Coliseum Authority makes 10-year lease offer to A’s (updated with A’s response)

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:

Oakland-Alameda County

Coliseum Authority

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 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 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 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.

“ 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.

46 thoughts on “Coliseum Authority makes 10-year lease offer to A’s (updated with A’s response)

  1. 10 more years of troughs hell yeah

  2. How do the Rsiders factor in to this?

  3. So have the JPA and city given up on the Raiders then given the lackluster response to the CC proposal the other day and now this 10 year A’s lease which would seem to preclude the Raiders getting their new football stadium at the Coliseum’s current site?

  4. That’s what I’m wondering, Dan. Giving up on the Raiders?

  5. If the A’s do end up agreeing to a lease extension, I have to believe it will be something along the lines of 10 years, with the first 5 years locked in, and the remaining 5 years being option years in favor of the A’s. No way would they sign a straight 10 year lease. I don’t think San Jose would wait around that long. If it does end up being a straight 10 year lease, it would probably have a buyout clause which Wolff would be willing to pay.

  6. Weird. Missed all this, was at the game. We never leave early, but I had a premonition. We left at the top of the ninth after the blown save.

    This press release was made public at 8pm and publicly rejected by 9:11? That’s even chillier than the ninth inning.

    I wonder if the sticking point is the “stadium improvements” the A’s ownership wish to contribute. Basically it amounts to signage which equates to advertising revenue. How much does that amount to over the course of a season? Who pockets the proceeds? Is there a split with the JPA? What’s the deal when the Raiders play, do they get to use the signs?

    There’s no mention of the signage in the PR. Conspicuously absent? A poison pill, perhaps? Whatever deal was offered sure was rejected fast.

    Oh yeah – talking points. Coco’s walk-up music still rocks. I tracked it down, it starts with James Brown, next stop, The 45 King. If if you want to know more about The 45 King go to and type in The 45 King. Sorry, that was one of our bad jokes from the game.

  7. Over at athletics nation, one of the guys who gets the A’s media emails wrote that the JPA offer required the A’s to committ to staying in Oakland in a new stadium. If that’s true, than this is nothing but a PR stunt. An understandable one after the Warriors make a splashy announcement about leaving and the Raiders don’t deliver their “letter of interest.” Unfortunately, the A’s played right into the stunt by being cobeligerent. What a circus…

  8. So if the JPA rewrites the offer requiring the A’s to commit to stay in Oakland for 10 years in an OLD stadium, everything will be fine?

    Well then, simple, go ahead and sign, there’s the dotted line.

    Honestly, I don’t believe anything any of these people say. Do you?

  9. JPA and Mayor have not given up on the Raiders, by not committing to the A’s they continue to keep Raiders option open.

  10. If the A’s plan to build a temporary stadium the lease deadline is actually a lot sooner than the end of the 2015 season.

  11. The timing of this offer was no coincidence. It came almost immediately after the Warriors had announced their more definitive plans to leave Oakland. With the ongoing negotiations with CC seeming to be not going very well, Oakland came out with this press release as a desperate attempt to try to reverse the impression that Oakland is unable or unwilling to try to retain its major sports teams. If anything, Oakland is trying to impress upon MLB that they are serious about retaining the A’s.

  12. I don’t think MLB or the Lodge would view that as serious. To them a 5 year deal with an out and a negotiated new stadium proposal for the Coliseum, centered on the A’s and not the Raiders would probably be viewed as serious. That won’t be coming from JPA and certainly not Quan since she doesn’t want to pick a priority.

  13. Freddy, no. If the lease doesn’t have escape clauses, I don’t think the A’s are interested.

  14. If Oakland wants to show MLB it is serious about retaining the A’s, the city would offer to pay for a new stadium. But that is not going to happen.

  15. With each passing day of this circus (the latest has the A’s and Oakland quarreling over a long-term lease extension for the same old sewage-spewing football stadium, with Oakland unable to provide a new facility), Selig must feel vindicated 1000% in his comments that moving the A’s to Oakland was a “horrible mistake.”

