SBD/October 7, 2013/Facilities

A's, Oakland Remain Far Apart On Lease Extension For O.co Coliseum Past '13

Oakland says it is focused on a six- to eight-year lease with the A's
The A's still have "no official deal" to play at O.co Coliseum past this year, as the city of Oakland "again latches its hopes and dreams to the sizzling, plucky ballclub," according to Will Kane of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The team's current lease agreement expires at midnight Dec. 31, and A's President Michael Crowley said the team and the city "still remain far apart" despite negotiators meeting almost daily. Kane wrote neither side "appears to have the upper hand" in current negotiations, and "no one will say what's holding up the negotiations." But Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan said that the two sides were "focusing on a six- to eight-year deal that would emphasize improving the experience for fans." Kaplan: "It is quite clear that we can come to a good solution here." She added that the intended time frame "should give Oakland plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark and luring the A's to stay." Kane noted the city has "offered two ideas: a new stadium near the old one, part of the Coliseum City development plan, and a waterfront yard near the downtown Howard Terminal site" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/5). In N.Y., Harvey Araton noted A's Owner Lew Wolff seemed "resigned to the status quo" on Friday, after a U.S. District Court judge "sounded skeptical" about San Jose's lawsuit against MLB that aims to clear the way for the A's to move. Wolff said, "We’ll probably be here a lot longer than people realize" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/6). Crowley said of a timeline for the team's stadium issue to be resolved, "Given the circumstances in the state of California when you build anything, even if you got the approval to build today, going through the environmental process, going possibly through an election, going through working drawings and a 24-month build, we're probably looking at at least five years" (MLB.com, 10/6).

WE ARE ONE: In Oakland, Brenda Payton wrote, "Every city with a baseball team has a special relationship with its team. In Oakland, the relationship is symbiotic." The A's and the city are "two underdogs, and both embrace the role." A's fans "capture the quirky, spunky nature of both city and team" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 10/6).
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