OAKLAND (KCBS) — While stadium officials approved a 10-year lease extension for the A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday, the deal already appears to be unraveling as some in City Hall, including Mayor Jean Quan are attempting to rework the agreement.
The A’s and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority reached an agreement giving the team a $500,000 rent reduction in return or installing a $10 million scoreboard. It was a 6-2 vote but still requires ratification from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Oakland City Council.
But last evening Mayor Quan released a statement with Council President Pat Kernighan attempting to reopen negotiations around legal and economic concerns.
Professor of Economics at Smith College in Massachusetts Andrew Zimbalist, who is watching the stadium deal closely, told KCBS that could prove be a mistake.
“Oakland, after all, is not the best baseball market in the United States so it’s something that I think Mayor Quan has to think about seriously before she pushes too hard,” he said.
Despite the A’s having Major League Baseball’s best record at 52-33, Zimbalist said the city does not have a great of leverage and has already lost the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
“It’s a small city with just a few large corporations. Today professional sports franchises need a large corporate base to do signage, sponsorships and buy luxury box seats and so on—Oakland doesn’t have very much of that,” Zimbalist said.
The surprise vote had come after the A’s owner Lew Wolff stated in an email that he would immediately start shopping for a new home, on the authority of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig if a deal was completed.
The council and board are expected to vote on the deal sometime later this month while the council has scheduled a closed session on the issue Monday night.