That didn’t take long: One day after MLB threatened to move the Oakland A’s to San Francisco if they couldn’t agree on a new lease in Oakland, both A’s owner Lew Wolff and Oakland officials said that of course they’re going to sign a new lease on the Coliseum:
Wolff said Monday through the team that the A’s will extend their lease at the Oakland Coliseum and “look forward to another great season.”…
The Coliseum Authority also sounded encouraged by the progress, issuing a statement from board chair and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.
“We are working on a deal that we believe will be beneficial for both our tenant and the people of this community,” the statement said. “We are confident that everyone involved sees the value in continuing for as long as possible the 45-year relationship between the A’s and the City of Oakland. While we cannot comment on the specific issues now under discussion or on whether there is any basis to recent rumors that Major League Baseball has played a role in the discussions, we are optimistic that a final deal is close at hand.”
Of course, this actually says completely nothing, except that both sides are continuing to work on a lease deal. But then, the MLB move threat didn’t actually say anything either, except for “Don’t make us come in there!”
It’s all brinksmanship, in other words. I can’t think of a single time in sports history that a team has been forced to move because it couldn’t work out a lease renewal, so it’s been inevitable that the two sides would work something out. The main question now is whether MLB’s saber-rattling has gotten Oakland to agree with Wolff on a sweeter deal — say, no rent and no penalty for breaking the lease early and moving elsewhere sounds juicy — and we won’t know that until they actually announce the terms. This little dueling-statements moment has given the opportunity for the press to write more about the Coliseum’s sewage problems, though, so it’s all good.