A’s lease extension vote postponed, aftermath

The Trib reported tonight that after a lengthy discussion by the Oakland City Council about the merits of the proposed 10-year lease extension for the A’s, the JPA vote on the lease will be postponed. Opponents, largely Raiders fans, were ready to break out talking points for Friday’s scheduled JPA meeting. No need for that, though we’ll have to wait for the inevitable lease leaks about the lease the next time it comes up.

I thought the lease would be approved based on CM Rebecca Kaplan’s work on the deal. Problem is that we’re in June, and Oakland’s just starting to have very important budget discussions. While property tax revenue is on the rise, there are still potential shortfalls that need to be addressed. One way to address them – at least this year – is to hold firm on the parking tax fight they’re having with the A’s. Or as I said on Saturday:

Lease tweets

Lease tweets

If the City doesn’t want the parking tax to be a wedge issue, then simply let the matter go to arbitration as planned for the fall. When that’s done, start up the lease discussions anew. Yet, why do I get the feeling that we’ll hear about this again before election day?

Yep, just as I expected.

There’s also another way to manage these lease discussions – do everything privately. Stop broadcasting out to the media that a deal is close, and then when the actual negotiating begins, walk away from the table. The level of pettiness and petulance on display is unseemly. If the two sides really want to get it done, stop with the interviews and soundbites and hammer it out, with input from all stakeholders. If not, MLB will be happy to dictate the terms for you as they did last November.

Speaking of pettiness, what’s this?

Did Wolff instruct the scoreboard operators to change the display from “OAK” to “A’s”? There’s no reason to do this unless Lew’s trying to send a message to Oakland pols. Or unless he felt he needed to test the apostrophe thoroughly. Of course, over the weekend Lew had some fun with his image as the A’s hated owner, so maybe this is an extension of that. If so, he trolled some very excitable A’s fans very hard.

On Twitter I had been referencing a study from Emory University about the types of fanbases each MLB franchise has. The study tried to separate various factors, such as a “bandwagon” effect (fan sensitivity to on-field performance) and social media equity (how frequent and how volatile is team’s Twitter following) and others. While the bandwagon discussion was quite the flamefest, there was a good deal more agreement about the assessment of the A’s social media characteristics. Teams were grouped into one of four silos, and while there could be some debate about a few teams, the A’s place was rather well earned.

Groupings of team by type of fanbase

Groupings of team by type of fanbase

“Depression & Some Mania”, eh? Wouldn’t have it any other way.

24 thoughts on “A’s lease extension vote postponed, aftermath

  1. Sure, it would be more efficient if these discussions were held in private. Likewise I object to the pettiness.

    But this isn’t private enterprise. The stakeholders include taxpayers who will hold their elected representatives accountable. Some of them are customers of the product, some of them aren’t. Transparency is the order of the court.

    The tenant has done little to endear himself to these landlords. Hence some understandable reluctance while drafting his 10-year lease. This is California: if you’re looking for consensus, good luck.

    It would be nice to have a more nuanced discussion about this, how Kaplan’s hat factors into it, but why bother, let’s get on with the comments: Oakland Sucks!!!

    • @freddy – Everyone’s trying to have it both ways. None of us have actually seen the lease details, so we can’t judge for ourselves. It’s all based on leaks. The only thing transparent about that is someone’s motive. If the JPA actually posted the lease for the public to review, it would actually be part of a transparent process. But it’s not.

  2. Pretty lame on Oakland’s part to have a hashed out agreement by representatives of the JPA, one of which also serves on the Oakland city council, and then not approve it. I wonder if there is any other team in MLB that has been treated so horribly by its host city? If so who? And MLB still can’t figure out how to take the handcuffs off the A’s and let them locate anywhere they choose within their large 2 team market- absolutely foolish-

  3. re: The tenant has done little to endear himself to these landlords

    …And of course, the landlord is blameless, right? Leaving the team to fester in a sewage-spewing football stadium and unable to get a new ballpark done like pretty much every other MLB city, right? From Seattle to San Diego to Cleveland and even Miami, cities have gotten new ballparks done. Not Oakland. And now, the tenant offers to stay another 10 years and the city won’t approve the lease extension.

  4. This tenant is not the one that put the JPA in debt.

  5. And this tenant is not the one who fired the city manager for having the gall to devise a new ballpark plan.

  6. “And MLB still can’t figure out how to take the handcuffs off the A’s and let them locate anywhere they choose within their large 2 team market- absolutely foolish-”

    The Coliseum Authority knows this fact all too well. As a result, they are in no hurry to get a new lease extension deal done with the A’s. As for Rebecca Kaplan, she seems to be more pragmatic about the situation with the A’s, and most likely also believes that getting a relatively quick new lease extension approved would serve to her political advantage. Unfortunately, most on the JPA don’t view the A’s with having much leverage, and are more willing to string along the A’s in the hope of getting a much more favorable lease deal.

