SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San Jose officials ratcheted up their efforts to lure the Oakland Athletics to the South Bay after the City Council agreed to buy an abandoned sausage factory where a ballpark could be built.
The council voted unanimously on Tuesday to spend $5.7 million for the shuttered downtown facility. Officials also agreed to spend $700,000 for studies on the environmental and economic impacts of building a stadium.
The city is looking to acquire a total of 13.5 acres for the project, which would first need voter approval. A local law prohibits the city from spending public money on a ballpark without voter consent.
The studies are needed to produce a ballot measure, and if voters ultimately decide against a stadium the land can be resold or used for other purposes, City Attorney Rick Doyle said.
"It's a very, very good investment," said Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez.
The A's are dissatisfied with the team's current facility, McAfee Coliseum, which it shares with the Oakland Raiders, and negotiations on an expensive new facility are proving difficult. Oakland A's managing partner Lew Wolff said he wants to keep the team in Oakland but is open to moving.
Another Bay Area city has also expressed interest in attracting the A's if negotiations with Oakland fail. Last month, the Fremont City Council voted to hire a consultant to examine the feasibility of building a stadium in that city.