A’s co-owner Lew Wolff said Wednesday that the team is very close to finalizing a 10-year lease extension to continue playing at the Oakland Coliseum.
Wolff is in New York right now attending the A’s series against the Yankees and spoke with Bloomberg on his team’s never-ending ballpark drama.
“We’re having some very good conversations with the (Coliseum) Authority in Oakland about an extension,” Wolff said. “We’re close enough on deal points that I think soon we’ll come to a mutual accommodation and have an extension that we need.”
Pressed on when an extension might be final, Wolff responded: “In the next couple of weeks, I hope. There’s some approvals necessary, but the people we’re dealing with now are very intelligent and working with us.”
Extension negotiations turned nasty in April, with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority issuing a statement accusing the A’s of owing millions of dollars in back rent, and A’s president Michael Crowley firing back with a statement denying that charge and saying the team was cutting off negotiations.
There’s obviously been a thaw in the relationship, and there’s reason for both sides to want to work something out.
The A’s attempts to move to San Jose have been stone-walled by the Giants’ territorial rights, and the city of San Jose is suing Major League Baseball over the issue. The team needs a place to play considering its current lease expires after the 2015 season. The Authority, meanwhile, runs the risk of potentially losing all three of its professional sports teams. The Warriors have plans to build a new arena in San Francisco, and the A’s and Raiders both are looking to build new venues, with the chances of that happening in Oakland hazy at the moment.
“We’ve been spending seven years exploring (Oakland), determining how we might stay there,” Wolff said. “… We may still look at it. But it’s been very hard to implement a facility that’s going to cost 700 or 800 million dollars.”