Playing Defense? San Jose Asks if SF Giants Are Behind Opponents to A’s Move

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The Oakland A’s possible move to San Jose has run into community opposition, and the San Jose city attorney is going to court to ask if the San Francisco Giants are quietly supporting a group that opposes the move.

While both teams battle in respective September drives for post-season play, a land use battle continues to play out between them in San Jose. The A’s have long wanted to move to the wealthier Silicon Valley market, while Major League Baseball until now has supported the Giants’ territorial claim to that region.

Now San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle asks if the Giants are playing “defense” by supporting community opposition to the A’s move from the Coliseum to a new stadium in the South Bay. “Defense” is a land use tactic of developers to protect their property assets¬†against a competitor.

Reporter John Woolfolk writes in The San Jose Mercury that the city last week “filed for a court order allowing it to examine the organization structure – and any Giants ties – of Stand for San Jose, a community group whose lawsuit over the proposed ballpark has raised questions about the San Jose plan’s viability.’

“I think we have a right to know who’s behind Stand for San Jose,” City Attorney Rick Doyle is quoted as saying. “The perception all along is that it’s the Giants who are behind this.”

A’s owner Lew Wolff has made no secret of his desire to leave the old Coliseum amid much speculation about moving the American League team to the Silicon Valley market around San Jose. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig convened a committee three years ago to study the matter, and there is no clear timetable for the matter will be resolved.

In response to the San Jose city attorney’s filing to learn more about community opposition, Stand for San Jose has argued that the request is “harassing,burdensome and intended to chill” their “public participation.”

Meanwhile, a group called Save Oakland Sports is trying to pull together a coalition of community and business interests to keep the A’s, Raiders and Warriors in Oakland, writes Matthew Artz in the Oakland Tribune.

For John Woolfolk’s full report, click here. For Matthew Artz’s full report, click here.

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