In what can be construed as the only positive news to come out City Hall re: the A’s in some time, Oakland officials and the Coliseum Authority agreed to a three-year extension for the A’s. The extension could potentially keep the A’s in the Coliseum through 2013. The structure of the deal is such that the pre-existing deal, which was guaranteed through 2007 and had one-year options through 2010, now guarantees the A’s stay through 2010 and push the options out to 2011-2013. Some of the finer points:
- The lease allows the team to leave with 120 days notice without penalty if it moves to a 40,000-or-more capacity stadium in Alameda County.
- Should the team leave the area, it would have to pay the remainder of its lease and a $250,000 penalty.
- Whether the 2011-2013 years are optional or guaranteed has not yet been finalized.
- The payments will be higher than in the pre-existing lease, totalling $4.7 million over the last five years. The A’s payment for 2006 is only $500K.
On the surface this sounds like a nice reciprocal goodwill gesture, but as I wrote earlier on this matter, simply pushing the options out three more years mostly benefits the A’s since they get a nice safety in case a new ballpark is beset with delays. I suppose it makes City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente look better during an election year, and he certainly needs the help.
Taking off my cynical cap, it’s possible that once the election’s over, Oakland pols can get to work on a good Oakland site. Council member/mayoral candidate Nancy Nadel nixed my Broadway Auto Row idea. I think it deserves a second look.