SBD/July 16, 2014/Facilities

Oakland Mayor Pushes City Council To Stall Vote For A's Lease Extension At O.co Coliseum

Wolff has no interest in reopening the lease extension deal
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is "privately pushing" City Council members to "hit the brakes" on the pending 10-year lease for the A's at O.co Coliseum to give her team more time to negotiate, according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Quan said that she had asked interim City Administrator Henry Gardner to "negotiate a few 'clarifications'" with A's co-Owner Lew Wolff "before the deal was approved." Quan "did not elaborate on what those clarifications were." Sources said that Wolff has "made it clear he has no interest in reopening the deal" approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which is run jointly by the city and county. But City Council member Noel Gallo said that Quan wants to "hold off on the vote until the end of the month to give Gardner time for more negotiations" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/16). Wolff, at yesterday's MLB All-Star Game, said a new ballpark on the Coliseum site was an "option to look at." Wolff: "We don't have much of an option right now anywhere except there. We're going to revisit that." Wolff expects that the Coliseum Authority will vote today on the lease. Wolff said, "If it isn't, it's my last time" (AP, 7/15).

RETIREMENT PACKAGE: In S.F., John Shea notes MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had "vowed to settle the A's stadium situation before he retires in January, but beyond a lease settlement, that seems unlikely." Selig said, "It's a very complex situation. Right now, we want to get the lease situation satisfied in Oakland. We worked hard at it and made significant progress, but as Yogi (Berra) once said, 'It ain't over 'til it's over.' Hopefully, we will have that done. There are a lot of complicating things that have happened in that situation, and someway somehow, it'll be worked out" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/16). Selig said MLB and the A's have been through "the tortures of hell" trying to get the deal done and called the city council's suggestion that he has seriously considered allowing the club to relocate out of the Bay Area "patently absurd." Wolff said he harbors no ill will towards the Raiders, with whom the A's could be grappling with over the long-term future of the Coliseum property, as both teams have entertained notions of building new facilities on the site. Wolff: "I don't think the Raiders are really behind any of this. Their owner (Mark Davis) is a nice guy, and I think he's just trying to do what we're trying to do, make sure that one guy doesn't cause the other guy any problems" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).  

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