OAKLAND (KCBS)— No decision emerged from Monday’s closed-door Oakland City Council meeting on whether or not to agree to a lease proposal from Major League Baseball’s Athletics to keep the team in town.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports some members of the council were frustrated with the discussions and left the meeting, but Mayor Jean Quan says that the council is close to a decision.
City Councilman Noel Gallo who supports the lease deal, which was approved by the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) last week, says it’s a good deal for Oakland and Alameda County, which will allow for rebuilding and maintaining the Coliseum.
“It has a tremendous value for the city of Oakland,” Gallo said about the deal. “It has triple value in terms of increase in taxation revenue generated to rebuild the stadium as well as maintain the stadium.”
However, he says that the City Council holds concerns, including the Stadium Maintenance Fund, which the council believes needs more from the team than the $3 million that is being offered.
Gallo mentioned the stadium maintenance includes dealing with sewer lines, lighting and other infrastructure issues.
In addition, issues around the length of the lease (JPA has negotiated 2024 while city council wants 2025), concession fees, and scoreboard funding still need to be addressed.
Gallo says the negotiations have not gone smoothly due to a lack of cooperation. “We lack unity, we lack being businesslike. We’re very close to the A’s leaving Oakland.”
During KCBS, KPIX and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier’s morning radio segment it was noted that Major League Baseball came to the sobering decision to allow the A’s to leave, but that moment of clarity didn’t seem to last when it came to the politics involved in the negotiations.
“People in the media tend to rush to say, ‘Just approve the deal. Everybody loves the A’s. Everybody loves the Raiders.’ However, this deal had been in the works for 14 months.
Matier said there is a split in how people feel about letting the team go if it were to come down to it. “Some say the A’s are vitally important. Other people ask, ‘Why are we subsidizing billionaires?”