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!