San Jose Too Broke for A's Stadium

By Joe Kukura
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:24 PM PDT
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San Jose Too Broke for A's Stadium

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Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers smokes a cigar and speaks on his cell phone in the dugout after the Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics to clinch the American League West Title at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 25, 2010 in Oakland, California.

The slam-dunk move of the Oakland A's to San Jose might be getting slammed. San Jose just realized it might be too broke to build the stadium.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the city of San Jose is now realizing they can't afford to buy the land on which the stadium was supposed to sit. The additional necessary land costs more than $20 million, and the city hasn't even got half that much to spend on it.

City of San Jose, Nicolas Cage feels your pain.

San Jose mayor Chuck Reed is confident that the city can just get cute by selling off other assets if and when Major League Baseball approves the move. "I believe we will put together a transaction that will take care of the land issue," Reed told the Mercury News.

A's owner Lew Wolff is even less troubled by the stark financial news. "There isn't a redevelopment agency or city or federal or state government that isn't in some form of disarray at this point," Wolff told the Merc. "Whatever issues we run into, we will figure out how to get them done. We will not let anything stand in the way of getting the ballpark done."

That sounds reassuring for a guy so rich he has billionaire and Gap heir John Fisher as his minority owner. But Wolff's bag is real estate, and plunging real estate values are the primary reason that the city of San Jose is experiencing the budget shortfall.

Real estate values are likely to get worse before they get better, which will give Wolff even less buying power to acquire that land.

Unless maybe Lew Wolff knows a few of those robo-signers down at the mortgage banks.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who realizes it's probably too late now to get a job as a robo-signer down at the mortgage bank.

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