Oakland A’s Reject 10-Year Coliseum Lease Proposal
The A’s today rejected the Oakland Coliseum Authority’s proposal for a ten-year lease extension, reportedly because the Coliseum Authority’s proposal did not address all of the A’s concerns regarding the condition of the now 48-year, multi-use stadium. The Coliseum’s repeated sewage overflows have become legendary, and it’s hard to understand why the A’s would have any interest in a new 10-year lease, instead of say five years at a maximum, in light of the fact that the team obviously needs a new baseball-only stadium somewhere.
It’s been years and years that the A’s have been trying to move to San Jose, where the city has provided the A’s with a downtown location on which to build a new stadium at the team’s expense. MLB and Commissioner Turd Selig continue to block the A’s move to the South Bay, as they did a year ago and a year before that. Time passes, and no sensible deal has been reached to let the A’s move where the fans and the baseball weather are and to buy out the San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights.
In fact, the only reason that I can see for why a deal cannot be reached for the A’s to move to San Jose and the Giants to get paid off (say $150 million paid out over 30 years), is that Giants’ ownership is thinking about the very long-term future of the Giants. Some day AT&T Park is going to get old and rundown (maybe 40 years from now), and the Giants want to retain the option of either moving to San Jose or using the threat of moving to San Jose to extort better terms from the City of San Francisco. The Giants have obviously seen how well this worked for the 49ers, who start play in Santa Clara this fall.
The only arguments against this theory are that the Giants’ need for a new stadium is so far out in the future, and businesses usually don’t concern themselves with prospective conditions more than about 10 years out. At any rate, it’s probably time for the A’s to start negotiating with other localities, such as Portland (OR), Sacramento and San Antonio, and making those negotiations public news in order to force MLB to do something about the A’s stadium situation.