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A'S OWNERS TRYING TO BUY SOME TIME ON BALLPARK LEASE
Published June 18, 1998
The July 1 deadline for the A's to exercise a year-to- year lease option at the Oakland Coliseum "may be delayed while team owners try to work out a host of issues with Oakland and Alameda County officials," according to Hickey & Counts of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. A's Owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann "want to negotiate a way to avoid offering the team up for sale at a discounted price -- as required in their lease -- and still take the short-term lease option." Giving notice on July 1 will allow the team to play year-to- year through 2000, but it also "involves a gamble," for if they give notice, the Coliseum Authority "will have four months to find a buyer" that would keep the team in Oakland for a sale price of 90% of the team's market value. Schott said that he and Hofmann have talked about putting the team up for sale "a lot lately, but no decision has been made yet." City and county officials have met with the A's once to "resolve" the $48M claim the team has filed against both entities. Oakland Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente said that pushing back the deadline "could buy time to reach a resolution" to the dispute (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 6/17).