Phil Matier: Oakland A’s Reject Lease Extension To Play At Coliseum

OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland A’s have rejected a deal to play at the Coliseum, after being offered a 10-year lease extension by the Oakland Coliseum Authority.

Late Tuesday night, team officials released the following statement. “The A’s received the Oakland-Alameda County Authority’s proposal earlier this afternoon. While the proposal was for 10 years, it did not address all of our issues. Consequently, we cannot accept the terms of the offer. We have tried to negotiate in good faith for the past several months. As the Authority knows, it is still our preference not to negotiate this agreement through the media.”

The current lease runs through the end of next year, as the team awaits a possible resolution on its efforts to relocate to San Jose.

For several years, the team has been attempting to gain approval from Major League Baseball to move to the South Bay. But efforts have been blocked in part by the San Francisco Giants claiming territorial rights, and Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig failing to offer an opinion on the issue, leaving the team in limbo.

Oakland Coliseum Authority chairman Nate Miley said the onus is now on the A’s to stay in Oakland. “We wanted to send a clear statement to the A’s, the fans, Lew Wolff, and Major League Baseball that we want the A’s at Coliseum and want to keep baseball in Oakland,” he said.

Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist and professor at Smith College in Massachusetts said this is just a part of the negotiation process.

“Everybody is posturing and everybody is trying to get some leverage. What Oakland has is the opportunity to go to Lew Wolff and say, we’re offering you not only a stadium, but also land around it for development,” Zimbalist said. “That could prove to be a very lucrative and beneficial opportunity for him, and it certainly would sweeten the offer to keep the A’s in Oakland.”

The Coliseum also has another tenant, the Oakland Raiders, which complicates matters. The Raiders are looking for a new stadium and neither franchise at the current time has been willing to give a firm commitment to the city of Oakland that yes, they are staying in town.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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