Another threat that the MLB will move without a new ballpark.
Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher is not getting a holiday present from the city of Oakland or Alameda County or the state of California. Fisher wants hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from the government to help finance his plan of developing the Howard Terminal parcel of land on the Oakland waterfront and turn it into a stadium-village for his business. The lack of progress to get the stadium-village done has upset MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred who seems to have taken a page out of the movie Blazing Saddles and is ready to hold Fisher’s business within MLB’s business hostage. Politicians don’t give us that money, we will punish Fisher. It better happen under Oakland’s new mayor and new city council in 2023 or else. The or else part has not been fully defined. “They need to have a deal by then, so this is a very, very important year,” Manfred said. “If Oakland wants to keep the A’s, they need to figure out a way to get a deal in front of the A’s that’s acceptable to John Fisher.” Yes, make Fisher an offer he can’t refuse.
“We’re past any reasonable timeline for the situation in Oakland to be resolved,” Manfred added. Per the Major League Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement, Fisher’s exemption from being a paying team in the league’s revenue-sharing program would end for 2024 if Fisher doesn’t have a binding agreement with Oakland or another city for a new ballpark by January 15th, 2024. Fisher has been playing the stadium game pitting Oakland against Las Vegas in hopes of getting someone to put up money to help him get that stadium. Manfred is right, 2023 is an important year for Fisher. There are new sets of politicians in Oakland and Nevada that will decide his stadium’s fate.
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