With the San Jose City Council scheduled to vote Tuesday on a short list of principles designed to outline any future negotiations with the A's for a new ballpark, the city's mayor said such a ballpark must make San Jose "millions of dollars" and that team owner Lew Wolff "needs to pay for his own stadium."
"We've seen it with" HP Pavilion, mayor Chuck Reed told the San Jose Mercury News, referring to the arena where the NHL's San Jose Sharks play, "so we know it can be done."
The San Jose Redevelopment Agency spent $135 million in the early 1990s to build the arena, which brings the city's general fund an estimated $5.8 million a year, according to the Mercury News.
While the provisions that will be voted on will likely make it possible for there to be some form of city contribution, such as providing land and infrastructure, they will also make clear that such an investment would require a citywide referendum and can't include the city's operating funds.
Reached for comment Monday morning, two A's officials, including vice president and general manager Billy Beane, who also is a part owner of the club, cited Wolff"s policy against publicly discussing stadium issues. That policy was adopted after a flurry of stadium stories during Spring Training.
San Jose is part of the San Francisco Giants' territory, and therefore negotiations cannot be held between the city and any other club without permission from Major League Baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a four-person committee in March to analyze the A's ballpark situation. The team's lease with Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum expires at the end of next year, with three one-year club options that follow. Plans to build a ballpark in Fremont were canceled earlier this year.
But San Jose officials want to be prepared in the event the A's do receive baseball's blessing to pursue a 32,000-seat, $500 million stadium in San Jose. The council also will take up plans for ensuring that business owners and other residents remain part of the city's evolving ballpark conversation.
"We want to make sure we have community support and that this is good for all of San Jose," councilman Ash Kalra said.
Bobbie Dittmeier is an editor/producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.