News

San Jose pulls initiative for new ballpark from November ballot

Major League Baseball yet to decide if Oakland As could move there

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed withdrew his request Wednesday to place a downtown ballpark initiative on the November ballot.

Reed's announcement comes a day after a conversation he had with Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy, who requested on behalf of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to have the initiative withdrawn from consideration.

"I pursued a November election because I believe the citizens of San Jose deserve to have their voices heard," Reed said in a statement.

"We have strong community support to build a privately funded ballpark, which would be a catalyst for thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to fund vital city services," the mayor said.

"After discussing our options with Lew Wolff, other elected officials and members of Pro Baseball San Jose, we have decided to forgo a

November ballot measure," he said.

The city's Rules Committee had been scheduled to decide today whether to place the measure on the agenda for the City Council's Aug. 3 meeting.

Reed said Tuesday that he would not make a decision on pulling his request until he had spoken with Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff.

Wolff said today, "I'm grateful that San Jose has shown a gritty determination to help us build a new ballpark for our franchise. We appreciate the strong leadership of both the mayor and Commissioner Selig."

"We look forward to a final decision from the Commissioner, and will vigorously pursue an election next year if that decision is a positive one," he said.

Reed is still seeking a City Council resolution in support of bringing the A's to San Jose.

Such a move would require the approval of MLB because the rights to the territory currently belong to the San Francisco Giants. San Jose voters would also need to approve the new stadium.

DuPuy told Reed that MLB will help pay for a special election in the spring if the ballpark initiative goes to the voters. The Rules Committee today will still decide whether to forward the proposed ballpark negotiating principles to the City Council.

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