OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A planned vote on a disputed agreement between the Oakland Athletics and officials from Oakland and Alameda County over an extended lease at O.co Coliseum was put off Friday when Oakland city council members boycotted the meeting in protest.
Earlier this month, A’s owner Lew Wolff said he was set to sign an agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority to extend the team’s lease for an additional 10 years. But that deal appeared anything but done during a meeting attended by passionate detractors inside Oracle Arena Friday. Opponents of the deal claimed that city leaders were giving away too much to keep a team whose owner has said repeatedly he wants out of Oakland.
“For the last 35-years this city has the worst case of Stockholm Syndrome I have ever seen,” said a man wearing an A’s cap and Raiders sweater, referring to the psychological condition in which freed hostages express empathy for their former captors. “[Raiders’ owner] Mark Davis says he want to be here, the other owners don’t want to be here,” he continued, pleading with city officials to hammer out a long-term deal with the Raiders, not the A’s.
As KPIX 5 reported earlier this month, some see a long-term deal with the Athletics as a deal-breaker for future negotiations to keep the Silver & Black in Oakland permanently.
“You are taking money and giving it from the City of Oakland to give it to the 5th richest owner in the league, to get a brand news scoreboard, and hopefully find a stadium here in Oakland, is that legally binding?” asked a fan Friday, dressed in full Black Hole attire – complete with face paint and sword points protruding from a helmet.
Later comments by Coliseum Authority Chair Nate Miley were interrupted by comments from the same protesters, who said deals should have been hammered out years ago. Miley then tabled a vote on the proposed agreement with the A’s because the representatives from the City Council did not attend.
“I’m frustrated because the City Council made a decision. They voted not to have their colleagues come to this meeting today, and that to me is very, very troubling,” said Miley, who said there was a structural problem with the approval process. “Because they were instructed not to come, we can not take action today. And for that I am extremely, extremely, extremely annoyed and upset.”
The present members then went into a closed session meeting to discuss their next move.
Earlier this week, after Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement welcoming the deal, Mayor Jean Quan and Alameda County Supervisor Miley both said negotiations were continuing and nothing has been approved.