What the city of Oakland's lease extension proposal means for the Athletics' relocation

The city of Oakland and the Athletics are set to meet on Tuesday to further discuss a lease extension at the Coliseum.

Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

When the city of Oakland meets with the Athletics on Tuesday, it could be one of the final meetings between the two sides depending on how the conversation is received.

Casey Pratt of ABC7 leaked the details of the city's proposal late on Saturday night and Athletics' fans everywhere had the opportunity to dig into the specifics of it.

There are some interesting points, maybe most notably the fact that the city is allegedly going to ask for exclusive negotiating terms with potential new owners for an expansion franchise a little further down the road.

Tim Keown of ESPN dug into the details a bit further and provided a bit more clarity on the specifics of the requests.

Arguably the biggest sticking point of the deal is the increased rent payment the city is asking for. Per Keown's article, the A's currently pay about $1.5 million per year in rent fees to the city. The city is asking for $97 million total over a 5 year period, a massive increase that's sure to draw the ire of John Fisher and Dave Kaval.

Keown also reports that the city will hold firm on that $97 million figure. Mayor Sheng Thao's Chief of Staff Leigh Hanson stated that the $97 million would be "non-negotiable" and due in full even if the A's were to opt out of the extension after year three.

If we remember back to last summer, the Athletics walked away from the Howard Terminal project reportedly due to a difference of $36 million that the city was supposed to be responsible for. The A's didn't care that the city had come up with nearly $550 million already. They walked away for less than what the city would be asking for now.

Now, who knows if that report is accurate, but it's the information that we have. If we're to assume that the biggest reason the A's want to remain at the Coliseum is because they'd be able to collect the entirety of their $70 million annual local TV rights deal, do we think they'd want to give nearly 50% of that revenue back to the city?

My guess is that's the biggest sticking point of the entire deal. If the A's were able to secure a renegotiated TV deal with NBC Sports California and temporarily move to Sacramento, they'd probably secure a similar sum and not be responsible for any additional expenses like field change overs for Oakland Roots and Oakland Soul games.

We'll see what happens on Tuesday but this is almost certain to be a major point of contention for the Athletics side. If the city truly isn't willing to negotiate the figure down, and to be clear they absolutely should hold firm to their asking price, then the team might just walk away from the deal.

The part about the city asking for rights to negotiate with potential owners of an expansion franchise seems like a pipe dream. For one, the Athletics wouldn't be the ones making that decision. The commissioner's office would have to get involved and it's unclear whether Rob Manfred would entertain the idea.

But also, it's unlikely that the league would grant exclusive negotiating rights for an expansion team. It's far more likely that Oakland would be included in the process without being given any kind of priority. Whether that's a deal breaker for the city is unknown.

The city did write into the proposal that they'd be willing to consider either keeping the Athletics' brand and color scheme OR facilitating a sale to a new ownership group in lieu of those negotiating rights for an expansion team.

Pratt mentions that if the two sides were to agree to this deal, it would be a win-win. I'd agree with that assessment, as there are benefits for both sides. However, it's tough to see the A's giving up this much in the negotiation.

They walked away from the Howard Terminal project for less. And more importantly, they've been trying to escape Oakland for 20 years. Yes, they would probably prefer to stay at the Coliseum during this three year interim while they wait for their park in Las Vegas.

But if push comes to shove, if the A's can get a deal with Sacramento and rework their TV deal, you don't have to squint to see them taking that deal over the one with Oakland out of spite.

John Fisher loves his money but he also hates the city of Oakland. We have enough evidence to believe that. This has been a long and contentious battle and unfortunately for A's fans, it's probably not going to get better in the immediate future.