Update 9:11 PM – And… rejected by the A’s. From the Chronicle’s John Shea:
“The A’s received the Oakland-Alameda County Authority’s proposal earlier this afternoon. While the proposal was for 10 years, it did not address all of our issues. Consequently, we cannot accept the terms of the offer. 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.”
Okay, now set up your talking points. I guess that all that texting by Lew Wolff during the game was about the lease. As you were, everyone.
Following talk from the last few weeks about Lew Wolff offering to a 10-year lease extension to the Coliseum Authority, the JPA replied with its own offer to the A’s. Here’s the press release:
For Immediate Release Contact:
April 22, 2014
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Provides Oakland A’s and Major League Baseball with 10 Year Lease Proposal
Authority responds to private and public requests to create a decade-long agreement at the O.co Coliseum site
OAKLAND, CA – Today, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority announced that it has offered the Oakland Athletics a ten year lease to remain at the O.co Coliseum site. The terms, though not released publicly, were also shared with Major League Baseball.
“We wanted to send a clear statement to the A’s, the fans, Lew Wolff, and Major League Baseball that we want the A’s at the O.co Coliseum and want to keep baseball in Oakland,” said Coliseum Authority Chairman Nate Miley, who serves as an Alameda County Supervisor.
“A ten year extension, lasting through the 2024 season, gives the team a place to a call home and our fans and sponsors a window to continue investing their time and passion in this team. We are also working to ensure this deal safeguards county and city taxpayers. We are meeting the A’s management where they say they want to be and hope to conclude these negotiations quickly,” he added.
The Oakland Athletics were recently welcomed back on Opening Day with a series of upgrades including:
New look: The Oakland Coliseum has been fully re-painted and new Kentucky blue grass sod has been laid on the field as it is each year before the season. New investments in groundskeeping machinery, including industrial lawnmowers and a “laser-leveling system,” will allow the Authority to maintain the field more easily and effectively.
New concessionaire & food items: The Oakland A’s, which are in charge of the concessionaire contract, have brought in an exciting array of new items and are upgrading the concession experience/facilities. Fans will now have access to even more premium beers and new food items like wood-fired pizzas, and more!
Improved “Ring” Road: The Coliseum Authority will repave the road that circumnavigates the stadium after the initial homestand.
Improved security: The Authority will provide state-of-the-art magnetic screening equipment that fans can quickly pass through as they enter. The Oakland’s A’s will provide personnel to manage the screening.
For the players, umpires and media, improvements include:
Remodeled dugouts: Both the home team and visitor dugouts have been upgraded with new padded benches, upgraded flooring, new dugout phones, water fountains, and new bathroom fixtures and paint.
Upgraded lockers: The home team, visitor, and umpire locker rooms all have new rubberized floors and showers.
Updated press box: Members of the press will now have access to flat screen televisions, and new tables, carpets, restrooms and ceilings.
These improvements demonstrate the Authority’s continued efforts to address the needs of players and fans, and more improvements are planned.
“O.co Coliseum is the place for fans to watch great baseball, and we believe that we can reach an agreement so that local fans can continue to be part of the next decade of Oakland Athletics baseball,” added Miley.
About the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Authority:
The Authority is a public partnership between the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda (owners of the Coliseum Complex) that manages the Complex on behalf of City and County. The Authority subcontracts the day-to-day operations of the Complex to AEG. An eight-member Board of Commissioners governs the Authority. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley currently serves as the Chair of the Board, and Oakland City Councilmember Larry Reid serves as the Vice-Chair.
With both sides making offers, the negotiation has begun in earnest. Obviously the fact that the JPA made their own offer means that the terms are different from what the A’s offered. Whether those differences are related to Wolff’s desired escape clause, planned improvements to the Coliseum, or other details, is not known. We’ll find out in due course.
One thing to remember about this is that there is no real deadline other than the end of the 2015 season. This may or may not lead to further negotiations. I hope it does. The real question is how much flexibility the JPA is willing to allow in the lease. Mayor Quan has talked tough. The JPA has not always been unified in its approach, with some members preferring to tie the lease to Coliseum City while others are less inclined to do go that route.