OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Oakland Mayor Jean Quan led a rally aimed at convincing her city’s three sports team to stay in town Monday.
Quan led a crowd of about 100 people who gathered in front of Oakland City Hall in chanting, “Let’s Go Oakland!” and carried a sign urging the A’s baseball team, the Raiders football team and the Warriors basketball team to remain in Oakland.
She didn’t offer any specifics on how the city plans to keep the teams around, but told the crowd—many of whom were dressed in A’s and Raiders gear—“We’re having good and active talks to keep the teams in Oakland but I can’t tell you anything more.”
There weren’t any representatives from the three sports teams at the rally.
Afterward, Quan told reporters, “We’re still actively talking with the teams and we’re optimistic, especially with the two teams we’re negotiating with.”
Quan said the ongoing negotiations are with the A’s—whose owner, Lew Wolff, has said he wants to move the team to San Jose—and the Raiders, who are rumored to be considering moving to Los Angeles.
She said Oakland isn’t actively negotiating with the Warriors, who announced in May that they want to build a new arena at Piers 30-32 in San Francisco by 2017.
However, she said Oakland Assistant City Manager Fred Blackwell, who used to work for San Francisco’s redevelopment agency, has told her he thinks the Warriors will run into difficulty in building a new arena in San Francisco and will wind up staying in Oakland.
Quan asked fans of the three sports teams who live in Oakland and other East Bay cities to support “Oakland Loves Its Sports Teams Week,” which starts with a Raiders home game on Sept. 10 and the A’s hosting the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 14.
She said the sports week is parts of “a grassroots movement” to keep the A’s, Raiders and Warriors in Oakland.
“People in the community are impatient about the status of the three sports teams and want to help but they can’t be in negotiations, so they want to do something,” Quan said.
City Administrator Deanna Santana said at the rally, “The three sports teams are a key asset to our city’s success and showcase our city to the nation and the world.”
She said the teams “are important to our local economy and are a great source of civic pride.”
Quan told the crowd at the rally that the teams are important to the entire East Bay, not just Oakland.
“The East Bay is a fast-growing area and we think the teams need to stay here,” she said.
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