Multiple sources confirm to "The Dan O'Donnell Show" that it's "not an accident" that Major League Baseball asked Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio to head the committe tasked with relocating the Oakland A's to Las Vegas amid uncertainty surrounding American Family Field financing.
The Associated Press reported in June that Attanasio would lead the committee, but MLB never formally announced its members. That report ran just two weeks after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred visited Milwaukee and stressed the importance of the government entity that owns American Family Field to uphold the obligations of its lease and provide funding for stadium repairs.
"This is a gem of a ballpark," Manfred told reporters during batting practice before a Brewers game at American Family Field in late May. "It's really important that the existing obligation under the lease be funded so that this great ballpark is maintained on a regular basis. It needs to be done in a timely way."
Manfred added that "there is not a scenario that is in my mind at the current moment" that the Brewers would leave Milwaukee, but his comments were widely seen as an ultimatum to the Southeastern Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, the public entity that owns American Family Field.
Two weeks later, Manfred selected Attanasio as the head of the A's relocation committee.
"It wasn't an accident," one Major League Baseball source told "The Dan O'Donnell Show.
"[The commissioner] wanted to give [Attanasio] a front row seat to how the process would play out in case he would have to go through it," said another source.
Every source that "The Dan O'Donnell Show" spoke to reiterated that Major League Baseball believes that the chances of the Brewers having to leave Milwaukee are extremely remote, but that Manfred is concerned that state and local government leaders have been thus far unable to come to an agreement on stadium financing.
"It's not like there was an ultimatum or anything, but [MLB] is obviously preparing for any possibility, even if it's remote," said another source, who added that MLB often asks Attanasio to serve on various committees because he is well-respected among fellow owners and is willing to volunteer his time.
"Putting him in charge of the relocation committee was definitely intentional, even if it wasn't like, 'Oh you're going to be the next owner to have to go through it,'" the source explained. "It was more about having him familiar with the process just in case."
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers proposed $290 million in state budget surplus funds for stadium financing in February, but Republicans who control the Legislature rejected this plan, saying they were "blindsided" by it. Earlier this month, Republicans put forth their own plan to use $611 million in public money to fund repairs that would come primarily from tax revenue generated by American Family Field itself.
Representative Rob Brooks, the author of the Republican plan, conceded Sunday that it would need Democrat support to move forward and does not currently have the votes to pass.
"It would be very close and very tough if we had to do it," he said on "Upfront." "I think we're going to need some Dem votes, but what I have found in talking to Speaker Vos and my colleagues, every time we explain the details to people one-on-one, they get it."
Governor Evers indicated that he was open to supporting a bipartisan funding plan.
"We have to get together and finalize it," he told WISN 12 News on Monday. "There's too many moving parts right now. I'm not going to respond to different things. All I know, we have to be careful about sticking it to the [City of Milwaukee] or [Milwaukee County]."
The Republican plan calls for annual contributions from both the city and county totaling $200 million over the terms of the new 27-year lease, something Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson has opposed.
"I would prefer that number to be zero," he said, before conceding that "that is unlikely so I would prefer now that that number is as low as it possibly can be."