OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff has said the team will soon sign a 10-year lease extension to keep them in the East Bay. And now, Wolff, has released a few more details about that proposed extension.
In an exclusive interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Wolff told sports columnist Mark Purdy that the lease contains some out clauses based on what the Oakland Raiders decide to do about a potential new football stadium on the O.co Coliseum property.
“Oakland has gotten itself in a pickle that really started when the Raiders came back in 1995, and now, they’ve had the A’s and Raiders occupying that same stadium for that time, and now both of them want new ballparks,” Purdy told KCBS anchors Jeff Bell and Patti Reising. “The Raiders have been very specific in saying they want a new football stadium built on the current site of the current stadium. Therefore, in this 10-year lease, the A’s have requested an out clause, so that if a football stadium deal does come together for that site, the A’s would be allowed out of the lease. Specific language will state that the A’s need two years notice if there is going to be a new stadium built on that site, and they would be able to evacuate two years after that.”
In his conversation with Wolff, Purdy said there were a few more points of interest: A’s ownership is not embracing the “Coliseum City” project, which many city leaders in Oakland have been pushing for, and under the new agreement, the A’s payments to the Coliseum’s Joint Powers Authority would increase over the next 10 years, though there will be a reasonable buyout if the team decides to relocate.
Purdy said in his conversation with Wolff, there are still plenty of hurdles to clear before any deal can be finalized. “This all still has to be voted on by the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, by the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors,” Purdy said. “We know that this has been contentious in the past. There’s a group in Oakland that wants to build a new baseball park down at Howard Terminal [near Jack London Square]. The problem is that Mr. Wolff and Major League Baseball have looked at that and both said that is really not practical.”
Wolff also told Purdy that a San Jose deal in not necessarily dead yet, but it is on hold while the city’s lawsuit against MLB proceeds through the court system.
The Oakland A’s current lease expires at the end of the 2015 season.