Fans in Oakland may very well find themselves partying in the streets this weekend. No, the Raiders have not yet won the Super Bowl. And the NBA season is too young to anoint the Golden State Warriors champions.
Still, it looks like something pretty darn big is happening within the city’s sports landscape.
According to Susan Slusser over at the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff is stepping down as the organization’s managing partner. He’ll be replaced in that role by fellow co-owner John Fisher.
Breaking: The Chronicle has learned that Lew Wolff is stepping down as #Athletics managing partner and John Fisher is taking over role.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) November 17, 2016
Slusser went on to report that Wolff is selling most of his stake in the franchise to other owners currently financially involved in the A’s.
Fisher is the son of GAP Inc. founders Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher and has stakes in both the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and Scotland’s Celtic F.C.
His net worth is said to be $2.4 billion with an estimated family net worth of over $6 billion.
This will likely be music to the ears of A’s fans the world over. But in reality, it remains to be seen just how much this changes the organization’s dynamics.
Considered a small-market team despite playing in one of the largest markets in the United States, the A’s have continually been forced to sell/trade some of their top players as a way to avoid increasing a payroll that continues to be among the smallest in the baseball world.
It has led to a ton of criticism thrown in the direction of Wolff in the past.
Adding the drama here, the A’s are still playing in one of the most run-down venues in the professional sports world. There still doesn’t seem to be much hope of a new stadium in Oakland. This has led to speculation that the A’s themselves might move.
Again, this huge news doesn’t give up much of an indication of where that stands. Though, Fisher has been known to put more of his capital on the line for the success of the organization than Wolff. That’s most definitely a step in the right direction.