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95.7 The Game>Audio & Video on Demand>>Lew Wolff joins Bucher and Towny for Newsmaker Week

Lew Wolff joins Bucher and Towny for Newsmaker Week

Jun 11, 2013|

The A's owner sat down with Bucher and Towny at O.Co to discuss many different topics about the team and possibility of a new stadium. He talks, as much as he can, about what is going on with the possible move and where they may get a stadium done.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Yeah my pleasure I think you'll see we got a half hour. Where was the last time you spoke to -- -- league. About a new stadium relocation. When's the last time we've had dialogue with the Commissioner of Baseball. Well as I told you before you. Started the -- nurture hope. Record a comment on any of that. We've been asked not to -- how frustrating is that that you can't from your standpoint it's easier for for Larry. It seems like it's easy it helps his case for you I'm not so sure. You know. Bob echo the comment that either so if if if you wanna continue that line of question -- -- -- but -- -- -- abide by the rules and I've been asked to -- You said recently that you have received. No proposal from the city of Oakland. On a new stadium. And but they're the reports about building retail and residential complex on the waterfront and mayor Quan has said she'd like. To have a stadium included in that so. What. Do you know of those plans an ace potential involvement in them. Well right and this may sound redundant I apologize but we spent four years trying to figure out a location here. People sometimes don't believe that. That's up to them. That baseball. Appointed a committee. To check out. Both free by then Oakland. To see if we missed anything that was another four years now take up to my -- year already so. Neither we could find -- an opportunity and it isn't just drawing of a line around three blocks and saying here's a great place for a ballpark. There's a lot of detail a lot of that has to go into it. And we've we've heard you know sure Oakland is made whatever effort -- but they haven't told us about. So this blue ribbon panel committee we've heard about it we never see it we never hear from them nothing has been done. I mean this is something you can comment on his -- what are they doing what they still doing to this date what do they. What the hell is going all. What did you ask them. -- I know is that they were pointed -- I think they're finished with their work but we have and I hope we haven't heard the and I agree with you. We haven't heard a conclusion. You told the sports business journal about a week ago that your relationship with Bud Selig is excellent. And in light of the issues with the blue ribbon panel and this limbo. That you in the team find itself in. How how what why is that or how is that that that that relationship is excellent considering the situation to your end. Well that's a fair question but let I look at life in business relationships is a balance sheet. So on the balance sheet on the baseball wise. Because of -- soon. The fit my partners the fishers were -- because of Bud Selig. That the growth of the value of the eighties. Maybe through some fault of of ours but mostly through. Baseball people like Billy -- of my Crowley that's all that's left side of the balance sheet is huge. To me and relationships of her and personal relations are very important. And I I wouldn't be talking -- pleaded no Bud -- So which you can understand from I think from the aids fan's perspective. That there feelings about bug and the inability to for the franchise to move forward. That they hold him. Responsible. And the fact that. Your I think that what they would like is for you to be going after blood to make this happen in some way shape or form or feel that. You feel that same sort of enmity. -- -- I don't have any enmity toward but it's a good word. Because we're as they say we have a balance sheet the venue is is a difficult issue some some -- venues people start on the thought they take ten or fifteen years ago before they build them but before they get it together. And I have to weigh the the benefits of has to be and it antagonist which is not my way of operating. So I'm hoping that we can work this out we do need a new venue. I think one -- you'll get it may not be as fast as I thought. Wolf the managing general partner for the Oakland Athletics joins us your -- -- had a 95 point seven game Lou it's in my opinion. That with the giants doing well and making money. With your franchise being success right now being the defending AL west champs making money it's very easy for Bud Selig to not do anything. Now someone will struggle in the and there are some die here. Dire things going on maybe be different -- because both teams are successful on the field and off he's able to stand back and do nothing. And my -- my wrong on that I think you're dead wrong. I think. But we that'll -- that's the reason I think but it's very deliberative person. And that's as far as a bitter comment on as well as it's safe to say he's you know. He's gonna wait this thing out I think he probably has 1415. Months left to being commissioner when this time. I mean he's been he's been -- up enough times you really at its team you think he's he's waiting to deliver this probably your problem to another commissioner. I don't think so but I don't know. I don't know if he's gonna got you got eighteen months or 58 months left ago. So although I do think he probably will retire this. What is it your relationship -- but aside. What is it that allows you to have such patience. On this matter. Again and I and I don't want. It's hard for some people don't understand but. I believe that we're part of a partnership. And his blood has said and some of the other owners who care. Really about baseball. That if you can care more about it a little bit more about baseball -- team a close second. That's way to operate in this