A’s stadium lease battle Kreminology: Is it all about scoreboards and the Raiders?

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News wades into the Oakland A’s stadium lease mess today, and comes away with a couple of conclusions:

  • For A’s owner Lew Wolff, all these threats about temporary stadiums are less about actually wanting to move than getting a lease extension at the Coliseum so Wolff can feel safe in sinking some money into a new scoreboard. Which does make some sense — the Coliseum scoreboard is pretty awful, and I wouldn’t want to spend money on a new one without being sure I could use it for at least a few years, either — but Purdy could also just be guessing here.
  • For Oakland, this isn’t about driving a harder bargain, but about wanting to keep their options open if Raiders owner Mark Davis decides he needs to have the Coliseum torn down to make way for a new football stadium. Which would be kind of odd — it’s up to Oakland ultimately whether to give in to Davis’s demands, and besides, they could always include a penalty clause in the A’s lease where they reimburse Wolff for his scoreboards or something if they have to move out before their lease is up — but also par for the course of dumb city stadium decisions.

All of which is interesting, if a bit speculative. But anyway, Purdy’s likely most lasting contribution to this debate comes at the very beginning of his article, where he says that the A’s stadium debate “is no discussion topic, [it’s] an invitation to a pie fight.” Ladies and gentlemen, start your memerators!

7 comments on “A’s stadium lease battle Kreminology: Is it all about scoreboards and the Raiders?

  1. Wait, what’s wrong with the A’s scoreboard? It shows everyone with beards and all scores are listed as puppies vs kitties. Who wouldn’t want a scoreboard like that?

  2. There are often terms in commercial leases that address significant tenant-paid (leasehold) improvements, particularly where there is significant investment required on a short term lease (which less common, but is the case here).

    In general, the tenant is free to take any leasehold improvements with them when they go. If that is impractical or impossible (which I’d argue isn’t the case here), then a compensation arrangement is typically made beforehand (IE: if the expected life of the scoreboard is 5 years and it is scrapped after 2, the depreciated value of the asset is creditted to the leaseholder).

    Purdy filling column inches with idle meanderings and little to no effort expended, I’d suggest.

  3. Its fairly well-accepted in the Bay Area that Purdy is the closest thing Lew Wolff has to a media mouthpiece for venting on issues regarding the stadium process. When Purdy writes a column like this, you can be fairly certain these talking points are coming from Wolff himself, so take that for whats its worth.

    Whats unfortunate is for many A’s fans, they see “10 year extension” and assume that means Wolff is now open to staying in Oakland through 2025, when in reality nothing has changed about his desire to move to San Jose. Instead, his new tact is “if you want shiny new scoreboards, you should let me leverage Oakland in the short-term, in hopes I get my way out of town.”

  4. Wolfman wants an annoying wrap-around HD ring with dumb phone and beer ads. It’s about ad revenue kiddies- not fan experience. If he cared about fans , he’d employ a full-time plumber.

  5. Wolff wants:
    a) clarity on where his team can play for the next 10 seasons
    so that
    b) he can make improvements he’s paying for himself.
    Compared to the stories in Detroit, Atlanta and 50 other cities across America, I’ll take it.

  6. Time to call Marky Bowlcut’s bluff. Let him move his sorry “organization” to Timbuktu. Go ahead fat boy…