SBD/September 26, 2013/Facilities

Selig Calls O.co Coliseum A "Pit," Wishes Venue Was Not Hosting Playoff Games

Wolff said rent increases should be used to fix up O.Co Coliseum
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig yesterday called O.co Coliseum a "pit" following its most recent sewage problem and noted the uncertain future of the A's long-term home is something league execs "have to solve." Appearing on CBS Sports Radio's "The John Feinstein Show," Selig said of the ballpark, "It reminds me of old County Stadium and Shea Stadium. We need to deal with that." He noted the league's Blue Ribbon Panel has been working on finding a solution for the A's for several years, but noted it is "far more complex" than simply finding land for a new facility. With the A's and Giants sharing the Bay Area market, Selig acknowledged the league has "one team that wants to move and the other team doesn't want them to move." He added he is "satisfied we'll work out something" before he leaves office at the end of '14. However, Selig did not speculate as to when the A's would be playing in a new ballpark. He admitted he is "not happy" about playing postseason games at O.co Coliseum, calling it an "unfortunate mess." Selig: "I wish there was an easy solution but in truth, there is not an easy solution" ("The John Feinstein Show," CBS Sports Radio, 9/25). 

A'S WANT UPGRADES TO STAY? A's Owner Lew Wolff said the team is "willing to sign a five-year lease with three one-year (club) options at a much higher rate than we're paying now" to stay at O.co Coliseum, but the rent increases should be used to "buy a new scoreboard and fix up the facility." Wolff: "We're willing to offer that money up front. It's a negotiation that's hopefully coming to a close soon. The delay on a decision about moving has even limited those options." He added, "I don't get quoted fairly all the time. The sewage thing has been made much bigger than it really is. And when there is a problem, the Coliseum people and our people get together and work it out. We're not the angry tenant." The city of San Jose has sued MLB regarding an A's relocation, but Wolff said, "Right now, my focus is on having a totally successful season. Although if it ended today, I'd consider it to be very successful. I think things are coalescing along well, but I'm really not going to think about that issue until after the season" (MLB.com, 9/25). He added, "My feeling is the Coliseum is in shape to welcome us for the playoffs, and I’m excited that it is. My focus is on the playoffs and not the Coliseum. The more (playoff) games we can play there, the happier I’ll be" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 9/25).
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