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Oakland A’s stadium search takes shape with Lew Wolff stepping down, John Fisher and Dave Kaval stepping up

New team president Dave Kaval
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s shuffled the deck at the top of their organization. Out are Lew Wolff as Managing Partner of the ownership group, and Michael Crowley as team president. In are majority owner John Fisher and San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval, respectively. What does all of this mean for the A’s?

The central theme of these moves appears to be the continuing quest for a new ballpark. As reported by Mark Purdy of The Mercury News, the 81-year-old Wolff stepped down rather than embark on another big construction project that would last several more years. About his departure, he said, ”I wouldn’t be doing this if I was 20 years younger,” via Joe Stiglich of CSN. Wolff will retain the title of chairman emeritus, while Fisher takes the reins with a focus on building a stadium in Oakland.

Stiglich also notes that Wolff and Fisher “haven’t always seen eye to eye over the ballpark search,” with Wolff preferring the current Coliseum site and Fisher casting an eye elsewhere in Oakland. That’s not meant to suggest any internal strife leading to the shakeup, but rather to note the shift in mindset from the previous manager to the new one. Of course, the Raiders still remain as a variable until their own stadium situation is resolved in whatever city they land in.

The presidential switch also has implications for the stadium search. From Purdy’s article:

Kaval is a more energetic marketing man who successfully rolled out the Earthquakes’ new stadium two years ago. Fisher financed most of it and Wolff’s son, Keith, oversaw the construction. Look for Fisher, Kaval and Keith Wolff (who stays on with the A’s) to be the key threesome advancing the ball as rapidly as possible on an A’s ballpark project in Oakland, with the Raiders’ eventual choice about a stadium playing a big part.

Indeed, Kaval began talking immediately about the ballpark project, says John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group. Specifically, he wants that project to be privately funded, and in Oakland. About the Raiders, he said this:

And what can you do if you have your own opinions on the issue of the A’s new stadium?

Is that so?

Finally, one last note about all this that doesn’t involve the stadium.

So you’re saying there’s a chance!