According to the East Bay Express, an East Bay news blog, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber—the owners of the Golden State Warriors—are leading a group interested in purchasing the Oakland Athletics and keeping them in Oakland in a new ballpark to be built at Howard Terminal in the Port of Oakland.
The report said the Warriors’ owners are part of at least three potential investment groups who are interested in buying the A’s and building the new park in Oakland on their own.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this week that a waterfront park proposal was being fronted by former Dreyer’s Ice Cream CEO T. Gary Rogers, Signature Development Group CEO Michael Ghielmetti, Clorox CEO Don Knauss and Doug Boxer, a former Oakland planning commissioner.
A’s co-owner Lew Wolff told the Oakland Tribune he wasn’t at all interested in a proposed park at Howard Terminal.
Lacob and Huber have tried to purchase the A’s before. Guber made a run at the team in 2002 when they were owned by Steve Schott and Ken Hofman, while Lacob was interested in the baseball team when the A’s were eventually sold to Wolff and John Fisher of the Gap.
According to the story, another thing tying the Warriors ownership to the waterfront ballpark proposal is that the designers of the drawings released earlier this week are from MANICA Architecture—the same firm that has been hired by Lacob and Guber to develop plans for the Warriors’ proposed arena in San Francisco.
If the report is true, it’s a bombshell that could be a game-changer for the efforts to keep the A’s in Oakland. Wolff and Fisher have been rebuffed by Major League Baseball at every turn in their desire to move the team to San Jose.
If so, then the question becomes: What would it take for Wolff and Fisher to sell the team? (Besides the obvious answer, embarrassingly large piles of cash.)
If this were a motion picture, I believe the term we’d be searching for would be “major plot twist.”