14 March 2009

KJ wants the A's

Last night, the office of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson released a statement confirming KJ's interest in bringing the A's to Sactown. The catch? He's serious only if the A's are too:
"Sacramento will only pursue a team like the A's if the A's are serious and not looking to negotiate one community off of another and we can develop a stadium facility that will represent a true economic benefit to Sacramento," Johnson said.

Johnson said he would be making clear "the process and principles that we will adhere to when it comes to considering a Major League Baseball team" in the coming weeks.
Now we don't know what KJ's strategy is. Is he looking at an expanded Raley Field, which is not in Sacramento? Or is he hitching his wagon to a ballpark at Cal Expo to replace the arena if the Kings bolt? The latter sounds like a more palatable scenario for Lew Wolff and John Fisher.

The "process and principles" aspect piques my interest. It's one thing when you're San Jose and you don't have to contend with another team's interest in finite resources. It's another when the Kings and A's would most definitely compete with each other for political will, funding, etc. Would discussions start only after the Kings decided to leave? How long would that take?

Mayor KJ also touts his city's positives...
"A team in Sacramento would represent a home run for Major League Baseball,” Johnson said, though he really shouldn’t have. “Because Sacramento is a great sports town with a strong market in terms of fan interest, corporate support and the size of our media market."
...while conveniently excluding any mention of the financial and social calamity that is growing under his nose - and in between downtown and Cal Expo to boot.

Now that's an attractive adjacent neighborhood for developers. At least KJ got the fan interest part right. Corporate support and media market? Not so much.