A's VP & GM Billy Beane and team President Michael Crowley are "poised to sign extensions that will keep them in place" through '19, according to Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE. A's Owner Lew Wolff confirmed that the "five-year deals are 'in process' and he called the development 'good news.'" The length of the deals is "widely considered yet another sign of optimism from the A's upper ranks that their desire for a new stadium in San Jose might become a reality." However, reports indicate that both Beane and Crowley "will have option years -- possibly multiple option years -- as part of their extensions, which could be interpreted as possible wiggle room should the San Jose stadium plans fall through" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/8). Slusser wrote, "Considering how publicly frustrated Beane has been about the limitations of the Coliseum, both in terms of attracting free agents and in terms of income generated, I cannot imagine him staying with the club that long without a good idea that a new stadium is on the horizon" (SFGATE.com, 2/7).
PLANNING COMMITTEE: In S.F., Matier & Ross report the city of Oakland is "on the verge" of putting up $3M for Dallas-based architecture firm HKS to "work their magic and come up with a new stadium and sports complex out at the Coliseum." After a "lengthy competition among six groups," city officials selected HKS, Forest City Enterprises and Oakland-based JRDV Architects to "create a plan for the 750 acres that make up the Coliseum site and the neighboring new-tech development area west of Interstate 880." Oakland Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell "hopes to have the exploratory deal before the council by the end of the month" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/8).
A rep for Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who "could sway the balance of financial power in the Dodgers' ownership derby," said Soon-Shiong will "absolutely participate" in a bid for the team. In L.A., Bill Shaikin notes Soon-Shiong, the "richest man in Los Angeles," currently owns a "small share of the Lakers, might soon own a large share of the Dodgers and is interested in ownership possibilities should the NFL return" to L.A. The rep for Soon-Shiong said, "At this time, we intend to take follow-up meetings in order to determine which group will best serve the team, the loyal Dodger fans and our great city" (L.A. TIMES, 2/8).
GO GREEN: In Dallas, Mike Heika notes because the NHL has "scheduling needs to both manufacture and market new uniforms, the Stars almost assuredly won’t have one for next season." Reports indicate that if Tom Gaglardi "really wanted to call in a favor as a new owner, he could probably squeeze in an alternate sweater, but the word out of the Stars camp is that they haven’t really taken the first step in the process." That means a new uniform or alternate sweater "won’t come until the 2013-14 season at the earliest." The organization "knows very well that fans want more green in the uniform, and they might even consider going to a greener scheme in the regular uniforms and not just the alternate" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/8).
AROUND THE WORLD: The GUARDIAN's David Hytner noted EPL club Arsenal intends to "conduct a three‑stage Far Eastern tour this summer, in addition to the planned visit to Nigeria." The club is in the "latter stages of negotiations to take the squad to Seoul, Beijing and Hong Kong," where it hopes to play "glamour friendlies and enjoy promotional events." A "significant part of the club's business strategy under the majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has come to rest on the development of the Arsenal brand around the world and the attempt to capitalise upon it in commercial terms." Hytner noted Arsenal has done a "good deal of positive work" to build its fan base in Asia and Africa (GUARDIAN, 2/6). BY THE SEA: In Atlanta, David O'Brien reported the Braves are "interested in moving their Class-A team from Lynchburg, Va., to Wilmington, N.C., and Wilmington officials are going to see if they can make it happen." Wilmington’s City Council "voted unanimously Tuesday night to begin negotiations with the Braves and Mandalay Baseball Properties, and to explore the level of public support, potential cost and funding for a ballpark necessary to bring the team to the coastal city." The Braves and Mandalay "would co-own the team" (AJC.com, 2/7).