A’s announce 10-year lease extension, then sit down to finish negotiating 10-year lease extension

Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff announced yesterday that he’d reached agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority on a ten-year lease extension, which includes:

The Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority is scheduled to vote on the lease Friday, after which time the lease details will become public.

Well, alrighty then. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors and Oakland city council will still need to sign off on the deal, so it’s not quite “vote first, ask questions later,” but still.

In fact, according to Oakland mayor Jean Quan, Wolff just made a new counteroffer on Tuesday night that the authority hasn’t had a chance to evaluate yet, and negotiations will continue today. But it sounds like they’re close to resolving such issues as whether the A’s still owe back rent, and what would happen if Oakland decided to tear down the Coliseum to make way for a new Raiders stadium, anyway. Check back tomorrow for further updates.


43 comments on “A’s announce 10-year lease extension, then sit down to finish negotiating 10-year lease extension

  1. @Neil- no mention of MLB statement? Wow- bottom line is MLB sent a very clear message yesterday- negotiations are over- Oakland/AC need to accept the deal as approved by JPA or we move on to the next steps which could be a. Negotiated settlement on SJ before the 9th District makes a decision-

  2. Here’s the entirety of Selig’s statement:

    “I commend the Oakland Athletics and the JPA for their efforts in reaching an extension for a lease at O.co Coliseum. The agreement on this extension is a crucial first step towards keeping Major League Baseball in Oakland.

    “I continue to believe that the Athletics need a new facility and am fully supportive of the club’s view that the best site in Oakland is the Coliseum site. Contrary to what some have suggested, the committee that has studied this issue did not determine that the Howard Terminal site was the best location for a facility in Oakland.”

    Where do you see anything in there about a negotiated settlement on San Jose?

  3. @Neil- who said anything about MLB explicitly stating anything about SJ in the press release- so why does MLB issue a press release yesterday congratulating the JPA and A’s on reaching a 10 year lease- it sends a clear message to Oakland/AC that negotiations are over- not sure why you tried to twist my comments to indicate otherwise but find it fascinating that you chose to ignore mlb’s comments-

  4. Um, you just did, above? Unless you meant that “negotiations are over” was the entirety of MLB’s message, and the rest was your own commentary. (Punctuation! It’s not just for breakfast anymore!)

    I chose to ignore MLB’s comments because they were eminently ignorable: Selig said, “Congrats on the new lease, now build a damn stadium already,” which is exactly what I’d expect him to say. The more interesting bit is that Wolff is apparently trying to arm-twist Oakland into okaying his latest proposal (not that we know what’s in it) — that Selig would back up one of his owners in a squabble with a city government isn’t news, it’s just part of his job description.

    I’m mostly interested now to see what Wolff wants Oakland to agree to. Anyone know what time the JPA is voting?

  5. Very interesting Neil- gossip columnists report a fraction of the story- journalists report on the entire story- To ignore mlb’s comments which are it’s first mention of any results from the BRC and second an endorsement of Wolff’s plan in Oakland is once again fascinating.

  6. Spoken as a true fan.
    “I would rather them forfeit every game than continue playing in that dump.”

  7. Neil, isn’t it interesting that the only journalits SanJoseA’s consider credible are the Mercury News Purdy and Wolff’s PR blog expert Marine Layer…. the pro San Jose crowd called “estimable”…. They are very upset because the very amateur-like latest statement from Bud Selig didn’t really affect the strong-arming effect it was supposed to cause….maybe because nobody believes his “blue ribbon committee” even ever exists anymore…if it ever….everytime Selig comes out to support one of his puppet ownerships like Wolff/Fisher. Selig congratulates the signing of the 10 year lease (which has not been signed) at a location he calls “the pit” and considers that “the first step” to building a ballpark at the City he has been considering a huge Mistake by the Bay since the last few decades…..I just hope the Mayor and the few members of the JPA with integrity will see through all this posturing and reject or at least delay the signing of this lease unitl AFTER the lawsuits and especially after the arbitration hearing over the 5 million rent payment the A’s consider a maintenance expense when it is actually the tax money they owed on the parking revenue. The terms of this lease gives ALL the leverage to Wolff to just sit on “the pit”….receiving millions of the shared revenue while he waits the possible vote from the 75% of the owners to relocate to San Jose where he will cash in on the corporate dollars the Giants now have as pledged when they built their privately funded ballpark. Mr SanJoseA’s keeps saying that Oakland doesn’t have the funds to keep the Oakland A’s. But do you suppose San Jose taxpayers are willing to help Wolff/Fisher paid the bill to the Giants for their territory. Billions is what it would cost….and they want it for free. That is the guideline Selig gave to them and they refused to comply. Mr. “estimable” is also very guilty of leaving out those details.

