Lacob once offered to buy A's, believes team belongs in Oakland originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Before he bought the Warriors, built Chase Center in San Francisco and won four championships in an eight-year span, Joe Lacob attempted to purchase the Athletics.
In an interview with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Lacob went into detail about how his offer to buy the A's for $180 million in 2005 was all but a done deal. Instead, MLB commissioner Bud Selig favored the pairing of John Fisher and Lew Wolff, the latter who attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison along with the commissioner.
“It got yanked from under me," Lacob told Shea. "I was really pissed at Bud Selig. I easily qualified; that wasn’t the issue. Bud basically did what he wanted to do, and he didn’t know me. So I learned a little lesson from that, which is it’s not all about money. You’ve got to have the right friends in these leagues.”
The A's landed with Wolff and Fisher. Lacob learned an important lesson in that deal and built relationships around the NBA to put him in place to purchase the Warriors for $450 million five years later in 2010.
But Lacob still thinks about the A's. In fact, he told Shea he still has an offer on the table to purchase the team.
“I’ve had a standing offer to buy the A’s from John Fisher for I don’t even know how long," Lacob said. "Over a decade. It’s up to him; it’s his business. It would have been smarter to sell to me a long time ago because we would have been partners, and he would have been able to own a part of the Warriors as well. I tried to tell him that. I would have done a ratio deal."
Ultimately, as the franchise fights for a new ballpark in Oakland while dealing with rumors about moving to Las Vegas, Lacob wants to see the A's stay in Oakland. He's been a supporter of the Howard Terminal ballpark site for years, which now appears to be the frontrunner to host a new stadium in The Town.
“That is what baseball does. That’s the playbook, threaten to move [to Vegas], then try to get municipalities to put up the money,” Lacob said. “I’m not saying it’s even wrong. But is it real? Vegas has a hockey team. A football team. The NBA has talked about going there. How many teams can you support in that place? I don’t know.
“I do know it’s easier to get a stadium done if the A’s were there. The Raiders proved that. It was a great deal for the Raiders. It’s not even about the money. It’s just the ability to get it done. It’s very, very hard to get things done in the Bay Area.
"I just think there’s a great opportunity if the team were to stay here.”