SBD/July 2, 2014/Facilities

Oakland City Council Rejects Proposed A's Lease Extension; Revised Proposal Expected

Oakland's council will release its own proposed Coliseum lease extension
The Oakland City Council yesterday “ordered its four members on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority to reject” the proposed 10-year Coliseum lease extension for the A’s at a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, according to a front-page piece by Matthew Artz of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Oakland City Councilmember Larry Reid said that the city instead will “release its own proposed lease extension addressing several of the council’s concerns, including reduced rent payments for the A’s. The county’s four reps on the eight-member board “support the deal already worked out with the A’s that could keep the team in Oakland” through the ’24 season. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who chairs the Coliseum board, said that he has “no plans to cancel this week’s meeting and avoid public dust up that could be seized on by critics of keeping the team in Oakland.” Reid said that Miley and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty were “trying to pressure council members into accepting a deal council thought favored the A’s.” The proposed agreement “includes a clause that the team will ‘engage in good faith discussions’ on a new ballpark" at the Coliseum complex. However, should the A’s “choose to terminate the deal early and move to San Jose, their maximum exit fee” would be $7.75M (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/2).

NEW RULES: In S.F., Carolyn Jones in a front-page piece writes “months of bickering” over the lease is expected to end tomorrow when the board votes on the “revised proposal with incentives to keep the team from leaving the city.” The proposal would “require the A’s to give the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority two years’ notice of the team’s intent to move to another city and would require the team to continue to make lease payments for the remainder of the 10-year term of the lease even if the team is no longer playing” at Coliseum. However, the A’s would be “let off the hook from making those lease payments if they left" the ballpark early and "moved to another" within Oakland. If approved, the lease would then “need approvals from the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors.” Under the proposal, the franchise’s annual lease payments “would start” at $1.75M -- about $250,000 more than the team is currently paying --and drop to $1.25M “over the course of the 10-year term.” Sources said that the decreasing rent amount is “intended as an incentive for the team to stay through the full term of the lease.” Sewage overflows and blackouts are also “addressed in the new lease.” The Coliseum Authority would pay $1M a year, with 5% annual increases, "into a maintenance fund to fix the stadium problems.” The lease "would also settle" a $5M dispute between the team and the authority over back rent. Sources said that the A’s have “already agreed to the revised lease” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/2).
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