The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Oakland Athletics reach 10-year lease agreement to stay put at Oakland Coliseum
OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff said Wednesday the club has reached a 10-year lease agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to stay at the Oakland Coliseum.
The deal that would run through 2025 is subject to approval by the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, which is scheduled to vote on the extension Friday. The City of Oakland and Alameda County Board of Supervisors also would have to approve the deal.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig commended both sides for reaching a deal on a lease extension, while offering, "I continue to believe that the Athletics need a new facility and am fully supportive of the club's view that the best site in Oakland is the Coliseum site."
"We very much appreciate Commissioner Selig's support for Oakland to be the home of the A's," coliseum authority Chairman Nate Miley added in a statement. "We also agree, and we believe the A's do as well, that long-term the Coliseum is the best site for them in the East Bay."
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said Wednesday that the city is working to make sure the team remains in Oakland for years to come.
"We are still negotiating, so were surprised by the announcement of an agreement," Quan said. "We plan to meet tomorrow, continue negotiations, and hope there will be an agreement soon."
The two-time defending AL West champion Athletics are still hoping for a new stadium, but Wolff said a proposed site near Oakland's popular Jack London Square neighbourhood has proved not to be a feasible option.
"Howard Terminal as a potential ballpark site has been and is totally rejected by MLB and the A's," Wolff said in an email to The Associated Press.
Selig reiterated that in a statement Wednesday. He has long supported Wolff's efforts to build a stadium, but hasn't ruled whether the A's can move into the San Francisco Giants' territory in technology-rich Silicon Valley and San Jose.
"Contrary to what some have suggested, the committee that has studied this issue did not determine that the Howard Terminal site was the best location for a new facility in Oakland," Selig said.
The rundown Coliseum has had multiple sewage problems in the past year and an outage affecting the outfield lights against the New York Yankees on June 14. Despite the A's recent on-field success, they are currently 24th in the majors in attendance with an average of 23,462 per game.
"It's not something I think much about, to be honest," Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss said in New York, where the A's were set to play the Mets. "Obviously, everyone knows that it's well-documented, the history of the Coliseum and the things that they've dealt with in the past few years. But honestly, as players who play in it every single night, we don't come in and say, 'God, we wish we had a new stadium!' Obviously we do, but at the same time we understand that that's our home and that's where we play and it's our job to go out and perform regardless of where we are."
The Coliseum is the only stadium in the United States still used as the home for an NFL and MLB team. The Raiders are in the final year of their lease at the Coliseum and are interested in building a new stadium at the site.
While the A's deal is expected to contain "out clauses" for both sides, it could complicate the Raiders' desire for a new stadium.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writer Mike Fitzpatrick in New York contributed.
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