  8. “Contrary to what some have suggested, the committee that has studied this issue did not determine that the Howard Terminal site was the best location for a facility in Oakland.”

    wow that statement is so irrelevant i wont even comment on it on my blog, not even that it “strong arms” oak into choosing either the raiders or the a’s.

    No mention of the Clorox CEO Op Ed pushing Howard Terminal and then boom MLB commish comment.

  9. Neil, isn’t it interesting that the only journalist Lilian Bartholo consider credible are the ones that agree with her view point (east bay express maybe?).

    So is she saying that the Selig comments were fabricated? The first story i read about the 10 year lease was USA today but they are not credible ;)

  10. Re: Howard Terminal, that all happened six months ago, as I reported then:


    Knauss and Selig are just continuing to play the same PR war.

  11. Re: Lilian Bartholo: She’s standing right there, you can ask her yourself.

  12. What really complicates and confuses many well intentioned people is that the Coliseum site is and has always been a very good site for the Oakland A’s ballpark. There is plenty of room there for both the new ballpark and football stadium. But Wolff has long ago discarded it and with him as an owner, unless he REALLY is made to build there by Selig and the other owners. He really has to believe his San Jose pipe dream is over or he will never entertain building the ballpark there while he owns the team. So why does he want to sign a 10 year lease?…..Because he knows the lawsuits will take years in appeals and because he makes millions by sitting as a “bottom feeder” receiving millions from the shared revenue pie….paying next to nothing in rent….getting parking and food concessions and because he has a great General Manager (who is now part owner) he makes even more money each time his team makes the playoffs. Meanwhile his below market value investment of 180 millions is now valued at over 600 millions….not bad for owning a “dump” he badmouths and sabotages at every chance he gets. But if in turn Oakland/JPA strikes some sort of a deal with the Raiders, he would have to go play and pay rent at AT&T and he won’t like that at all…..so why not sign a sweetheart deal and maybe kick Davis out of his “pit” of money.

  13. Neil, in that link its wolf bad mouthing HT. Selig has never come out and supported one site over another. If its a PR war its over, Selig as essentially killed HT by backing LW on building a stadium on the coliseum site.

    To me that bigger news than a 10 year lease is the undercutting of HT. The future mayor of Oakland negotiated the lease which is a LW friendly deal. Even if they back off and redo some of the language it will still be a lease that favors LW. Thanks to MLB pressure on the JPA.

    HT supporters now no longer have to just convince LW they need to convince MLB.

    How do you convince? free $$$$ to the A’s

  14. Yes, I consider credible by long experience reading all the media outlets i.e. SF Gate when Ray Ratto used to write there. By reading Robert Gammon when he wrote for the Oakland Tribune. I never lived in Oakland and have been a full season ticket holder of the Oakland A’s since 1979. I have followed the and participated actively pro keeping baseball in Oakland with no other ulterior motives than to feel it was there where I have enjoyed watching the legendary Oakland A’s….and I consider the diverse and wonderful atmosphere at the Oakland A’s Coliseum comparable to the first experience I had as a child at the Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbet Field. That is my point of view. I am an old baseball fan who has stoop by and seen how MLB extorts and blackmail cities due to their never ending greed.

  15. @lb- getting evicted from the Coli for the Raiders would no doubt be the final nail in the coffin for baseball in Oakland. Paying rent at ATT would be a minimal issue for the benefit of being able to actually pursue SJ….but hey- sounds like your in the inner circle and know that SJ will cost the A’s billions and billions…knowing that, Oakland should continue to screw the A’s since they never will be able to afford SJ and are stuck in the pit for ever

  16. Selig was never going to do anything other than back Wolff on his stadium preferences, so long as territorial rights aren’t involved. “MLB Commissioner Supports Owner’s Stadium Demands” is right up there with “Sun Rises In East” and “Game of Thrones Season Finale Features Bloodshed” in the category of non-news.

