SBD/June 26, 2014/Facilities

Wolff Announces A's Lease Deal With O.co Coliseum To Surprise Of Local Leaders

Wolff and the Coliseum board have been haggling for months over the lease
A's co-Owner Lew Wolff yesterday "surprised" Oakland and Alameda County officials with an announcement that the team "has reached a 10-year lease agreement to stay at O.co Coliseum and will consider sticking to Oakland even longer if a new stadium is built at its current site, not on the waterfront," according to Matt O'Brien of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Wolff said, "We have agreed we will take another look at Oakland" as a site for a new A's stadium, "but only at the Coliseum site." MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement "threw his support behind Wolff's contention that a stadium site at the Howard Terminal near Jack London Square is not feasible." However, Oakland city Councilman Larry Reid said that the statements "were premature." He added, "Fans should not exhale just yet, but you know, we're getting close." The Alameda County-City of Oakland Joint Powers Authority board is meeting tomorrow and "likely will approve the contract." The authority, city and Alameda County supervisors "must all sign off for the lease to be extended" to '25. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan also "appeared surprised by the announcement." Alameda County Supervisor and JPA Chair Nate Miley said that the authority was "still fine-tuning the details of the agreement but planned to finalize them" today. Oakland leaders had "recently expressed some misgivings about details of the tentative deal," as did Raiders Owner Mark Davis, whose "vision for a new football stadium could be complicated by the long-term A's lease on the site the two teams share" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 6/26). In S.F., Carolyn Jones notes Wolff and the Coliseum board "have been haggling for months over the terms of the lease." The Coliseum authority originally was "slated to vote on a lease last week but postponed any action, saying a few details needed to be worked out." The lease "does not necessarily" mean the A's will stay in Oakland (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/26).

EMPTY PROMISES? CSNBAYAREA.com's Ray Ratto wrote we learned "nothing" from the announcement. It "doesn’t eliminate San Jose if that city wins its suit against MLB." It "doesn’t eliminate Howard Terminal as a potential stadium site." It "doesn’t put the Raiders on notice with Coliseum City." It "doesn’t raise one dime for a new park." It is a "show in which the dog and the pony will be introduced at a mutually beneficial later time." Resolution remains "a distant and almost illusory goal, because a tenant that doesn’t want to stay but has nowhere to go is not exactly a happy guest, and a landlord that talks about building a new high-rise without having the money to rub two re-bars together is not exactly a landlord who provides confidence" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 6/25).
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