A’s nix 10-year lease after asking for one, Raiders skip stadium interest letter after avowing stadium interest

So when Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff announced that he wanted a ten-year lease at the Oakland Coliseum, and then the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority yesterday offered a ten-year lease, it might have seemed like rapprochement was at hand, or at least the start of some serious talks. But no!

The A’s on Tuesday night shot down a deal to play at O.co Coliseum for the foreseeable future, saying the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority‘s 10-year lease proposal doesn’t meet all their requirements.

“We cannot accept the terms of the offer,” A’s director of public relations Bob Rose said in a statement. “We have tried to negotiate in good faith for the past several months. As the authority knows, it is still our preference not to negotiate this agreement through the media.”

As for what terms were so unacceptable that Wolff chose to reject them outright within 24 hours via a press statement (a press statement about not wanting to negotiate through the press, even), Rose didn’t say. Apparently the A’s p.r. department tweeted a link to this article as representative of Wolff’s feelings about the lease, which would imply that he rejected the ten-year lease extension because he’s upset about Oakland Mayor Jean Quan not wanting to offer a long-term lease extension, um, wha?

Here, let’s leave it to San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami, who first reported Wolff’s desire for a long term lease last month, to sum things up:

Meanwhile, the Raiders missed a Monday deadline to submit a “letter of interest” in working on a new stadium at the Coliseum site, with Coliseum board member and Oakland city councilperson Larry Reid saying, “I’m very concerned about it.” Maybe everybody is just hedging their bets like crazy now that the Warriors are on their way to San Francisco, but either way, yup, it’s a mess.

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15 comments on “A’s nix 10-year lease after asking for one, Raiders skip stadium interest letter after avowing stadium interest

  1. Now we know why Wolff has been so reluctant to make any offers to the Giants regarding territorial rights… the real problem with demanding something from someone else is that they might just agree to it… now whatcha gon’ do?

    Maybe the next blue ribbon MLB panel can investigate how it is that MLB admits such morons into the ownership group…

  2. I have a general Oakland A’s question: What happens to the club when Lew Wolff passes away? Is there a possible ulterior motive that MLB wants to buy the A’s & then deal with the stadium and/or relocation issue themselves?

  3. The team is still majority owned by John Fisher, not Wolff. But Lew has been grooming his son to replace him as managing partner when he dies.

    As for the 10 year lease that Oakland offered, it’s a crock. Wolff wanted a 5 year with a renewable 5 yr option and an out clause should the Raiders start construction at the Coliseum site (and thus disrupting the baseball team for the second time in 20 yrs). Quan countered with 10 yrs and a signed guarantee that Wolff would build a privately financed stadium in Oakland and no out clause should the Raiders start tearing up the existing ballpark.

    It’s no wonder Wolff balked. He’d have been dumb to sign such a limiting lease.

  4. What I find really interesting though is that Quan offered the A’s a deal at all. Reportedly the Raiders want to build their new football stadium on most of the existing stadium’s footprint. Doing so would require the A’s to GTFO of the Coliseum. If Quan is offering the A’s a lease hat would have locked them into the stadium for 10 years and would then prevent the existing stadium from being torn down as he Raiders want… Combined with the Raiders failure to commit to the Coliseum city plan this week one has to wonder if Oakland already lost the Raiders…

  5. What I find amazing is that anyone would call out LW without knowing any specifics of what he rejected- amazing how the media and commentators operate- the real culprit here is bs/MLB who has yet to find a solution to this problem after 5 years- why are the W’s leaving Oakland- because they can- a’s ballpark in SJ would have opened this year if bs had any balls

  6. Yeah it seems odd to call out Lew Wolf and the As for this particular article, there’s plenty of blame to go around but in this specific instance I can’t see how they’re at fault for responding to a bland, term-less PR release with one of their own requesting no more negotiating through bland, term-less PR releases.

  7. How about because he has been asking for a long term lease and has now balked when offered one?

    Quan’s ‘offer’ may or may not be as characterized by the fanboy site the A’s tweeted the link to. Even if it did include (more or less) the ridiculous terms the site specified, I would suggest that any reasonable businessman would use that as a starting point… it wouldn’t be the first time a lease (or CBA) has included some obvious throwaway items that can be negotiated away in the first 3 hours of bargaining.

    If your starting position in a negotiation is the minimum you will accept, then you have failed before you even begin… and you aren’t negotiating, you are dictating.

  8. @john- guess you are not aware that The A’s have had a proposed lease on the table for over a month now. They have kept their T&C confidential compared to the JPA that decided to do a media release with their counter proposal. I have no idea what business you are in but by even the lowest of standards what the JPA did is a serious faux pas. Even the some of the staunchest Oakland supporters are scratching their head over this one. There event last night was followed by a second event today saying the A’s owe back rent- followed by financial documents from the JPA that show no back rent is due- bottom line today is A’s have said the negotiations are over. I tend to think the circus was created to make it public ally look like the A’s are the one who wants out so that Oakland doesn’t have to make a decision between the raiders and A’s-

  9. Problem is you’re assuming this is the “opening salvo” in negotiations. They’ve in fact been negotiating for months which culminated in the A’s cutting contact two weeks ago. This was Oakland’s ham fisted response, to put it in the press painting the A’s as a bad actor. Hence the fast and harsh response from the A’s. This isn’t a new negotiation, this is the final salvo in a long drawn out process that’s been going on since last fall. Oakland isn’t budging on the one thing the A’s will never agree to until San Jose is off the table, to commit to Oakland. With that being their position, there’s really nothing more to discuss. The A’s will be moving after the 2015 season, where to will be up to Wolff and MLB.

  10. Does someone have an actual, verifiable link to the terms of Oakland’s offer and Wolff’s specific objections, or are we all just guessing here?

  11. Also, Dan, if Wolff cut contact two weeks ago, why did he tell Matier and Ross last week that he “hoped to have [a ten-year lease deal] as soon as possible”?

  12. The hits just keep on coming for Oakland and Alameda County.


  13. What boggles the mind is how nobody can truly tell the truth on this subject! The Raiders say they want to stay in Oakland and yet they won’t even issue a non-binding Letter if Interest or comment on the subject of why? The A’s know there’s no way in hell that MLB will let them move to San Jose and they will not really sit down at the table on the Coliseum City project thought is allegedly their preferred site and have no we are not interested in a downtown ball park that’s got an ocean view? And the City, well you got the flippin Mayor going on the radio telling lies and back tracking days later via her asst.! What a mess!

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