  16. Oakland officials are fearful that MLB will see the handwriting on the wall that Oakland is unable or unwilling to retain any of its major sports teams, including the A’s. By continuing this charade indefinitely, Oakland is hoping to placate MLB to put off having to vote on a move of the A’s to San Jose. While any reasonable observer will see that Oakland’s lease renewal offer is not really genuine, Oakland is hopeful that it is enough to placate selig and those MLB Lodge members who want to continue holding the A’s to their East Bay territory.

  17. @ Dan/Jeffrey
    I was wondering some of the same things, as I am sure other are as well.
    The Warriors make it abundantly clear Oakland is not there 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice, Mark Davis talks all this shit about the mayor and Oakland not having its shit together (true), then turns around and cant, or won’t deliver a letter of interest, really? A letter of interest, not a legally binding document, just a letter saying I am interested and they can’t do that?
    This looks to be nothing but a PR stunt mixed with political maneuvering, was the offer from the JPA intended to send a message to the Raiders to get there shit together? To MLB showing that the A’s need to get there shit together? To the NFL saying the Raiders are not getting there shit together enough? To the voting public in Oakland/Alameda saying these politicians have or are getting there shit together? All of the above? Who in the hell knows?
    I don’t know if I am just starting to realize I care too much about this, or I am just so tired of the games from Oakland, the Raiders and the A’s, but I am tired of this shit from all three.
    What a three ring circus (Oakland, Raiders, A’s)

  18. Oakland wanting the A’s to commit to a city-funded new stadium in Oakland is reasonable. Oakland wanting the A’s to commit to a new stadium the team has to pay for itself is quite another.

  19. @Lakeshore/Neil, At least in the case of the A’s, this could be easily resolved, if only MLB treated the two team Bay Area market as one shared territory, as is in the case of all the three other shared two team markets within MLB.

  20. Nico, if this isn’t a sign Quan and her merry band have given up on the Raiders, what do they plan to do vis-a-vis the Raiders? If Wolff had called their bluff and taken the deal, the Raiders stadium plans would have then been killed. They want the current Coliseum stadium site. If the A’s are there, there’s no demolishing the old venue, and thus no new football stadium either? Unless Quan’s ultimate plan is the keep kicking the can down the road until it’s another mayor’s problem.

  21. Amen, Neil. Amen.

  22. It’s really quite easy. There is a deal to be made and all it takes is Jean Quan to STFU and get out of the way. “Mr. Wolff, we want you to have a new stadium and we are willing to let the Raiders leave for you to get it. Here’s your 10 year lease with an escape clause should the Raiders get a stadium deal together. We’d prefer you didn’t use it and we are willing to negotiate development rights for the Coliseum Complex with you. We are ready to fast track this for you and we will let you lead the whole project as you see fit.”

  23. The odds of Wolff calling the JPA bluff, when their “offer” included a requirement that he build a new stadium in Oakland, was zero.
    This says nothing about Oakland vis-a-vis the Raiders. It says everything about Oakland scrambling to shift blame for Warriors leaving and casting a smokescreen over the Raiders part in the Coliseum City project. The A’s played right into it by reacting and accepting the blame.
    It was well played by the JPA really. But there is nothing to be gained long term by pulling the stunt.

  24. @Jeffrey- bingo…in a logical world- but Oakland has never been logical when the Raiders are involved- folks like Doug boxer actively worked to get the W’s to SF and his behind the scenes work to keep the A’s is based upon the premise that they are trapped in Oakland with no where to go which is why Oakland feels that they have leverage- at some point that strategy will blow up co,pletely

  25. I don’t think Doug Boxer and the City are really working in tandem on this. I don’t know for sure, I haven’t talked to him in a long time and he wouldn’t tell me anyway.
    Boxer is part of OWB. The City (the Mayor, the JPA, etc) has been pushing Coliseum City. These are not complimentary plans.

  26. Actually from quan’s perspective they are complimentary- CC allows her to keep the fantasy of the Raiders alive while HT provided the site for the A’s – she claimed she fulfilled mlb’s requirement- boxer is the birdee in her ear providing her guidance-

  27. I don’t think that is true.

  28. HT is to the A’s in Oakland what the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard was to the 49ers – an unworkable site that can make the politicians look good as long as no one bothers to investigate the obstacles.

