A'S SALE SHOWING "NEW SIGNS OF STRAIN"
Oakland and Alameda County leaders say the agreement to sell
the A's to a local group is "showing new signs of strain,"
according to Stacey Wells of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. The most
recent problem surfaced yesterday when Alameda County supervisors
were "forced to postpone" discussion of a new lease agreement
between the A's and the Coliseum. Supervisors delayed action
until Thursday after the team's prospective buyers, Ken Hofmann
and Steve Schott, asked for "additional changes to the lease."
Coliseum negotiators last week agreed to a request by Hofmann and
Schott for new lease terms that would allow the A's to leave the
Coliseum in '98 after undisclosed penalties if the new owners "do
not like the renovations" included in the proposed Raiders
package. But now, according to supervisors, Hofmann and Schott
want additional changes that would "come into play if the Raiders
do not return." They are: The Coliseum would make $10M in
improvements after the '95 season, and the A's could abandon the
Coliseum after the '96 season for whatever reason, so long as the
new owners paid for the $10M upgrade. Some city and county
officials speculate that Hofmann and Schott are using the lease
"to conceal any trepidation they may have about buying a baseball
team" in the wake of the strike, the "continuing absence" of a
CBA, and a "slide in attendance" in most cities (OAKLAND TRIBUNE,