06 April 2005

Dave Newhouse interviews Lewis Wolff

Small details have emerged. Tidbits from the interview:

Q (Newhouse). Are you encouraged that a ballpark can be built in Oakland?

A (Wolff). I always feel that way, but the biggest issue is pinning down a site, and we're working on that right now.

Q. You mentioned last week that you would be looking at alternative sites: Would that include something along the estuary?

A. First of all, we don't know how many alternatives there are. What we can't do is look at a site we can't use because it might take 10 years to get there. The answer is I'm going to do everything I can to find a site.

Q. The Coliseum parking lot, which you're focused on, offers BART and highway access, but no aesthetic qualities. Would you agree?

A. You haven't seen what we plan to build there yet.

Q. What has been your relationship with Alameda County's Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to date?

A. They have been very supportive, and I would like to thank both the county and the city of Oakland. A lot has gone on since our (Friday) press conference, and they're just terrific. When I call, they've responded right away. I see no problem dealing with them.

Newhouse did his best to pry some steak from Wolff, but all he got was sizzle. That's what makes Wolff the consummate professional he is. He's good.

Q. With the close proximity of sports teams to one another in this country, would "territorial rights" stand up in court?

A. I'll never know because I'll never test it.

It's nice to see that Newhouse didn't lob the typical San Jose or Vegas/Portland question that would've gotten the typical response. Wolff's response, as expected, leaves the territorial rights battle squarely within the San Jose civic and booster groups, making it a real uphill climb for them.