particular. Partnership because it is. An institution if you will. And they're there are some motors we've had some history that the put that they've put their team ahead of baseball. We've had -- -- the Dodgers. Recently at forma ownership and also with the at Texans. If people want operate that way they're very few that I have come across you know. More power to them but I don't believe that I can I do appreciate that. So. How is it in the best interest of baseball. For. This situation not to be resolved. That's a very good question. It will be resolved at some point. It's just out of the times scheduled that. We all at -- form but it'll be resolved that I don't know exactly which direction so I really wanna comment much further on its fair question them. We'll have -- -- the fan base how do you feel do you feel that Bud Selig because they haven't done anything whether it's -- yes sorted out just to get an answer has. Basically done a disservice to your fan base. I don't think so. I think that. We've produced on the field. Fans could come here to enjoy it when they do. Be nice to have a perfect. Be nice to be building a new stadium we are built into those -- staid image you know -- will be you yeah San Jose. I know it's hard for you guys to see it that way it is so there's some of the fans. But again I it's a balance and really don't want to comment on the process. Slower than I would like. But it's a process that other older ownership have gone through it. Have you been approached by any other groups or locations. To build. The stadium now. So it remains I guess the question was last year it was posted and is its. Oppose it again so it's a year later what's plan B. My partners the Fisher family and myself we want to stay in the Bay Area and it until we've exhausted that. We're -- we don't have a plan B. Okay. San Jose obviously. The commissioner hasn't given you ago. And I know you don't wanna comment on territorial rights. But since he hasn't said yes and the time keeps going it looks like you know. If he does say no about San Jose. Then what do you do then this plan -- And what his point we don't have plan B why don't you have a plan B because you wanna stay in the Bay Area. Well okay and others at San Jose it's a big Bay Area you -- thought others not so there's that. To video. Locations in the Bay Area if if we can't. To build a brand new ballpark with the infrastructure we need and so forth. We need to be inner core areas from where I thought you referring to are we moving to. Taxes are somewhere and not talk to each spam me if you can have the south -- in these hate is the only thing where we're we're here for the hopefully for another five years so. -- But -- Seattle salesman he isn't now. Where -- hero builder. -- the ballparks don't pop up like tulips you know. And he's got a whole lot of issues related to access and soils and thousands of other things. So we think that the location that we spotted at San Jose would be appropriate for Major League ballpark if we're allowed to move the -- I. I've been told by some people that I know down there that there's a lot of people in the south they tired of it. They're tired of waiting and some of the people that possibly on the land that you would need. Are tired of waiting would you say that's not territory rights what do you say to the people down there who. Had expectations of the timeline being quicker maybe not going to wait anymore. You know everybody is to make their own decision. And I haven't heard that but if if that is somebody who owns a piece of land is waiting for us to buy that we're not the position to do it they -- somebody else more power to them. What would it take for Oakland to get back in the mix as being in. The possibility. As I indicated we have studied this thoroughly and so his baseball and that's as far as so it's been exhausted I -- is your mind you have spoken. But that that you gotta remember the words -- -- -- which we're in the process of extending our at least here in. Who knows what happens during that period you know we ever gone through that winter -- spring training little commanding general partner of the Oakland Athletics -- is here newsmakers week. Rock you by Domino's Pizza here on the current Downey. We we were down -- spring training win the whole fiasco you guys sense. The least they said he never said it before than they figured out you did. And where we stand right now with at least extending to five more years here at the coliseum with a GPA and the city vote I would say that the cooperation between ourselves and the representatives from Oakland is outstanding. And we'll get it done. What's it like for you to be that that the face of of this too because obviously there's a lot of resentment that is directed. Towards you. Because of the situation from the fan base. And I understand you're a businessman I understand the patients Sanders I can I can understand all that but on on there's that there's also the human. Element to deaths and nobody likes to be. The stalking horse and that's the position you find yourself and. Yeah it's not pleasant sometimes but I don't have to tell you that. Much to buy happiness most people I see at the ballpark are very. Sweet and kind of kind of letters and stuff we get are really pretty united so I think people know that we are sincerely interested in putting a good product on the field. Whether it's Oakland or someplace else we love baseball. I love the games. The announcers sometimes you know who knows but -- did you guys flags and -- -- Both SOB so I had no idea I get it I've you know I've I really haven't had that. Kind of experience in my career of being flash point. But it's not horrible and most people are really much kinder than the few the few people that -- Larry -- in the giant. It's contend that they are total agreement with you that you need a new stadium. That they support that. They do -- we don't want -- located in Hawaii right now -- -- -- Well that's so I mean