Oakland A’s make right decision to defer rent payment

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 07: General view of a faulty light tower in left field before the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Cincinnati Reds 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 07: General view of a faulty light tower in left field before the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Cincinnati Reds 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s have decided to defer making their rent payment on the Coliseum. This is the right move to make.

Every year, on April 1, the rent check comes due for the Oakland A’s. That is the day they are required to send in their payment for usage of the Coliseum, a $1.2 million sum that will entitle the A’s to play their games there for the coming season.

At least, in a normal year, that would be the case. 2020 has not been a normal year, as Major League Baseball has suspended operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if the season begins at some point this year, it is uncertain whether or not the A’s will be able to play in the Coliseum. As such, they have decided to defer their rental payment, as they can do under their current contract.

The A’s are certainly within their rights to hold off on making their annual payment. And, it is not as though the landlords have many other avenues. The Raiders, the former co-tenants, are set to begin play in Las Vegas. The A’s hold the cards.

It is also not as though those rental payments had been used to upgrade the facility. Seemingly every year, there are numerous stories about plumbing issues, rooms in the lower level flooding, or other assorted problems. The years just pass on with nothing appearing to be fixed or upgraded.

Those issues are a large part in the A’s quest to have a new ballpark of their own. The talks had been progressing, to the point where there was optimism that the ballclub could begin breaking ground on their new home in the near future. However, the pandemic has pushed those plans to the back burner as well.

To that point, the A’s are likely to continue calling the Coliseum home for the foreseeable future. Coming to a civil arrangement regarding their rental payment would behoove both sides, as the A’s and the Coliseum are tied to one another at this point.

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The Oakland A’s are deferring their rental payment on the Coliseum. Given the present uncertainty surrounding the season, it is the right move.

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