OAKLAND — The City of Oakland can press all it wants for the A's to move to a new waterfront site at Howard Terminal, but that move seems unlikely to happen as long as the current ownership group, led by John Fisher and Lew Wolff, continue to call the shots.
And despite a report in the East Bay Express that Warriors' owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber might be interested in buying the team and building a new park on the Howard Terminal site, a sale is not happening.
“No one has approached us for a sale,” Wolff told this news organization Thursday. “And we are not interested in being approached.”
Guber told the Los Angeles Times that suggestions of his interest in buying the team were “100 percent not true.” Guber has an ownership stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers and, under Major League Baseball rules, he cannot be involved with multiple franchises.
“Peter's a good guy,” Wolff said, “and what he says is up to him. Again, no one has approached us.”
Fisher and Wolff bought the team in 2005 from Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann. For most of those eight years they have been looking for a new ballpark. The Oakland Coliseum, now almost half a century old, is widely viewed as being obsolete.
The A's have at times looked at Oakland, Fremont and San Jose in its bid for a new home. They are looking at San Jose now, although Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told them mid-season he would not allow a move under plans currently on the table.
The City of Oakland has never wavered in its desire to keep the A's, and the Howard Terminal site is one of two current plans out there. Howard Terminal boosters look at a 38,000-seat facility at the foot of Market Street near Embarcadero West. It's about one half mile north of Jack London Square and about one mile from the nearest BART stop (12th Street).
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, a proponent of the Howard Terminal option, also continues to push a Coliseum City plan that would have the A's staying basically where they are, but in a new park as part of a larger sports development.
Wolff and Fisher have looked at Howard Terminal in the past, dismissed it then, and they say they aren't interested in looking at it now.
“No,” Wolff said when asked if there was renewed A's interest in the Howard Terminal site. “Not a bit.”
One of the prime drawbacks to the Howard Terminal site is the ground itself. It's laced with toxic chemicals and those would have to be dealt with before anything is done.