SAN FRANCISCO — Major League Baseball is dragging its feet on having team owners vote on the Oakland Athletics' proposed move to a new ballpark 40 miles south in San Jose, San Jose city officials said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit — filed in federal court in San Jose — is disputing MLB's exemption to federal antitrust law, which MLB has used as a "guise" to control the location of teams, according to the suit.
"It's time for someone to take on this supposed baseball exemption from antitrust laws," said attorney Phil Gregory of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, the law firm representing the city. "The City of San Jose is a perfect candidate to make that challenge."
The San Francisco Giants have objected to the A's potential move on grounds they relied on territorial rights to the San Jose-area market when they built their ballpark, AT&T Park.
The A's say those rights were only meant to support the Giants' failed efforts in the early 1990s to build a San Jose-area ballpark themselves.