Oakland A’s Future Uncertain After City Council Revises Deal
The Oakland City Council voted Wednesday to make changes to a proposed deal that would keep the A’s at the Coliseum for the next 10 years.
The council approved the lease agreement but added seven amendments to a deal that was negotiated over the last 14 months by the team and the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, which governs the stadium.
One of the amendments changes how the A’s would inform the city if they end up leaving. Another allows the city to force the A’s out of the Coliseum if a deal to develop the site and build a new football-only stadium for the Oakland Raiders materializes.
A’s President Michael Crowley said the team could only accept one of the changes, which corrects a typographical error in the lease agreement. It wants to see the remaining language kept “as is.”
City Council President Pat Kernighan, who authored the amendments, said after the meeting that she hopes A’s owner Lew Wolff accepts the council’s vote “as a yes.”
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said, “If the A’s accept this, we can talk about building a new stadium for them.”
But City Councilman Larry Reid, who is vice chair of the Joint Powers Authority, said he fears that the council’s vote will help push the A’s out of the city. “This council keeps playing with fire and it will get burned,” he said.
Oakland school board member Chris Dobbins, who’s a member of the JPA, said he’s also concerned that the A’s won’t accept the changes made by the City Council.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors must also approve the lease and is scheduled to vote on July 29 on the original agreement. The JPA must also vote on the matter again.
Jon Streeter, the JPA’s attorney, said he’s hopeful that the JPA board and the A’s will still approve the lease. “I think the vote tonight was great news because 99.9 percent of the agreement was approved by the City Council,” he said. “We’ll have to see what the A’s want to do.”
For more on the Coliseum deal, reporter Stephanie Martin Taylor spoke with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
Bay City News contributed to this report.Related