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The A’s ballpark saga took a dramatic turn Thursday morning with news that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig gave the team permission to move out of Oakland immediately if a Coliseum lease extension wasn’t finalized by the end of the day.
That prompted the eight-member Oakland-Alameda County Joint Powers Authority (JPA), which operates the Coliseum, to meet Thursday morning in an effort to try to hammer out a last-minute deal, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
A’s co-owner Lew Wolff reportedly notified city and county leaders late Wednesday night that “we will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland” if a lease agreement was not reached Thursday, according to an e-mail from Wolff that the Chronicle obtained.
Where exactly the A’s would play their games outside of Oakland is unknown, but the threat has prompted rushed efforts to finalize a 10-year lease extension to keep the A’s playing at the Coliseum. Negotiations have dragged on for months, and the process hit a new snag last week when Oakland City Council members were ordered to boycott a meeting where the JPA was expected to vote on the extension.
Were the JPA to officially accept the deal, it would still have to be approved by the city and county. The A’s current lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2015 season.