  7. @pjk

    Maybe to make it clear to A’s management from Oakland city leaders “end this san jose dream amd build in Oakland”
    the city of Oakland should award the Raiders the Coliseum and tell the A’s to build somewhere on city owned Coliseum land or Howard terminal. Dang its been 4 years cmon pjk…Harry is back and in full effect

  8. Harry: Maybe the city should make it worth the A’s while to build in Oakland by devising a plan for a ballpark in which the owners will get a decent return on their investment? Not “You guys are rich. Build in Oakland and we don’t care if you lose Big $$ building here. That’s your problem.”…And Howard Terminal, a sealed contamination site bounded by land uses completely incompatible with a ballpark, is a pipe dream, a fantasy. It’s DOA.

  9. I really like Damon Bruce on 95.7 now, but he clearly does not like the A’s. He said the Yu Darvish was going to be a problem the A’s did not want to run into. HUH????? The A’s are 8-1 when Darvish is on the mound, shut up and sit down BOY!

  10. It’s not just the scoreboard that’s different. The team also wears the “Oakland” away jerseys significantly less than they used to.

  11. SMG, the players (the starting pitcher) typically choose what to wear, so it has little to do with any attempt to nix “Oakland” from all things A’s.

  12. Well then they choose to almost never wear the Oakland jerseys. Can’t say I blame them.

  13. When dealing with the city of Oakland, the A’s and the JPA….did anyone expect the new lease agreement negotiations to go smoothly?

  14. Oakland as whole is a joke. From the mayor on down, it is a joke.
    It has been a joke for a long time.

    Except for what Al wanted. You would see critters like Fuentes dropping his knees to suck the master’s.

  15. I cannot say I am surprised by these developments. Oakland City Council has held steadfast wanting a commitment from Wolff to stay in Oakland with zero public dollars being used on a new stadium.

    This plus they do not want to make it look like they are siding with the A’s over the Raiders with the Warriors leaving town down the road.

    I figured they would vote and it would narrowly pass. The fact they did not vote means it would not have passed at all hence the delay.

    Wolff is done negotiating and Kapland/Haggerty must feel like idiots after all the progress they made.

    This is going to get tabled indefinitely and it is back to the drawing board. The ineptitude of the Oakland City Council is staggering. This is a good deal to keep the team in town and start a baseline to negotiate a new stadium while in parallel keep working with the Raiders.

    As for the A’s instead of Oakland on the scoreboard and uniforms. Only Tommy Milone has picked the grey road Oakland uniform all season and the A’s have not worn it since late April.

    The scoreboard is a bit strange but considering the uniform paradigm they maybe related.

    Not like Oakland has helped the A’s at all over the years…..

  16. Wolff is looking more credible by the day – yet more evidence of difficulty when dealing with Oakland city officials. And to think that the Sac Kings to Seattle was a done deal – then the Sacto mayor snatched victory from the jaws of defeat – finding a new owners group that will keep the team in Sacramento, also a plan for a new King’s stadium (all within 2 months) Meanwhile this ongoing saga has lasted 19 years and counting…

  17. re: Sacto vs. Oakland. The difference is, Oakland can try to find new owners to buy the A’s, but the owners have to front the $2 billion it will cost to buy the franchise and build a new ballpark. Oakland’s public contribution remains fixed at $0.00. Sacto is putting up public money (#255 million) for a new facility.

  18. @pjk- Sac only has the Kings to worry about. They don’t have 3 teams in the same location with 1 already leaving, 1 who wants out bad and another who is too dumb to move to a new stadium 35 miles away.

    With two teams sitting on top of one another to make things even worse.

  19. You nailed it Freddy- actually the city doesn’t but it’s leaders do-

  20. Well we all figured that was the case. If the A’s sign a long term lease with Oakland it means you can kiss the Raiders goodbye. Obviously Kaplan has come to terms with that and is smart enough to realize they’re only keeping one team and that the A’s are the most cost effective option. Obviously the rest of the dunderheads running Oakland as usual have not. Seems to be a reoccuring theme in Oakland. There’s always one smart person, Bobb, Peralta, Kaplan and a cadre of buffoons that unfortunately muck it up.

  21. re: Davis: The A’s lease is up in 2015. If we could come to a deal with Colony Capital to build a football stadium there, we would like to be able to tear that Oakland Coliseum down the minute the 2015 baseball season’s over.

    …so what’s the holdup? How many more years of negotiations will be needed or perhaps Colony has looked at this situation and realizes it’s just not doable?

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