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A’s Owner Threatens Immediate Pull-Out From Oakland If Coliseum Extension Rejected

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(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) — Oakland Athletic’s owner Lew Wolff sent an e-mail to Oakland and Alameda County leaders Wednesday night indicating Major League Baseball has given him permission to relocate the team if a 10-year lease deal at the Coliseum is rejected.

He sent this email despite what seemed like progress on negotiations to keep the team in Oakland. Fremont and Sacramento have both courted the team.

Wolff’s e-mail advises the organization in charge of the Coliseum that, on the authority of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, “We will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland.”

READ THE COMPLETE EMAIL: Lew Wolff’s Email To Oakland Stadium Group

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority met in closed session Thursday, where members from the Oakland City Council were expected to reject a lease extension that calls for the A’s to spend more than $10 million on seismic upgrades at the Coliseum.

Wolff accused the JPA of allowing the negotiations to become embroiled in Oakland city politics. The JPA was expected to take up an alternate proposal from the Oakland delegation at its Thursday meeting.


From: Lew Wolff (EMAIL REDACTED FOR PRIVACY)
To: (REDACTED FOR PRIVACY)
Date: Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 10:02 PM
Subject: RE: Oakland A’s License Agreement
All: The A’s have endeavored to make it clear that after 14 months of detailed and comprehensive negotiation with our Landlord, the JPA, that we are absolutely not interested in further negotiation.
The JPA representative, Major League Baseball and our A’s organization has reached agreement and approved the fully negotiated lease.
We believe we have an agreed lease that we were informed would be voted on by the JPA, and if passed, would be submitted to the City and County.
No other lease negotiation entity was ever noted to us or MLB for 14 months. To characterize not looking beyond the fully negotiated lease as a negative of our 14 months of discussion is unacceptable to us and MLB.
We now find out that the city has some rule that causes even a city JPA representative that wishes to vote their beliefs, that such a decision can be altered to translate a positive vote to a negative vote. At no time over 14 months was this use of some rule ever mentioned to us. We do not wish to be involved in any aspect of local city political maneuvering.
To suddenly try and involve us in a direction that was never once noted is absolutely unacceptable.
We have 130 employees in Oakland and some 800 part-time union employees during the baseball season. Had we been informed of the current maneuver, we would have , regretfully, sought MLB approval to locate either on an interim or permanent basis outside the city of Oakland.
I was informed tonight that Commissioner Selig, due to the possibility of not having the hearing and vote that we were purported to receive from the JPA, that we will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland.
Our desire is to remain in Oakland under the terms that we believed we have fully and mutually agreed. And that a fair and open vote at the JPA would be conducted, and then if we have to answer any concerns at the County or city, we would do so.
Thus, the attached document is not under consideration. Nor or any other parties possible drafts acceptable.
I am still hopeful that the hearing scheduled tomorrow will be held as we and MLB were clearly informed.
Lew
Lew Wolff
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