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'Silicon Valley' Sues MLB: Give Us Our A's!

City of San Jose filed suit in LA against baseball league & commissioner for blocking team's move and depriving region of billions of dollars.

Oakland Coliseum, still the home of baseball's Oakland Athletics. Photo: Wikimedia.
Oakland Coliseum, still the home of baseball's Oakland Athletics. Photo: Wikimedia.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The city of San Jose is suing Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig, saying his denial of the Oakland Athletics' bid to move to the Silicon Valley hub could deprive the local economy of billions of dollars.

The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges interference with prospective economic advantage and interference with contractual advantage. The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

MLB Spokeswoman Ginger Dillon did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

According to the complaint, Selig wrote a letter last June 13 to Athletics Managing Partner Lewis Wolff denying the team's request to move from the Oakland Coliseum to San Jose.

"However, this purported denial was done secretly and (MLB) refuses to release the contents of the letter to plaintiffs or the public,'' the suit states.

The suit states that the case was brought in Los Angeles because both the Dodgers and the Angels "reside in Los Angeles County."

According to the suit, the A's are "one of the most economically disadvantaged teams in major league professional baseball.''

Attendance at A's games has gone down sharply since the 1990s and the team draws about half the number of its Bay Area competitors, the San Francisco Giants, who play in modern AT&T Park, the suit states.

Meanwhile, the city of San Jose's general fund has been damaged by MLB's
refusal to permit the A's to move to the city, according to the complaint.

The current value of potential tax revenues generated by the proposed park is
estimated to be as high as $42 million during the next half century, the suit
states.

The projected economic benefits of the new stadium also would improve
the local economy in general, the suit states.

"It is estimated that by 2018 the planned ballpark could conservatively
generate approximately $86.5 million in net new direct spending within the
city of San Jose,'' according to the complaint.

"Over a 30-year and 50-year term, it is estimated that the net present value of this net new direct spending could be approximately $1.9 billion and $2.7 billion, respectively.''


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