City of Oakland, Alameda County, and Athletics met again to discuss a lease extension

The Oakland Athletics met with leaders of the City and the County to discuss a potential lease extension at the Oakland Coliseum
Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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The Oakland Athletics once again met with representatives from the City of Oakland and Alameda County to discuss a potential lease extension at the Oakland Coliseum. The sides met on Thursday afternoon and it was reported that the meeting was "productive", and that they plan on meeting again in the near future.

Casey Pratt of ABC7 summed it up nicely in a video this afternoon, but there are two main goals here.

The primary objective from the team's point of view is to secure a place to play for the interim seasons between 2025-2027. The team's lease at the Coliseum is scheduled to lapse at the end of the 2024 season and their alleged ballpark in Las Vegas won't be ready until 2028 at the earliest.

The City and the County have a variety of items on the wish list but they essentially need to extract as much as possible out of John Fisher and the Athletics during the negotiations. It's been reported that they would seek to receive assurances from MLB that Oakland would receive an expansion team after the Athletics settle in Las Vegas. That particular goal seems overly ambitious but it's obviously something that would have the most positive impact for the City, as well as for the fan base.

The City is also negotiating for a significant rent increase. At present, the Athletics stand to lose upwards of $70 million per year if they have to play outside of the Bay Area. Therefore the City has the right to ask for a substantially increased payment from the team.

The other massive bargaining chip for the Athletics is the rights to their half of the stadium

The A's currently own 50% of the Coliseum property, with the other half owned by the City and operated by AASEG. It would be a massive failure if the Athletics are allowed to remain in the Coliseum during those interim years and the City isn't allowed to purchase the team's share of the building afterward.

If Fisher were to retain a 50% ownership stake in the Coliseum, that building will almost certainly sit there for years and there won't be anything the City can do about it. That has to be a part of any deal the City and County make.

There's also the Oakland Roots aspect. The soccer team is currently seeking a deal to play home games at the Coliseum starting in 2025. Their current home, at Cal State East Bay, will be under construction and unplayable after 2024.

The Athletics have openly said that they're okay with the Roots using the stadium as a part-time home facility but how that will be leveraged in these negotiations is unclear. The Roots currently have a public session set for Friday to discuss their plans.

Whatever happens, it's more likely to be a loss for the City than it is for the Athletics. The City has very little to gain and much to lose in this process. The team has quite a bit of money on the table; about $200 million over the next three years is at stake. Outside of that, they've already got a foot out the door, even if their plans are shoddy at best.

We'll keep an eye on this situation and update as we learn more.

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