  29. @ pjk

    And with each moment the San Jose dream cloud is about to pop…Quan and her Coliseum City Soldiers are advancing toward the Raiders and A’s to either share the fuckin Coliseum land and build a new ballpark or stadium and share parking revenue. ..dont like it we dare u to move…and that goes double to A’s and Raiders. …Oakland pols are tired of this…fine we are broke and still paying off mt.davis…u can have the Coliseum fine…but split it up…do ur development. .and lets be done with this stadium stuff…again our perspective is either stay or go…and we dont beileve A’s or Raiders have nuts like the Warriors to “Escape Oakland”

    Agent Harry

  30. Lake, it’s all about covering their asses. There’s an election coming and if they don’t publicly look like they’re taking action and trying to keep the teams around, they won’t get re-elected. This has nothing to do the A’s, Raiders, MLB, or the NFL. This is simply political gamesmanship by the incumbents who want to keep their jobs.

    *IF* Wolff’s original deal meshes with what MLB would expect to receive (in other words, not asking for anything erroneous or out of line) then not meeting those demands, attempting to force too much, playing hardball, or failing to address in at least SOME way the team’s needs will not help Oakland’s cause. They said they sent that letter to MLB and one would hope they were careful, but Wolff could potentially use that against Oakland.

  31. what a clusterf@#$….I finally realize why people say that the A’s have a marketing problem, but actually they have a PR problem. They need to STFU and just watch as the Raiders / Oakland f@#$ themselves over and then swoop in and decry, “I told you so” to MLB and be able to get out of Dodge fast…..

  32. @ llpec
    “At least in the case of the A’s, this could be easily resolved, if only MLB treated the two team Bay Area market as one shared territory, as is in the case of all the three other shared two team markets within MLB.”
    RE: I here you, and of the three ring circus clowns (Oakland, Raiders, A’s), I have the most sympathy for the A’s, as there situation is largely being dictated by circumstances out of there control, but I am not trying to parcel out stupidity and stubbornness today, Lew while perhaps not as much as other in this maddening situation, is still full of shit as well.

    @ dmoas
    “They said they sent that letter to MLB and one would hope they were careful, but Wolff could potentially use that against Oakland.”
    RE: I hear what you’re saying as well, and party much agree with you. I do however find the last statement in your comment, a bit of an unfortunate stretch, if for no other reason than at this point in the three ring circus it’s so easy to see through the bull shit (all sides), I am not sure what could “really”, be used against any of them.

  33. @LSNeil – it’s completely obvious now that what we have here is a poker match between the A’s/Raider/Oakland with the W’s just folding out. Everyone is bluffing each other, yet no one wants to call it. They’re each waiting for the other to put down their cards before playing….sigh.

  34. Lake, just the terms. No one at this point could say what those are so that “leverage” may or may not even exist. And at this point, the clowns have taken over the circus so if there were any sort of advantage “gained” from it, it’s gone now.

  35. Anon, it sounds more like a game of Go Fish rather than Poker. And for some reason both players are playing with their cards facing up.

  36. Lew is flailing in the breeze right now which would be funny except that he’s negotiating with a group of politicos that haven’t a clue . . . . and he may just out wait them until they fall all over themselves and write yet another and bigger check.

    Anyone with a half ounce of common sense would know that it’s now time to play hardball with Lew and lean on the heater. And, that euphemistic “heater” is the simple fact that no one wants him and his team on a short-term basis . . . or, if they do – they’re going to have the opportunistic good sense to ask him to pony up with a sizeable check, because there just isn’t too many month-to-month deals for an MLB team. . . If Oakland was smart, they’d begin to cut the losses they’re going to eventually incur when this guy DOES finally bug out . . . . make him pay thru the nose here and now while he has few options. The only thing preventing Oakland from having the last laugh is their willingness to recognize the inevitable and exploit their last gasp of economic opportunity.

