A's finalize 10-year stadium lease extension

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 03 2014 03:56:06 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 03 2014 04:22:19 PM EDT
Oakland Athletics baseball stadium, O.co Coliseum

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Oakland Athletics, after receiving permission from commissioner Bud Selig to move from O.co Coliseum unless a deal was approved, finalized an agreement Thursday on a 10-year extension through the 2024 season.

The deal was approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. The deal still needs to be formally approved by the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors later this month.

According to ESPN.com, the deal settles all outstanding issues between the two sides, including a dispute of past rent owed by the A's. The A's will spend more than $10 million on a new scoreboard and the Coliseum Authority will pay for any structural improvements that will be in place by Opening Day 2015.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that A's co-owner Lew Wolff sent an email to officials Wednesday night, in which he wrote: "I was informed tonight that Commissioner Selig, due to the possibility of not having the hearing and vote that we were purported to receive from the JPA, that we will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland."

The email prompted city and county officials to immediately restart negotiations to keep the A's in Oakland.

Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo, who was initially opposed to the proposed 10-year lease proposal, said city, county and baseball leaders were on the phone working out a deal overnight.

"I think this agreement will be fair," Gallo said, according to the Chronicle. "It might not be perfect, but I think it'll be good for Oakland and the region in the long run."

In the email, Wolff said that the Athletics were upset that, after reaching an agreement following 14 months worth of talks, the JPA had yet to approve it.

"No other lease negotiation entity was ever noted to us or MLB for 14 months. To characterize not looking beyond the fully negotiated lease as a negative of our 14 months of discussion is unacceptable to us and MLB," Wolff wrote in the email. "We now find out that the city has some rule that causes even a city JPA representative that wishes to vote their beliefs, that such a decision can be altered to translate a positive vote to a negative vote. At no time over 14 months was this use of some rule ever mentioned to us. We do not wish to be involved in any aspect of local city political maneuvering.

"To suddenly try and involve us in a direction that was never once noted is absolutely unacceptable. ... Our desire is to remain in Oakland under the terms that we believed we have fully and mutually agreed. And that a fair and open vote at the JPA would be conducted, and then if we have to answer any concerns at the County or city, we would do so."

The O.co Coliseum, which was built in 1966 and has been home to the Athletics since 1968, has had multiple sewage problems in the past year.

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