SBD/December 27, 2012/Facilities

A's Owner Lew Wolff Requests Five-Year Coliseum Lease Extension

Wolff said if no extension is reached, the A's will seek a temporary relocation
A's Owner Lew Wolff last Friday in a letter to East Bay officials "put a time-frame" on a deal to keep the team at Coliseum "for the next five seasons -- in a bid to spur talks that apparently haven't gone well," according to John Woolfolk of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. With only one season left in the current lease with the Coliseum and "still no approval for their desired San Jose move," the A's "had to make a deal to stay awhile longer at the aging ballpark." Wolff said, "We need to know if we're on the way to doing something that's mutually agreeable. Otherwise, we're going to have to find a temporary relocation somewhere, which we prefer not to do." But Woolfolk reported the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority is "holding out for a better deal -- more time or money -- than what it gave the A's in their last extension, signed in 2006." Wolff said that five years is "about what he'd need to complete a San Jose move if MLB approves it." Woolfork noted Wolff's letter did not suggest a "diminished hope of moving the Athletics to San Jose." Wolff's "explicit statements in the letter about the viability of remaining in Oakland gave no indication his interest in San Jose has cooled." If his letter was "discouraging to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, she didn't let on." She was "pleased to receive Mr. Wolff's letter stating his desire to stay in Oakland for five more years." Quan said she is "confident and committed that in that time we'll continue working together to find a permanent ballpark for the A's here in Oakland" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/22). Wolff in the letter wrote he is seeking a five-year Coliseum commitment "regardless of the outcome of our efforts to obtain a new facility in the City of San Jose." Wolff said regarding a temporary venue for the A's, "We don't want to address that until we have to. There are options" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/22).

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