A's Continue Spat With County Over Lease, Abort Plan To Stay At O.co Through '24
The A's ballpark saga yesterday "took a bizarre turn" when team President Mike Crowley "aborted talks aimed at keeping the team at O.co Coliseum through 2024 just one hour after an Alameda County leader declared that the A's were in discussions to build a new ballpark in Oakland," according to Matthew Artz of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who heads the board that oversees the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, said that the board was "awaiting a proposal from the A's to acquire land rights for a new baseball stadium adjacent to their current home." Miley's statement was the "first pronouncement that the A's are seriously exploring building a stadium in Oakland after being rebuffed in their drive to move to San Jose." But the team "focused on the supervisor's claim that the A's initial offer for a 10-year lease extension would have amounted" to a $3.5M annual public subsidy. Crowley in an e-mail wrote that the A's had "proposed paying higher rent and pumping at least" $10M into the ballpark. He wrote, "We have nothing additional to offer, and as a result, there will be no further negotiations." Artz notes the "spat comes as both sides seek leverage as they negotiate the lease extension." The Coliseum board, "aware that the A's options are limited, appears to be pushing the team for movement toward construction of a new stadium, while the A's want to first finalize" a lease deal (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/24).
BLACK HOLE, SON: In S.F., Will Kane writes the "public bickering between the ballclub and the Coliseum Authority underscores the challenges" Oakland Mayor Jean Quan "faces to keep" the A's, Raiders and Warriors there. Grassroots group Save Oakland Sports Founder Jim Zelinski said, "It has been a terrible week, it has been a bad week for Oakland sports. I think the loss of the three teams would be far more disastrous than some people may realize" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/24).
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? In S.F., C.W. Nevius notes the Warriors' new arena site at Mission Bay is "a bit of a hike, even from AT&T Park, and right now it's a little bleak." But the "infill will happen." The site is "such an elegant solution" and is "large enough for plenty of retail and open enough for big ideas." It also seems a new S.F. "destination neighborhood is on the way -- and soon." It all "looks very promising" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/24). In San Jose, Paul Rogers writes the Warriors' decision to abandon their waterfront arena site is the "latest example of a 40-year trend" in the Bay Area. Rogers: "No matter how rich or how politically connected, people who have proposed projects that environmentalists say are 'filling the bay' or 'walling off the bay' have nearly always seen those plans end in defeat." Environmentalists have had a "staggeringly efficient record of stalling, shrinking and usually killing bayfront projects" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/24).