A’s seek five-year lease deal in Oakland, since San Jose not happening anytime soon

Also trying to get in on the “We’re not getting a new stadium anytime soon, so might as well ask for a better lease in the interim” game: The Oakland A’s.

The Oakland Athletics on Friday asked to remain in the Oakland Coliseum for five more years, in a proposed agreement that would delay the target for their move to San Jose until 2018…

In a letter to the body that governs the Coliseum, A’s owner Lew Wolff agreed to keep the team in Oakland for at least five years “regardless of the outcome of our efforts to obtain a new facility in the City of San Jose.”

Wolff added: “The A’s organization certainly prefers to remain in Oakland for the next five years rather than being forced into looking elsewhere for a temporary home venue.”

This isn’t exactly new news: Wolff said back in October that he’d “absolutely” be interested in a lease extension, saying, “Even if we were building a new ballpark, it wouldn’t be ready until then anyway.” But it’s the first time he’s put in writing a commitment to seek a five-year deal, if nothing else.

Of course, both sides wanting a lease extension isn’t the same thing as agreeing how much Wolff would pay over those five years. Oakland has also said it wants a $50 million early termination fee if the A’s try to leave before the lease is up, which shouldn’t be a huge stumbling block as there’s almost no way a new San Jose stadium would be ready much before then anyway, but you never know. Wolff has almost no leverage here — saying he doesn’t want to have to seek a “temporary home venue” may be a threat, but it’s a relatively toothless one given that there are no major-league-ready stadiums ready to move to — so we’ll have to see if Oakland is willing to play hardball. It might help them hire back a few cops, anyway.


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