    I can’t argue with “How do you convince? free $$$$ to the A’s” though, because I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean.

  17. Anyway, *I will write more about this after the lease is actually released*, people. We’ll have a better sense of what Wolff’s long game is once we see the wording of the out clause.

  18. BTW, I questioned the blue ribbon committee Selig alluded to to discourage the HT site….like I questioned the same blue ribbon committee that tabled the local ownership that won the bogus lawsuit settlement with Schott and Hofmann at Cooperstown….Selig has used a Trojan Horse against Oakland each and every time there’s a chance to keep the Oakland A’s…..Maybe if someday the game will have again a commissioner that looks at the integrity of the game more than the $$$$$$$ they keep making will bring back some ownerships that deserve to own a baseball team for the love of the game and not for the love of money.

  19. “Maybe if someday the game will have again a commissioner that looks at the integrity of the game more than the $$$$$$$”


  20. Btw, SanJoseA’s, why don’t YOUR inner circle don’t show the contents you of that “secret” letter given to Wolff/Fisher with the “guidelines” needed to get the approval from the other owners? Wolff never showed those guidelines to the politicos from SJ that filed the lawsuit against MLB….San Jose’s lawyers would love to take the lawsuit case to the discovery phase and one of the secrets that would surface are those guidelines…..I guess we will never know right? We can only guess those guidelines were evidently not followed since Selig decided not to even ask the concensus of the rest of the “brotherhood” for a vote. Or maybe the blue ribbon committee is still crunching the numbers…..

  21. Non News?? really? ok so all we have heard for a while now is how HT is the next best thing, Knauss, Quan, talked up “site control” “we respecting MLB process” “we are in contact with the commissioner and BRC”, “this is the best site and we can make it work’

    The day before seligs comments Knauss was still pushing HT… Why undercut those efforts? What does MLB gain by taking away a potential site? Would it force Oakland to decide between the raiders and the a’s. Would they choice the a’s over the raiders because maybe of a smaller funding gap? Lot of questions, but you said non news…

    Free $$$ = given tax payer money for building a stadium , what ever it takes to have LW and MLB happy

  22. Why undercut those efforts? For the same reason as Wolff is doing so: He wants a stadium at the Coliseum site, and is afraid that if Howard Terminal gains any traction, Oakland officials will think, “Hey, we can build a new stadium for the Raiders at the Coliseum and the A’s at Howard Terminal, and it’ll work for everyone! Except us, because we can’t afford to build either, but we don’t think about that!”

    So you think that Selig is badmouthing the Howard Terminal site in order to get Oakland to double down on it and throw money at the A’s to get MLB to okay it? That would be, to use the word of the day, interesting…

  23. @lb- I don’t pretend to know what is in the guidelines- it was you who suggested it would cost billions and billions and you chastised some for not reporting on it- you obviously have much more information about what’s in the guidelines-

  24. Neil, “again”? Hope springs eternal…..

    btw, the comments from Selig were ALL to back up his rich little puppet owner’s words….Wolff jumped the gun by announcing weeks ago that he had reached a 10 year deal with some “intelligent and cooperative” members of the JPA….and at the same time he said he was not interested in the HT site which he considered not cost effective….this was several weeks ago and then followed with same announcement a little over a week ago when the JPA postponed the vote…THAT was when Selig gave HIS announcement….surprise,,,,surprise….with the congratualtions to signing the 10 year lease and the ” blue ribbon committee” annnouncement of no interest…..This is a typical mo from Selig through the years….nothing new and just usual “little help to my friends action”. It has worked in the past and will probably work again. Yes “again” Neil!

  25. Oh geez Neil- who cares what Oakland officials think- they’ve been drawing circles on a map for 20 years and claiming that they have a viable site. MLB has more than enough information on what makes a viable site and HT is not viable and yes- wouldn’t it be grand if Oakland provides the existing site to the A’s and allows them to develop in order to finance a privately financed ballpark- but that means the Raiders have no where to go- which brings us right to where we are today- Oakland needs to make a choice between the A’s and the Raiders and the 10-year lease is intended to help them make that choice-

  26. Lilian: I meant that for MLB to “again” have a commissioner who looks at integrity of the game over profits would require that it have had one in the past. I mean, Giamatti maybe, but he wasn’t around long enough really to say.

