Athletics To Meet With Government Officials About Coliseum Lease Extension

Athletics To Meet With Government Officials About Coliseum Lease Extension

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The Athletics have a meeting on Thursday with officials from the City of Oakland and County of Alameda to discuss a lease extension at the Coliseum, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The A’s are planning to move to Las Vegas for the 2028 season, a move that was already unanimously approved by all 29 other owners. But their lease at the Coliseum in Oakland is up after 2024, leaving them without a home stadium for the three intervening seasons. Various solutions for how to navigate that interim period have been considered, including playing in Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Reno, sharing San Francisco’s Oracle Park with the Giants or playing at the organization’s Triple-A field in Las Vegas.

Staying in Oakland never seemed to be a realistic option, with the relationship between the club and the city growing frosty during and after the stadium negotiations. Oakland mayor Sheng Thao has previously indicated that the city would have lofty demands in any lease discussions, such as the city retaining the rights to the name “Athletics” or a guarantee of a future expansion franchise. More recently, she indicated the city is willing to reopen talks with the club, but also relayed that she hadn’t spoken with owner John Fisher since he started focusing on the Vegas move in April.

It seems likely there’s a financial motivation for the sides to come back to the table. It was reported back in August that the club’s TV deal with NBC Sports California runs through 2033 and pays the club about $60MM per year. Jeff Passan of ESPN later reported that the club will actually receive about $70MM in 2024. But the deal lapses if the club leaves the Bay Area.

Sharing Oracle Park with the Giants would allow the club to continue collecting that money but would come with many logistical problems. The other proposed locations are not considered to be in the Bay Area and would result in forfeiting the deal. If the A’s want to get that TV money, staying in Oakland could be their best bet.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the upcoming negotiations will be fruitful, as the city and county will now they have leverage coming into the talks. But with the club having millions of dollars on the line, perhaps they can work something out. Shea reports that the A’s pay $1.2MM annually in rent. Also per today’s report, the meeting will feature Oakland chief of staff Leigh Hanson, city council member Rebecca Kaplan, county supervisor David Haubert and A’s team president Dave Kaval.

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