  37. bbox, Lew has more options than people seem to think. The JPA may have some leverage, but not anywhere near the leverage people want to believe. The current deal with a little more added in is the way to go. Getting greedy (either side) would be epically stupid. Then again, we’re already there and seeing the ramifications of that.

  38. No doubt Lew thinks he has many options – -heck, I might even agree – that’s not the point.

    What IS the point is that, as time marches on, the short-term transitional options will come (if the other side has any smarts whatsoever) at a progressively greater price.

    Oakland isn’t being “greedy” – heck, Lew is the one that isn’t interested in making a 10-year comittment. . . . so, cool – let’s go month to month if that’s what he wants, and in so doing, the price tag SHOULD jump astronomically. . . .

    BTW – As to the matter of relative greed, the City of Oakland has been on its knees (albeit foolishly so) – Wolfe et al, on the other hand, would be, IMHO, a perfect poster child for the word.

  39. @bbox – you do realize that Oakland tried to play hardball with the A’s this last extension and MLB threatened to have the A’s play at ATT instead ( LW, or more specifically MLB has the upper hand regardless. Hell, I’d love to see the JPA play chicken with the A’s and see what comes out of it. For all we know, it might expedite the move out of the faster! 🙂

  40. Well aware of each play of the hand in this diatribe – – I’ve been following it very closely since the day Lew expressed interest in the Fremont location. And, based on that record, I believe that when the record of this “negotiation” is written in its entirety, Lew and his handlers will be largely recognized as having mismanaged every aspect of this deal in every possible way.

    The venue purveyors are hardly the ones fostering the game of “chicken”.

    Lew’s the one with his back slowly being pressed to the wall as he continues to feign disinterest in any and every available alternative.

    In response – Oakland tossing the high inside fast one right now is exactly the right move. Offer Lew the last and final month to month option at 2X the monthly price of the 10-year deal and tell him to call when he’s ready to talk. If he NEVER calls – not to worry – we simply ceased spending resource on a negotiation that, according to Lew, isn’t going anywhere anyway . .. . There’s another chapter for Lew and – let’s get on with it.

    You are absolutely correct that Lew has other alternatives. As you point out, locking in a short-term deal at AT&T, Stanford, Cal (Ohlone?) – is an option. The price of each of these is climbing by the minute – they might work IF – their schedules don’t conflict and parking is available and (the list goes on and on and on) . .but, IF, most importantly . . Lew has no pride whatsoever.

    • @bbox231 – You’re missing the one critical element in this, MLB. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that baseball will approve any kind of month-to-month lease because of the potential impacts to league wide scheduling. If Oakland and the JPA want to play that way it will not only show their contempt for A’s ownership, but also disrespect for baseball.

  41. bbox, if the JPA plays the kind of hard ball your suggesting, MLB will step and install the A’s at ATT, it’s as simple as that. And no, that will not come at an astronomical, back breaking price to the A’s. The Giants will have *some* leverage in the situation, sure. They’ll get some nice compensation package for the deal. But the over all impact on the A’s will be negligible. The impact on Oakland, on the other hand, will be bigger. They’ll lose out on having a tenant for 80+ days, as well as the tax money that comes from all the money that gets spent there. And they’ll still have a loan debt to pay off. And that kind of hard ball will hasten MLB’s approval to send the A’s out of there for good.

  42. @marinelayer – What “contempt”? This is simple market economics at play. The more urgent the need – the higher the price. Lew has told us he doesn’t want to stay in Oakland – long term.

    So let him walk.

    And, if he needs a short-term solution until he finds another place to hang his hat – – no problem – – Oakland charges him a fair market value for a very, very rare commodity.

    The only “disrespect” anywhere in this equation has been Lew’s long-standing contempt for Oakland fans.

    @dmoas – The loss of a very few days of revenue remaining in Oakland is a drop in the bucket compared to the ongoing debt service and remediation that the A’s will stick the taxpayers of Oakland with WHEN (not if) they bail. Frankly, the dollars and cents have little to do with it – – – it’s the political futures of the out-of-touch politicos in downtown Oakland that are at stake. On the other hand, concession sharing rights, parking fees, all of that has to be accretive to the benefit of the current owners who have absolutely NO reason to give a dime to someone who has nowhere else to go!!!!

