A's Expiring O.co Coliseum Lease A Bargaining Chip For City Of Oakland
The A's O.co Coliseum lease "expires at the end of the 2013 season," and even if MLB "decides to grant the wish of A's co-owner Lew Wolff to move the team to San Jose, they won't have a ballpark to play in for several years," according to Angela Woodall of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. That means the A's will be in Oakland until "at least 2015 -- if not much longer -- giving the city and county a bargaining chip when they start talking about extending the Coliseum contract." Woodall noted the question is whether Mayor Jean Quan and other elected officials will "leverage their advantage to get a better contract or do whatever they can to keep the team in Oakland." A's President Mike Crowley said that he sent what he "considered a fair lease extension proposal in June that was met with a 'convoluted' response from the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the municipally owned complex." Crowley said, "If we can't work something out here, we'll have to find somewhere else to play. There are not many options. But we have time. We're here in 2012, and we're here in 2013." The A's have control over concessions "during all events, as well as parking and pouring rights." That is "worth as much as $4.5 million." The team also "keeps all revenue from their games and nearly three-quarters of money from concessions, which is above industry standards of 50 percent." But the next deal may "not be so generous." The A's are "supposed to pay $1 million in rent on June 30, 2012, and $800,000 on June 30, 2013." Referring to the '13 deadline and lack of alternatives, Oakland City Council member Ignacio De La Fuente said, "The reality is they're the ones who have a timeline, not us." Woodall noted if the A's move to San Jose and the Raiders head south to L.A., the Coliseum will be left "without a permanent tenant, although it could be used for soccer and more concerts." Stanford Univ. professor and sports economist Roger Noll said, "This is a unique situation when neither side has any options"(OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 1/19).