Proposed Oakland A’s Lease Extension At O.co Coliseum Could Drive Raiders Out Of Town
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OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — A proposed 10-year lease extension at O.co Coliseum by the Oakland A’s have some saying the deal would be the catalyst to drive the Raiders out of town.
Critics of the proposal by A’s owner Lew Wolff have called the deal one-sided and argue the Raiders don’t want a Coliseum roommate for potentially another 10 years.
“It’s extremely risky,” said Bryan Cauwels, president of booster group Save Oakland Sports. I do believe this could result in the Raiders leaving Oakland by signing the agreement.”
The 10-year-lease has out clauses that say if the Raiders build a new football stadium on the Coliseum site, the A’s would move out. “People would think this is the Raiders kicking the A’s out of Oakland,” said Cauwels.
He and many others believe the A’s lease contract makes the Raiders look like a bully and sends the wrong message to Raiders’ owner Mark Davis.
The Raiders, are the only one among the three Oakland teams including the Warriors who have indicated they want to stay in Oakland and spend $400 million toward a new stadium, as owner Mark Davis has said.
“We’re trying to get something done up here,” said Davis, “But if we can’t, we’ve got to get something done somewhere.”
Even some A’s fans say the lease extension would reward a team owner who has alienated fans with threats to move from Oakland and his penchant for trading away marquee players.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said she understands the frustration by fans of Oakland sports. “Even with this 10-year extension, [Wolff is] not talking about building a new stadium,” said Quan. “And until he starts talking about a new stadium, that people are a little suspicious.”
Cauwels said Oakland and the Coliseum authority should work out a stadium deal with the Raiders first, since their lease expires after this season.
“[The Raiders] have a little bit more leverage than the A’s do, because they have a lot of other opportunities. And we’re very concerned about Los Angeles,” said Cauwels.
The Joint Powers Authority which oversees the Coliseum site is scheduled to vote on the lease proposal next Friday.
If they do approve it, the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors would also need to agree.
Both the A’s and the Raiders turned down KPIX 5 requests for an interview on the lease proposal. The Joint Powers Authority also refused to talk.