    But, let’s pretend that you are correct, let’s say that Oakland will be nearly broke if these guys leave town (Oh – wait – they’re nearly broke now . . .) – – and, let’s make believe that there’s absolutely no reason for the Giants and the City of SF to stick it to Lew to temporarily use their facilities – they’re not going to “share” in the concessions or parking – nah, they’ll be really swell folks about it – but, it doesn’t matter – you know why? Cuz seeing Lew et al playing on the Giants home field for a couple of seasons would be a perfect cherry on this mess of a cake. And, the big loss isn’t in the dollars and cents – – – nah – – – the BIG loss will be to the ego of Mr. Lew Wolfe – IF, that is – he can muster ANY pride at all after creating this mess in the first place.

  43. box, for one, it was Wolff initially asking for the 10 year extension. Had they worked with him in good faith instead of overplaying their hand, they’d have money coming in for 80+ dates a year plus the tax revenue that generates. Yes, the A’s run the concessions, but those concessions bring the city/county tax revenue… for 80+ days. And that’s no where near what any other tenant is going to bring the city. It’s not unheard of for the primary tenant of the lease being given total control of the concessions in these sorts of deals.

    SF, the city, will have no bearing on the A’s in ATT. Nor would they stand in the way of the Giants letting them in. They’re smart enough to know that they’ll bring in a ton of money for them through tax revenue. As for the Giants, they’ll make a killing having a second tenant in their park. *MLB* will arrange a sweetheart deal for them to host the A’s, on that’s won’t harm the A’s, who will still be benefiting from revenue sharing. And that revenue sharing, wherever they end up temporarily, will make any rent cost/revenue loss negligible. The Giants will get a significant benefit from MLB, not the A’s. Keep in mind, this mess was created by MLB, not Wolff.

    But let’s say the A’s can’t temporarily move to SF, they do have other options. They’re just not as convenient or great. There’s Sac, who has a good relationship with the A’s and Wolff. They also have other parks around the country/league that could be a temporary home for the team. Montreal still has a stadium, San Juan has one, and there are 28 other teams with stadiums. Not to mention the multitude of minor league parks out there. If Oakland tries to play hard ball and *force* MLB’s hand, not Wolff’s, but MLB’s, they’ll act. And I guarantee you, Oakland won’t benefit if they force MLB’s hand. Right now, they’re doing the city a huge favor by standing in Wolff’s way. It’s best not to piss THEM off

  44. Completely speculative – – – but, a great message to continue to keep in front of the Oakland JPA council members as it fosters an uncertainty that should keep JPA members soft and doubting their own interests . . . I’m certain Lew appreciates your effort(s).

    Come on – let’s get real –
    The other alternatives suck – in every way imaginable.
    The other alternatives will require some kind of negotiation with owners/operators and a VARIETY OF INTERESTS (over whom MLB may or may NOT have any influence) who are businessmen and women, other JPA’s or stadium managers and all of whom are smart enough to see a tad-bit of desperation in a customer with a new season in the future and no where to play.

    Lew has repeatedly made clear his plans to exit – it’s not a question of if.

    Add to this that Lew has now made clear his plans to NOT commit to Oakland on any kind of a firm-term basis while he seeks a new date.

    Given all of this – it’s time for the JPA to begin the long journey towards returning the inherent value in this property to the taxpayers and City of Oakland. It’s time for the JPA to act (for once) in the interest of the Oakland community!! As you and all of the other pro-Wolfe-net-worth mouthpieces continue to make clear, the exodus from red ink is a long ways off and by continuing to play footsy with Lew – WE’RE SIMPLY POSTPONING THAT RETURN WITH EACH DAY THAT THE A’S (and the Raiders and Warriors) REMAIN AT O.CO. THE THING, LIKE MOST EVERY OTHER ARENA/STADIUM HAS BEEN AND CONINUES TO BE A FINANCIALLY LOSING PROPOSITION!!!!!!

    Let the guy do what he wants to do – wish him good luck in his future endeavors – but charge him a fair price for the flexibility of bailing at any moment that he NOW appears to desire.

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