Reports: Joe Lacob rejected from buying Oakland Athletics
July 11, 2022
Oakland Athletics managing partner John Fisher may not have to look far for a buyer if he decides to sell the franchise. Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob was reportedly turned down for buying the Athletics years ago, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"I've had a standing offer to buy the Athletics from John Fisher for I don't even know how long. Over a decade," Lacob told Shea.
"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."
Lacob also described how he "had the Athletics done" before Stephen Schott sold them to Fisher and Lew Wolff in 2005. He reportedly had a deal to purchase the franchise from Schott for $180 million. Instead, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig picked Wolff and Fisher, who were fraternity brothers at the University of Wisconsin.
"I was really pissed at Bud Selig," he added. "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."
How Athletics' history could have been different
Since 2008, the Athletics' Opening Day payroll has never been higher than 23rd. In comparison, the Warriors have spared no money to sustain their franchise. Golden State's payroll for the 2021-22 season was $184 million, including salary and luxury-tax payments.
According to CNBC's Jabari Young, the Warriors recorded the highest basketball-related income in the NBA in 2021 at $474 million. The newly built Chase Center is expected to help maintain that position.
The Athletics, on the other hand, are having trouble on the field and in the ticket sales department. Their 29-57 record entering Sunday's games was the lowest in MLB this season, and so was their average of 8,559 home game audience.
The franchise is battling to build a new ballpark in Oakland and is considering a move to Las Vegas if that plan fails. The Chase Center has helped Golden State's bottom line, and this could have done the same for them.
Speaking about a new Athletics stadium, Lacob said he regretted not having "this thing done a long time ago".
"I'd just pay for it all privately like I did with the Warriors," said Lacob.
"And you know what? You get to say at the end of the day, 'I didn't take any money from you.' You didn't get the $300 million or $400 million in infrastructure money, whatever, but it's easier for me to be able to take that tack."
The concept of a stadium at Oakland's Howard Terminal remains alive despite several challenges ahead. Fans are worried that the Athletics' owners will relocate as there is no clear plan for a new stadium. Athletics owners will relocate as there is no clear plan for a new stadium.