The A’s and San Jose agreed on a new seven-year deal to continue negotiations on a potential ballpark in the South Bay city.
A’s co-owner Lew Wolff, contacted by phone Thursday night, said the move is mainly “procedural.” The A’s have had an option in place to buy five acres of land in San Jose to build a ballpark should they ever get the green light to do so. That option was set to expire in November, so this deal replaces that old one.
Obviously the A’s are trying to keep all avenues open even after signing a 10-year lease extension in July to remain at O.co Coliseum. That lease contains language that allows them to leave before the 10 years are up.
“We want to stay in the Bay Area,” Wolff said. “We need a location. There’s a lot of work to do. It’s the same old story.”
No concrete plans have come together yet for a new baseball stadium in Oakland. However, there’s been renewed buzz about the possibility of a “Coliseum City” sports and entertainment complex centered on the site of the current Coliseum. A new investment group reportedly is willing to get involved in that project, with the idea of possibly building stadiums for both the Raiders and the A’s.
Wolff has expressed interest in building a ballpark at the Coliseum site but has said the team would want to have control over any such project.
Any vision of the A’s moving to San Jose still appears a long shot, with the move being blocked in the courts to this point and the Giants controlling territorial rights to Santa Clara County. But in continuing the negotiation period with San Jose for up to seven more years, the team keeps its options open and buys time.
According to a report from the San Jose Mercury News, in this new deal, the A’s would pay the city $100,000 over four years (plus three one-year options at $25,000 each) to maintain the rights to purchase ballpark land. Should a move to the South Bay be approved by the courts or Major League Baseball, the A’s could purchase the land for $7 million.