Wolff Considering Building Temporary Bay Area Ballpark During Coliseum Negotiations
A's Owner Lew Wolff is "evaluating the viability" of building a temporary Bay Area ballpark as he "negotiates for a longer lease" at O.co Coliseum, according to Greg Baumann of the SILICON VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL. Wolff in an e-mail wrote, "I am hopeful of expanding our lease at the Oakland Coliseum for an extended term. If we cannot accomplish a lease extension, I hope to have an interim place to play in the Bay Area or in the area that reaches our television and radio fans -- either in an existing venue or in the erection of a temporary venue that we have asked our soccer stadium architect (360 Architecture) to explore." He added that looking outside the Bay Area "is an undesirable option to our ownership at this time." Baumann notes the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority in November "approved a two-year lease extension that secured the A’s a venue to play in for the short term." The team and the authority "are negotiating to extend the lease for a longer run." San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said that the city "would welcome" a temporary ballpark. Reed: "If they want our help finding a place to erect a temporary building, we’ll do that. ... We won’t pay for it, but we’ll help them find a location and expedite permitting." Baumann notes if Wolff find a location for a temporary stadium, it would "improve his bargaining position in his lease-extension talks in Oakland by providing him an alternative venue, though matters of cost and location would factor into that calculus" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/7).