    “Integrity of the game” is not what the commissioner is there for. He’s employed by the owners to look out for the owners’ interests, as has been ever since the days of Judge Landis.

  27. No SanJoseA’s, I’m not the ‘estimable’ that keep giving our estimates right and left with so much authority….I don’t and not even the lawyers know for MLB do not let their dirty little secrets out,,,,not even to their mouth pieces. But it doesn’t take an einstein to know what the guidelines are and what the “estimable” estimates have been…where do the Giants got all their money to pay off their service debt? Not from the taxpayers i.e. Oakland residents have done for the Coliseum and Arena. This is why this ten year lease should charge exhorbitant amounts of money to at least recoup some of their losses….to end up without their teams…..instead the JPA is offering another ridiculous lease with practically no penalties and letting them off the hook on what they owe for a stupid scoreboard that only benefits them for as long as they grace Oakland with their presence.

  28. Yes Neil, I undertood your “again”. And yes I agree. But Bud Selig ousted Faye Vincent because he tried to keep a balance between greed and maybe there should be one that would be stronger to deal with so much power struggles. But Selig went overboard in allowing and initiating outright extortion and blackmail. He is the perfect protopype godfather. Sickening to me as a fan of the game.

  29. @lb- I believe you posted the following comment above- sure sounds like you know what’s in the guidelines…. “But do you suppose San Jose taxpayers are willing to help Wolff/Fisher paid the bill to the Giants for their territory. Billions is what it would cost….and they want it for free. That is the guideline Selig gave to them and they refused to comply. Mr. “estimable” is also very guilty of leaving out those details.”

  30. “Paying rent at ATT would be a minimal issue” – this always makes me giggle. It’s like some people just decide that the A’s can drop into the Giants park whenever they want. Maybe brush up on CEQA and SF Land Use code before you conclude that ATT will be hosting another 81 events per year.

  31. @tommy-sorry it makes you giggle- maybe tell Larry Baer that- he’s the one who suggested that the gints wanted to be good neighbors by sharing the park with the A’s- temporary situations don’t involve CEQA etc and I’m sure the retail establishments around ATT would be fine with additional revenue as would the city with additional tax dollars

  32. Oakland wants the a’s at HT and the raiders at Coli, in order to have that happen they need to throw money at the a’s and the raiders. Which Oakland does not have and should not have to…

    IF Oakland wants to have their “dream” of two stadiums on two different sites, they going to have to take on the risk of building at HT and make that site attractive to LW and MLB. The easiest way of doing that is to take on the cost what ever it is of clean up, infrastructure, constructions, etc.. some or all.

    But now HT is out, that leaves essentially one site with two teams with different plans that clash. Again a way to solve that clashing is to throw money at the teams.

    Raiders already have their had out…

  33. Don’t worry…Mayor Quan has a Saudi prince how wants to build a ballpark. BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  34. But Neil! If we wait and read the lease details, the people who keep furiously typing things they would like to happen as if they were established fact will…. will… Oh nevermind, they’ll just keep doing that anyway.

    This is good news for Oakland baseball fans… and by extension, bad news for all those who’ve been imagining how wonderful it would be if Oakland no longer had a baseball team (I’m less clear from the level of spite involved in some of these discussions whether they actually want the A’s somewhere else or just don’t want Oakland to have them…)

    Nothing is “settled” forever, obviously. But at least now the parties know (or can reasonably expect) that they have ten years to make improvements to the coliseum… or possibly even find a way to build a replacement.

  35. Weighing in on the “good of baseball” commish issue:

    Giammati good, Vincent good, Selig bad. Kuhn bad.
    Chandler… well, folksy is the word that comes to mind, though it isn’t really a choice is it?

    On the flipside… Selig has been far better for the economics of baseball than any other commissioner. It’s just too bad so much of the benefit he has brought has been through forcibly extracting tax dollars from host cities.

  36. Hmmmm…


    Well that was the most petulant response Oakland could have cooked up… Get those Mayflower trucks ready.

  37. ” temporary situations don’t involve CEQA etc”
    You might want to review the case law on that or perhaps acknowledge that you’re way out of your depth and you don’t have the correct answer.

    “and I’m sure the retail establishments around ATT would be fine with additional revenue”
    Maybe they would. However, that would be irrelevant to the City Charter / Land Use controls.

    “as would the city with additional tax dollars”
    You don’t spend much time in San Francisco, do you?