SBD/November 4, 2013/Facilities

MLB Reportedly Behind A's, Giants Sharing AT&T Park If O.co Lease Issues Persist

A's players could soon call AT&T Park their temporary home
MLB would help the A's "move across the bay and play at rival Giants' AT&T Park" for two years starting next season if O.co Coliseum officials "don't come to terms on a new short-term lease for the team," according to sources cited by Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Sharing the stadium "would probably be the first step toward moving the team out of the Bay Area." MLB is "demanding that the Coliseum give the A's just a two-year lease extension -- not the five- to eight-year deal the authority has been pushing." The short-term lease "would give the A's more flexibility should the team's owners swing a deal to move to San Jose -- or beyond." The "sticking point in the Coliseum negotiations hasn't been the length of the lease so much as the money from food and beverage concessions." The Giants and A's have home games on the same date nine times next season, and MLB's "threat to the Coliseum" could be "a game changer in the lease talks -- with the A's the likely winners." A Coliseum official said, "We don't have any choice. Major League Baseball is driving it." The A's did not return calls seeking comment, while Giants President & CEO Larry Baer and MLB both declined comment (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/4). In San Jose, Mark Purdy notes negotiations on a lease extension at O.co Coliseum "have been ongoing for more than six months" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/4).

KICKING THE CAN? CSNBAYAREA.com's Ray Ratto wrote of MLB's proposed deal to help move the A's, "The Coliseum, of course, will cave, so we don’t really need to sweat that too much." This is "mostly a holding action by 28 owners who want to do nothing at least for the next year and change," so that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "can go into retirement bequeathing this little bucket of phlegm to his successor" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 11/3). YAHOO SPORTS' David Brown writes of the A's possibly moving out of the Coliseum, "This rumor has been floated in order to scare A's fans, officials, politicians, whomever, into 'doing something.'" The A's "actually getting a new stadium in the Bay Area sounds more politically feasible than sharing a park with the Giants" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/4).
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