is it how. Disingenuous. Is it that they can take that position. When the product. Standing in the way of that happening it is it allows them to play both sides those that month. You know -- I don't wanna comment on that we all the people should evaluate people as they see them and it. I don't really feel that's a big issue. It's really this is a decision that needs to be -- at baseball at Major League Baseball in the I'll abide by what baseball says that I'm sure Larry will too. -- all in Major League Baseball two team markets New York Chicago and LA correct me if I'm wrong but they have equal territorial rights that's why the angels. Have even floated out there about possibly moving to downtown Los Angeles which is only a few miles away from Chavez ravine. Do all the owners understand what is going on here and he has made presentations you kind of educated some of the other owners. When it comes it territorial rights how it is so far different for what you're dealing with from what the other three cities that have two teams. What they deal way. Well actually. You just answered the question that you didn't ask that question just answered that we we we are the only two team market that doesn't shared equal period. I would like the angels to move closer to the Dodgers because I live in LA and it actually takes longer to get to an Angel Stadium. To watch us play. That I could fly up to Oakland with the some nights. But they're gonna stay down where they're -- I think I don't really I haven't -- -- there but the fact the your rights are completely different in the other cities. I didn't I didn't I didn't set things right so -- I'm new to the game here when you block the team did you know all the issues with the territorial rights. And San Jose. I absolutely. But our idea was to look located vocal. And no matter what people say have -- -- I was I was losses and somebody -- general wants to sit down and go through all the work we've done which is physical matches. I would love you have by the way just so I can answer all the people that take as you know the number we we asked people. Texas -- and they -- say keep asking Lou why Oakland won't work. I'll be happy to do that at any time when I say it won't work what I'm saying is what we did to see if we could implement a ballpark. And loving happy to show that to you if you guys have the patience to let me so leafed through a couple hours. So this new waterfront complex in the new plans and all that that doesn't. That doesn't change anything in terms of what you've already discovered. Though it does. It is -- because that there you know because because. You've got to look at the detail that we went through. On every site that I Canseco from the waterfront too -- college they claim to Marty looked at that area -- -- show you what if you guys ever have the time audition you should mention it would have brought my material we would be -- I got plenty of time. OK about not gonna give a geologist go through with a positive -- I have I have gone through with with. Various people they understand that. It's not like he just as I said delicate tool of the pops out of the ground. It's some places you have to rebuild the freeways some places you have to. Have soil conditions -- -- look at the warriors are facing over on the fear you know there. They're they're gonna have a expense there which they can really justify you know things like that. Will move I think that it's the lack of of information. That frustrates. Everyone because we don't know. Why it's being held -- we don't know why we're not getting something from the panel there's so much we don't know. And that's what creates. The issue and the gag order that we can't talk about any of it. Only adds. To the frustration. It if if people understood. If you were able to talk if you were able to explain everything do you think that people would have a different perspective on on what's going on and the length of time that this is taking. Again that's a great question but it's still no comment but what I can't do is go over what we have done. And I'm happy to do I didn't think you we're gonna we gonna do that today but I'll be happy to do if there was a reset button. And you could have a clean slate with politicians. The GPA. And maybe there could be new conversations. Wouldn't it be worth it since Suisse have essentially had no right now on San Jose Jose yes it's now. Wouldn't it be worth your while to say you know what well let's let's look to see a possibility again in Oakland. Look everything is possible -- Fremont. The answer is we need to be in play here in the core area. Wherever we started this there was a huge. Demand for housing and entitlements it gets very complicated so it's not the kind of thing you can do it a thirty minute. Interview that's not good radio talk to us that radio though it's not the earliest -- -- you start to give fall asleep already. I think the best thing for me to do at some point -- when you have the time is to. Take you through what we did to see if you think it's. Balladur it really it's really common sense if you don't get San Jose will you be interested in selling the team now. Are you kidding this is so much fun. So it -- We are sort of the David against all the Goliaths. Who could have a better time. Let's be honest it's also lucrative I mean right now owning them a franchise. Almost in any other sport. Yeah I mean in any support or is. I mean it's -- it's an attractive thing to have I can understand why you why you wouldn't be simply because of the investment. Well from a business point of view yeah it is attractive but you know you you don't. I have in the thought about it but you don't really big body and anything or stock until you sell it right. It's the values -- there but what do you do with. Either split with the flu in your neck of the woods scandal Los Angeles the LA times on February 2 point at 2013. They came out -- article that says MLB gives gays tentative guidelines