s from San Jose to Oakland amount to nothing more than whistling in the dark.
San Jose Accused Of Misuse Of Redevelopment Law In Pursuit Of Oakland A’s
The court document also reveals that the City Of San Jose tried to, for all practical purposes, hide land owned by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency and intended for use in the construction of a ball park for the Oakland A’s, from the State of California, and in violation of Cal. Health and Safety Code Section 34161.
What the City of San Jose was supposed to do under Cal. Health and Safety Code Section 34161 was sell the land that was set aside for the Oakland A’s, and not park it in another government body, the Diridon JPA. Instead, San Jose parked the land in the Diridon JPA, and in full violation of Section 34161.
San Jose also tried to claim economic damage in Major League Baseball blocking the Oakland A’s relocation attempt. But the factors that were identified and that would add up to a lost economic opportunity, are the same ones the City of Oakland could sue the City Of San Jose for, claiming economic tampering – something Oakland has not done, or threatened to do.
Here’s the full set of court records: