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A's Owner Lew Wolff yesterday said that he is "hopeful a new lease extension will be worked out to keep the team" playing at O.co Coliseum "for the next two to five years," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Wolff: "We would like to stay here and extend the lease. Both sides are pretty much in agreement, and I don’t see any real issue." He added, "My goal is to stay here. ... We are happy to do the two years or the five years (sought by Coliseum Authority). We would prefer the longer lease." Wolff declined to comment on the "prospect of a temporary move" to S.F. (SFGATE.com, 11/4). The AP's Janie McCauley noted it was unclear "how many years Oakland is seeking for its lease, and the team declined further comment because no deal has been reached with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority." Yet the Coliseum Authority also "sounded encouraged by the progress." Alameda County Supervisor and BOD Chair Nate Miley in a statement said, "We are working on a deal that we believe will be beneficial for both our tenant and the people of this community. We are confident that everyone involved sees the value in continuing for as long as possible the 45-year relationship between the A's and the City of Oakland." McCauley noted Wolff has "remained determined to move the team to San Jose and build an intimate new ballpark," but MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to rule on whether the A's can move into the Giants' "cherished territory in technology-rich Silicon Valley" (AP, 11/4).
PLEASE DON'T GO: In San Jose, Matthew Artz cites sources as saying that within the Coliseum Authority there was "movement toward softening its stance that the A's relinquish control over concessions and signage revenue at O.co Coliseum, which comes at the expense of the Raiders." One source said, "The key point is that the authority wants the A's to stay in Oakland and is not willing to risk losing them over that issue" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/5). Also in San Jose, Mark Purdy writes it was "technically a legitimate threat" when MLB said that it could "force the A's and Giants to simultaneously occupy AT&T for the next few seasons." But as "a practical matter, that's not going to happen." Conversation about "such a move has been in the air for a month -- ever since lease negotiations between the A's and the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum board took a stubborn turn." MLB officials at that point "became involved and the novel share-a-ballpark solution was mentioned in the context of a worst-case scenario." Purdy: "In truth, all signs point to a lease agreement being reached any minute" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/5).
The Orlando City Council yesterday agreed to "sell the Orlando police station and a public garage" to the Magic, "clearing the way for the development of an entertainment complex that could cost" as much as $200M, according to Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Magic sister company SED Development under terms of the deal "would pay the city" $12.7M for the property "across the street from the Amway Center." SED would "bring 650,000 square feet of new development: an office building that would become the team's corporate headquarters ... as well as a hotel and conference center, apartments or condos, restaurants and bars." Demolition of the public parking garage could take place "as early as next summer, allowing construction to start on the office building and a new garage." The project would "likely take at least five years." In the meantime, the city would "pay the Magic $100,000 a year in rent so the police could continue to work in their building once it's sold." Magic execs "want to pattern their project after similar entertainment developments that have sprung up around arenas" in Charlotte, K.C. and Columbus. The team hired RTKL Associates, which designed L.A. Live, to "produce early conceptual plans for the development" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/5).
AEG and MGM Resorts Int'l yesterday unveiled renderings of their $350M, 20,000-seat venue on the Las Vegas strip, "showing exterior images evoking the Strip's high energy and bright lights as well as Southern Nevada's scenic mountains and desert," according to Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. AEG and MGM Resorts have "joined forces to build the sports and entertainment venue without public money." Denver-based Icon Venue Group President & CEO Tim Romani, whose company is project manager for the arena, said that groundbreaking is "expected in April or May with a projected opening" in the spring of '16. AEG President & CEO Dan Beckerman said, "In Las Vegas, the design has to be iconic. It’s going to be one of the most recognizable and premier venues in the world." Snel notes Populous "created the exterior renderings of the building, which will have a 5.4-acre footprint." The arena will have "high-end premium seating and hospitality areas, including multiple bunker clubs and bunker suites" as well as "in-bowl sponsor zones" and "VIP drop-off areas." It will host "at least 100 concerts, boxing, mixed martial arts, sports, awards shows and other events each year." AEG and MGM are paying for the project "with equity contributions and a private third-party debt financing" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/5).
A plan under consideration for the XL Center would "replace two sections of seating in the lower bowl with an 'everyman's bar' giving general admission event-goers a taste of the perks of premium seating," according to Kenneth Gosselin of the HARTFORD COURANT. The bar "would be for standing only, accommodating about 100." The concept "has been tried" at New Orleans Arena, with an area called the "Party Perch." XL Center GM Chris Lawrence said, "It gives people another place besides their seat. You can watch the game like you're in a sports bar, but you're out in the bowl." Capital Region Development Authority Exec Dir Michael Freimuth said that the bar, "which would serve drinks and a limited food menu, is part of a larger goal of opening up the bowl area." Another measure "being considered is removal of some of the interior doors that now separate the concourse from the bowl." The renovations would be paid for with $35M in state funding "already approved by the state legislature." The new bar area would "cost about $750,000." Whether the bar is built "depends heavily" on how much of the state funding "is eaten up by what is expected to be the biggest expense: revamping the XL Center's building systems, with a goal of boosting energy efficiency" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/2).