San Jose appeals federal court decision, refiles state lawsuit

San Jose appeals federal court decision, refiles state lawsuit
January 23, 2014, 7:15 pm
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The state lawsuit includes new allegations regarding a letter sent from Bud Selig to A’s co-owner Lew Wolff in June. (AP)

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The City of San Jose continued its legal fight Thursday to bring the A’s to the South Bay, appealing a federal court decision that dismissed the city’s antitrust and unfair competition claims against Major League Baseball.

A separate state lawsuit also was refiled in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, claiming interference with contract against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig.

The city filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, looking to overturn U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte's decision in October to dismiss arguments that Major League Baseball had violated federal antitrust laws by failing to act on the A's quest to move to San Jose.

The state court complaint centers on the argument that MLB interfered with the city’s option agreement with the A’s to buy land for a ballpark in San Jose. The lawsuit includes new allegations regarding a letter sent from Selig to A’s co-owner Lew Wolff in June, in which MLB reportedly denied the A’s request to relocate to San Jose.

[REWIND: Judge dismisses San Jose's remaining claims vs. MLB]

“The City has not seen this purportedly secret denial and MLB refuses to release the contents of the June 17, 2013 letter to the City or the public," said Philip Gregory, a lawyer for San Jose.

Wolff still wants to move the A’s to San Jose, but the city is within the territorial right of the San Francisco Giants, who vehemently oppose the A’s moving there.

The announcement of Thursday’s legal action comes as the city of Oakland is showing renewed effort at keeping the A’s. One potential plan would include construction of a new ballpark on the current Coliseum site, which would be part of a bigger entertainment complex. Wolff has actually been receptive to that idea, and he reportedly met with Oakland officials on Wednesday to discuss it.

Another idea involves plans for a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal, not far from Jack London Square. A group of Oakland businessmen reportedly is attempting to secure permits for the right to build a ballpark on that property. Wolff has said publicly he does not think building at the Howard Terminal site is feasible.

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