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Oakland City Council Debates A’s Lease Behind Closed Doors

| July 8, 2014
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The Oakland A's at their current home, O.co Coliseum. ((Kwong Yee Cheng/Flickr)

The Oakland A’s at their current home, O.co Coliseum. ((Kwong Yee Cheng/Flickr)

The Oakland City Council held a closed-door meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the Oakland A’s lease with the Coliseum. City Councilman Larry Reid sits on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA). He was one of two city-appointed JPA members who voted last week in favor a 10-year lease extension. But the council had directed Reid and the other city officials to vote against the deal because they believe it asks too many concessions from the city.

Under the current agreement, the A’s would pay less rent each year of the lease and Oakland would forgive $5 million in back payments to the city.

But Reid voted in favor the lease, and had to explain his actions in the closed meeting.

Reid said he received an email from A’s owner Lew Wolff  that said he had permission from Major League Baseball to move the team immediately if the deal continued to stall. For Reid, that was enough to change his mind.

“The decision I made I thought was the right decision. The A’s have the best record in baseball. They just sent six of their players to the All-Star Game, with a seventh who was acquired by a trade that will be in the All-Star Game. And so the A’s have brought a lot of pride to this city, and a lot of the A’s history is with this city.”

Reid said he doesn’t know if the council will pass the lease.

“But I know that if we don’t approve this lease agreement, and Mr. Wolff decides to do what Major League Baseball has already authorized him, we have no one to blame but ourselves if the A’s ultimately leave the city.”

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors also needs to approve the lease.

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Category: Sports

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