The Giants rule San Francisco baseball. But as any Oakland A's fan knows, they rule San Jose baseball, too.
Due to "a gentlemen's agreement" in the 1990s, the San Francisco Giants hold territorial rights over San Jose--a technicality that has largely prevented the A's from relocating to the city, even though the Giants have no intention of ever moving there.
And one San Jose City Councilmember has had just about enough.
In a scathing interview with the San Jose Mercury News, City Councilmember Sam Liccardo, whose district includes the downtown area that would house a proposed A's ballpark, suggested that the City of San Jose sue the Giants.
"I'm happy to swing the hammer and pound the nail," Liccardo told the Mercury News.
Because of the Giants' territorial rights, San Jose has been stuck in a stalemate that, Liccardo claims, could cause the city to lose about $30 million in prospective funds over the next 30 years from not having a ballpark.
"And this is in conservative terms," said Liccardo, "with just the property taxes generated and the money that would go to public schools."
And while MLB has been perceptively unwilling to touch the A's-Giants conflict with a ten-foot bat, Liccardo believes a lawsuit could finally get things moving.
Meanwhile in Oakland, Mayor Quan has been aggressively fighting to keep the A's, along with the Raiders and the Warriors--all of whom have threatened to leave.
"The fear is legitimate but we're working really hard on a plan that could eventually still have all three teams," said Quan. The plan: a megacomplex dubbed "Coliseum City."
The new project would be modeled after Los Angeles' LA Live, a 27-acre complex that includes the Staples Center, as well as restaurants, bars, shopping and hotels. The estimated cost is upwards of $1 billion, but according to city officials, the project would largely be privately financed.
While the plan would be long shot to say the least, Oakland has already approved $4.5 million in research for the project.
"Coliseum City is a game-changer," said Quan at a press conference last year. "And Oakland is playing to win."
Read Mark Purdy's full interview with Liccardo in the San Jose Mercury News.