To recap, the Oakland Athletics play in a rapidly deteriorating venue that attracts fans only on the basis of self-styled irony. A desired move to San Jose isn't going to happen any time soon because of the Giants' territorial claim to the area and because of MLB's unwillingness to force the issue. Current A's owner Lew Wolff seems disinclined to spend his own money on a new ballpark, and he says -- not very plausibly -- there's no place for one in Oakland, anyway.
Recently, though, came this ...
As noted previously in this space, that's a rendering of a not quite formally proposed but rather semi-formally longed-for new ballpark located astride the Port of Oakland's Howard Terminal. Wolff has already batted down such an idea, but another vested interest has just entered stage right.
Steven Tavares and Robert Gammon of the East Bay Express report that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, owners of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, have emerged as potential buyers of the A's. Also of note is that Lacob and Guber reportedly have interest in making the ballpark you see above actually happen. Tavares and Gammon write:
Yet despite being spurned by Wolff, the Rogers-Ghielmetti-Knauss-Boxer team is not willing to give up on the waterfront plan. In fact, sources tell us the group knew full well that Wolff might reject their proposal. As such, they made contingency plans and have been shopping around the Howard Terminal proposal for potential investors, identifying at least three groups who are interested in buying the A's and building the Howard Terminal ballpark themselves, sources say. And one of these groups, sources say, is led by Warriors' owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber — two wealthy men who had tried to buy the A's previously.
There's also another connection between Lacob and Guber and the Howard Terminal proposal. The stunning drawings that were released this week of the proposed 38,000-seat waterfront ballpark featuring towering white shipping cranes beyond the outfield fence were created by MANICA Architecture — the same firm that Lacob and Guber hired to produce plans for the shiny silver spheroid arena they want to build for the Warriors in San Francisco.
The current situation seems untenable, as the A's are toiling in a park that isn't up to snuff (and may not even be up to code), and Wolff seems unwilling to, you know, pay for his own place of business in any meaningful sense. Perhaps a new ownership group that is willing to invest in the product is exactly what's need to keep the Athletics in the city they've called home since 1968.
(Wink of CBS eye: @HPBasketball)