Originally posted on Seed Spitters  |  Last updated 3/7/12

The San Francisco Giants, owners of baseball territory in the North and South bay, have been having to deal with the Oakland Athletics trying to move into San Jose after Oakland is becoming less of an attractive city for the sport.

To the A’s, it’s simple. The A’s want to move to San Jose, a much more popular sports venue location with years of successful growth with the San Jose Sharks and the San Jose Sabercats as well as the Giants single-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants.

The Giants, however, own those rights to those territories Oakland is interested in. That’s it.

I’m assuming the Giants want to push Oakland out of the Bay Area in order to own more of the market where Oakland fans are. Maybe a big move can attract A’s fans to go to Giants games more often, buy more Giants apparel and so on.

Here is a statement the Giants Organization released today from CSNBayArea.com:

“The Commissioner has asked us to refrain from discussing the territorial rights issue publicly. Out of respect for his request, we will limit our response to setting the record straight on the history of territorial rights.

The Giants territorial rights were not granted “subject to” moving to Santa Clara County. Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions. Most significantly in 1994, Major League Baseball conducted a comprehensive review and re-definition of each club’s territories. These designations explicitly provide that the Giants territory include Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties and the A’s territory included Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The MLB owners unanimously approved those designated territories and memorialized them in the MLB Constitution. Since then, the MLB Constitution has been re-affirmed by the MLB owners – including by the A’s – on three different occasions (2000, 2005 and 2008), long after the Giants won approval to build AT&T Park. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher agreed to these territorial designations and were fully aware of our territorial rights when they purchased the A’s for just $172 million in 2005.

The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory. Upon purchasing the team 20 years ago, our plan to revive the franchise relied heavily on targeting and solidifying our fan base in the largest and fastest growing county within our territory. Based on these Constitutionally-recognized territorial rights, the Giants invested hundreds of millions of dollars to save and stabilize the team for the Bay Area, built AT&T Park privately and has operated the franchise so that it can compete at the highest levels.”

So pretty interesting stuff in here. The A’s just want to move to a growing city. The Giants own it, and they know how powerful they are with the land of Santa Clara County.

Trust me, Santa Clara County is so valuable because I live there and I’m pretty sure I have a little too much Giants merchandise in my room.

Now the A’s have to either stay in Oakland or the Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, or perhaps move elsewhere. Honestly, I don’t see moving out of state as a plausible option, but I can imagine Oakland somehow finds a new stadium to play in.

Looks like this debate is over until the off-season or they just wont be public about the situation.

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