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Athletics ask to remain at the Coliseum for five more years

Dec 22, 2012, 8:59 AM EDT

O.co Coliseum Getty Images

The Athletics have been trying to move to San Jose for a long time now, but with the Giants’ territorial rights continuing to stand in the way, they are ready to make some temporary concessions. According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s owner Lew Wolff is seeking a new five-year lease to keep the team at the Coliseum.

“I stress that the A’s organization certainly prefers to remain in Oakland for the next five years rather than being forced into looking elsewhere for a temporary home venue,” Wolff wrote in a Friday letter to the Coliseum’s Join Powers Authority, among others, which was obtained by The Chronicle.

“If possible, we should retain the 130 full-time jobs and the almost 800 union jobs that encompass a full baseball season, the fun of the A’s, and Major League Baseball in Oakland for five more years.”

The A’s current lease at the Coliseum expires after next season, so a new five-year lease would keep the club in Oakland until 2018. This doesn’t mean Wolff has given up on the idea of eventually moving to San Jose, as he told the Chronicle that the club would likely have a lot of work to do on a potential move even if it was approved right now. While it sounds like a negotiating tactic more than anything else, Wolff says he has “options” for a temporary venue if a new lease can’t be worked out at the Coliseum.

The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since moving from Kansas City in 1968.

  1. natslady - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    (Sigh). So the A’s have given up on expecting Selig to do his job. The Nats too, because of Selig inaction, will be considered a “big market” team–no portion of the revenue-sharing–and stuck with tiny TV revenues. Luckily, we have the smartest GM in baseball, so we got a chance.

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      That isn’t how revenue sharing works. Every team pays the same % of local revenues into a pot, which is then divided evenly among the 30 teams. If you pay in less than the average, then you get revenue sharing money.

      • jwbiii - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        You’re both kind of right. Revenue sharing got a lot more complicated with the new CBA. It’s a multi-step process:

        1. The base plan. paperlions explained this. Every club kicks in 34% of their net local revenues, every club gets an equal share back. Except maybe the Dodgers, who may be limited as to how much they can contribute by the actions of the bankruptcy court.

        2. Big revenue clubs contribute up to an extra 14% of their net local revenues, based on a sliding scale called a “Performance Factor,” which is a proxy for revenues. Small revenue clubs split up this pot based on their performance factors. The Nats are a small revenue club.

        3. Starting in 2013, big market clubs will contribute an annually increasing percentage of their revenue sharing income which will be split among the big revenue clubs, again according to their performance factors. By 2016, this percentage will be 100%. At present, the Braves, Nationals, and Blue Jays are big market, low revenue clubs, and they will lose all of their revenue sharing income in 2016. So natslady is also right. The A’s will join this unfortunate group if they move to San Jose, as this post suggests they won’t, and become a big market club and don’t significantly increase their revenue.

        4. And then there are the “Luxury Tax” (I really dislike this term. Players are not “luxuries,” they ARE the product. I really don’t care how much Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout get paid; I just like to watch them play baseball.) implications. Clubs which exceed the luxury tax threshold will get less income from the big market/big income redistribution. The Yankees have the highest performance factor and therefore have the most to lose by exceeding the threshold. Besides the tax itself, exceeding the threshold cuts revenue sharing income. This is why the Yankees are working to get under it.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Lew Wolff is a genius.

  3. cackalackyank - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Let’s hear it for the Portland or San Antonio A’s…Wooo Hooo.

  4. tc4306 - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Let’s hear it for the Montreal or Vancouver A’s.

    • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      If its Montreal, lets hear it for The Expos! Yay!

      If its Vancouver…well it should be the The Vancouver Beavers if there was any justice in this world.

      • cackalackyank - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        Like the Beavers idea…but not going to happen, too close to Seattle. Also, unless a whole bunch of private money was found to keep a new team out of the concrete albatross known as the Big O…MLB will not be going back to Montreal in any of our lifetimes.

      • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        deep sigh

  5. APBA Guy - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Let’s not kid ourselves about Oakland. Everything that is wrong in terms of modern city governance is present in Oakland. Yet, people persevere, and there is a continual influx of people who move into the city and deal with the insane cut backs in local policing that embolden daylight burglaries and night time gangsterism. It reminds me of DC in the 1980’s when Marion Barry was mayor.

    Anyway, Wolff is just facing reality here. As we have discussed previously, there are no good landing spots for the A’s outside of San Jose and Oakland. To summarize, there is way more revenue potential in San Jose, some of which would have to go to the Giants. But the Giants essentially want to drive the A’s out of the Bay Area altogether to create a monopoly. Selig doesn’t have the votes to force a move. So nothing happens. My guess is that, in the end, the A’s and some mythical, improved future leadership in Oakland do a remodeling deal at the Mausoleum a la KC and the A’s derive a fair share of revenues (the current stadium revenue structure heavily favors the Raiders). With greater TV revenue and more revenue sharing, the A’s will never be a large market team, but they may trend towards medium revenue, especially as the CA economy improves (now under 10% unemployment!).

    • jkcalhoun - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      But the Giants essentially want to drive the A’s out of the Bay Area altogether to create a monopoly.

      Here again is the leap that I can’t follow. The Giants definitely want to keep to themselves what is already theirs, assigned to them under the MLB constitution. How does that imply that the Giants are looking to gain what belongs to the A’s as well? As often as this is asserted here and elsewhere, I’ve never been able to understand that.

  6. losangelesfan - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Move them to Buffalo and rename them the Wings. Or, move ‘em to Memphis and call them the Blues.

  7. tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Move them to Cleveland……

    They don’t have a major league team. Just an AAAA team.

  8. marcinhouston - Dec 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    The A’s gave the Giants the San Jose Territory because the Giants said they wanted to move to San Jose and needed to move their to avoid having to move out of state, to options such as Tampa, which had no team at the time. Then the Giants decided to build a new stadium in San Francisco, but won’t do the A’s any favors. With friends like the San Francisco Giants, who needs enemies? Of course the Giants want to drive the A’s out of the Bay Area, or make them the poorest team in MLB. Backstabbing is in the Giants nature.

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