SBD/November 5, 2013/Facilities

A's Owner Lew Wolff Hopeful For Lease Extension At O.co Coliseum

Wolff remained determined to move the A's to a new, intimate San Jose ballpark
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).
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