A’s owner Lew Wolff insists his team is staying put. For now, anyway.
Wolff said Monday through the team that the A’s will extend their lease at the O.co Coliseum and “look forward to another great season.”
The team’s managing partner responded to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle saying Major League Baseball might get involved to help the A’s play across the Bay in the Giants’ AT&T Park if no short-term lease was reached to continue their home games in the rundown Coliseum.
“It’s a little more rugged,” A’s center fielder Coco Crisp said of the ballpark. “It does have its own personality.”
It was unclear how many years Oakland is seeking for its lease, and the team declined further comment since no deal has been reached with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. Yet the Coliseum Authority also sounded encouraged by the progress, issuing a statement from board chair and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.
“We are working on a deal that we believe will be beneficial for both our tenant and the people of this community,” the statement said. “We are confident that everyone involved sees the value in continuing for as long as possible the 45-year relationship between the A’s and the City of Oakland. While we cannot comment on the specific issues now under discussion or on whether there is any basis to recent rumors that Major League Baseball has played a role in the discussions, we are optimistic that a final deal is close at hand.”
The Giants didn’t comment on the report.
Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan, who represents the City of Oakland at-large and is on the Coliseum Authority, also expressed her desire to keep the A’s around.
“I am fully committed to working toward a positive agreement for the A’s lease in Oakland,” Kaplan said.
The small-budget A’s have won consecutive AL West titles, losing in five games of the division series to the Detroit Tigers in each of the past Octobers. The Coliseum, shared with the NFL’s Raiders, had multiple sewage problems in 2013 that caused damage during games.
Wolff has remained determined to move the team to San Jose and build an intimate new ballpark, yet Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to rule on whether the A’s can move into the Giants’ cherished territory in technology-rich Silicon Valley. Oakland had the lowest payroll in baseball for 2012 at $59.5 million, then was up to 27th this past season at $71.1 million.