for potential move to San Jose this is in the LA times. Is that true. -- So -- times has got that out of nowhere. I think I think for career over the article -- yeah I know the reporter. I don't know where he got that. Information but basically. Are but the article quite well just Major League Baseball sense the -- Amelie. Sent to the giants yes you can have San Jose if you're gonna built down there if they don't -- down there. Is it in writing somewhere Major League Baseball everybody's territorial rights is that in writing is that. You know I'm not gonna completely continue to I hate to frustrate you guys are myself by saying no comment because. I'm much more transparent than most people are light effect I think handers. The easiest way to get through life but that the answers and follow the rules and not give you come. Dare I by the way thanks for asking about the charge stopped about our hitting about about -- left thought I'd let you know I mean every Thursday exactly and dollar values oh sorry it is -- go there it. And we have -- we have a general partner we have somebody -- of our front office they always say well that's the manages that's the general but I'd like to at least have the right to say event but the fifth at the good -- guys little guys operate I just wish I could be -- Cooperative I apologize that if it's it's you know for some of us who've been around it you know -- you know why Lewis because we care. We care about the you care about this organization we care about to start -- that is thirty people that I care about very deeply here. In terms of our staff what's coming out of that and a great thing about this organization when you start looking at people that have been around and you have a lot of employees. That have been around here for many many years and all of us seem to care so much and you want answers and that's why that's why you do interviews like this case. You're the guy hopefully we can get the answers are doing interviews because -- told me you're the flagship station you are so that's why I'm here with a massive let me ask you I tried to get out of it but -- at least that's why -- -- Thank you for that Israelis don't honestly answer that. I will ask you about one player good there in one of our one of our listeners Darius from San Jose. Wants to know UN assessment as has been compared to Willie Mays and Bo Jackson. But of late historically. The gays have nots. Tried to retain their superstar players have not been willing to put out those. Huge contracts. Should a's fans start for. Preparing themselves for the departure assessments but we what do we have another two years yes after the -- so I don't think they should think about that. Yeah it's never curious are preparing for something terrible and so you move your -- if you these bill oil lived up with fourteen players from another -- I don't I could I don't know but I. It -- in. Hoping that will be able to retain them as long as we care. That's about all I could -- it as we have thought I haven't discussed. Is being in in new venue and any way attached to your ability. Two key players like -- moving forward. Obviously if we started new venue today we would it be five years he would write -- read our report. But the answer is no way we can get to a new that you. Would be very important to our planning. For things like you. You're talking about that's very astute. We wanted to get the atlas -- involved and on Twitter at 40 wait Landry asked. Will you work with the raiders and the city of Oakland on building a new sports complex. For the days and the raiders though. Only because it it would be ten years from the day and I wanna do something faster that the angels once the once the rams moved. The angels renovated the big day for the ballpark they have and I don't want part there was talk between the gays and Oakland to do. To do that similar if the raiders work the move would that be an option to renovate the collar. CNN stay here the renovation of the -- saying you know this places now 45 years old most stadiums don't last so long we have. Any water table where they -- almost twenty feet below sea level so the word renovation is. Very important. We can't move the seats we want it we what we want a ballpark where the seats are much closer to. And they can't be done here. You -- your cost hundreds of millions of dollars. So the answer would be very different would be very difficult. When he your expectations. That you'll hear something from Major League Baseball. Held -- Q what do you think of how we got they have she. Vinatieri had no comment that's what I just what do you figure is sometimes you'll sometime in your -- I'm -- you're young man. To me anyway the fact that I mean where our guys I wish I could be much more candid with you but I've really following the rules that. I think both teams are following. And that's sort of move could get a continue to do well can you release promised me that when we do this next year. That -- will be will have a chance to talk about something else. I can promise you. When you do this next year. -- -- -- Beyond. That the benefit but also somebody else you start -- -- and well when you're ready to break the rules let us now I appreciate sorry about you know but I've. Made it clear view wherever book does that. Is very difficult for me to. Violate what I've agreed to well we do have. Soccer fans who do listen to us and I know that's one venue that. You're gonna have operated by what 2015. It enables I think we'll play the full season of 215. And it's going to be spectacular and looks protect and it's going to be thanks to my partners the -- primarily. It's going to be privately financed. So we're -- kiddie. What we say we want to do new venues. We're doing the new venue. Not a simple -- So. We probably next year we can talk about. Going out and see the construction of -- well thank you for your time thanks guys -- appreciate both.

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