The Athletics have been stuck in a bit of a holding pattern this offseason due to their stadium situation, but they may be drawing closer to a resolution. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Bud Selig plans to meet with Giants executives within two weeks in an effort to accelerate a decision about whether the A's will be allowed to relocate to San Jose.
The Giants draw a significant portion of their fan base and corporate sponsorships from counties south of San Francisco, and they are adamantly opposed to relinquishing their territorial rights to the South Bay. A source tells Rosenthal that the Giants must draw at least 3.2MM fans to break even on their $130MM payroll next season after drawing 3.4MM fans this season. They can't afford much of a slip.
If the Giants refuse to yield their territorial rights, Rosenthal says one solution would be for MLB to purchase the Athletics, secure a stadium deal in Oakland, then resell the club. It would be similar to what they did with the Expos in 2002. The A's have agreed to expand the seating capacity (32K) of the proposed Cisco Field design as one condition of the move. Essentially, Selig has to balance the best interest of the Giants with the best interests of the game.