A’s settle lease crisis by re-signing … oh, wait, there wasn’t a lease crisis

Bowing to the reality that nobody’s going to build them a new stadium in the next ten months, the Oakland A’s exercised their one-year option to remain at the Oakland Coliseum for 2011.

Again, this isn’t really news — what were they going to do, go play in the street? — and I almost didn’t even both posting about it. But it’s worth noting for one reason only: It’s a reminder that just because a lease is expiring does not mean that the team is about to leave if it doesn’t get its way in stadium talks — teams can, and frequently do, sign year-to-year extensions. Indeed, an expiring lease can be as much leverage for a city as for the team — after all, the team needs to play somewhere, and there’s nothing stopping a public stadium owner from saying, “So, you need a home, huh? Well, we’ll let you stay put — if you agree to a new ten-year lease. And pay the first two months’ rent in advance as a security deposit.”

Not that it ever happens like that, but it’s no more ridiculous than teams insisting that an expiring lease is a crisis that requires immediately legislative action.

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