SEATTLE - Mayor Sheng Thao is vying to keep the Athletics in Oakland and recently met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in Seattle to pitch her city's proposal for building a new ballpark for the team.
The Athletic was the first news publication to report that the meeting quietly took place, and at Thao's request. It was the first time the two met in person.
Thao was accompanied by several city leaders during the trip, including Molly Maybrun, the lead negotiator and project manager for Howard Terminal.
The meeting happened on Sunday at a Seattle hotel, where Thao personally handed over 31 documents to Manfred— one for him and one for each major-league owner. These documents detailed the comprehensive plan for constructing the waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal, as reported by the outlet.
"I won’t stop fighting to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland—even if it means taking a swing and flying to Seattle! We are still ready to play ball to ensure the @Athletics remain #RootedInOakland," the Oakland mayor tweeted in response to news of the meeting.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Commissioner Manfred has made critical remarks regarding the potential relocation of the A's from Oakland to Las Vegas, blaming the breakdown in negotiations for a new ballpark on "the political process in Oakland."
Manfred had previously stated that Oakland failed to present a tangible plan for constructing a new stadium site, a claim that Mayor Thao refuted as false.
Thao aimed to clarify misinformation that the city never had a stadium proposal and provided a hard copy to the commissioner.
Manfred was "receptive" to Oakland's presentation and said that he would forward the documents to the league's relocation committee.
"We had a good meeting, a very open exchange of views," Manfred said during a press conference before the All Star Game on Tuesday "I understand she came to the process late and is doing her best to figure out if there is something that can be done in a process that was in a lot of ways kind of over when she showed up on the scene."