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The Athletics have reached a ten-year lease extension to stay in the Oakland Coliseum

Jun 25, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff announced today that the team has reached a 10-year lease extension with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to stay at the Oakland Coliseum. It still has to be approved by the city and the county. There are a lot of politics to all of that, but one has to assume that a team actually wanting to stay in that building is a gift horse into whose mouth they don’t want to too closely look.

The Coliseum is obviously a wreck, of course — the sewage problems are well-documented and two weeks ago the lights literally went out during a game — but this lease is likely the first step in Wolff’s grand Plan B, given that San Jose seems to be a pipe dream that neither Major League Baseball nor the San Francisco Giants want to see happen. If it doesn’t, Oakland it is, because there really aren’t a ton of other places that make a lot of sense.

The battle now is where in Oakland. There have been competing proposals for a new home for the A’s, all either unlikely to come to fruition or still in their nascent stages. There was one that would have the A’s build on the waterfront, but Wolff’s re-upping at the Coliseum and his plans to do something at the existing site, be it a Coliseum renovation or a new ballpark, seem to be way more likely. They certainly have the blessing of Major League Baseball. Bud Selig released this statement today:

“I commend the Oakland Athletics and the JPA for their efforts in reaching an extension for a lease at O.co Coliseum.  The agreement on this extension is a crucial first step towards keeping Major League Baseball in Oakland.

“I continue to believe that the Athletics need a new facility and am fully supportive of the club’s view that the best site in Oakland is the Coliseum site.  Contrary to what some have suggested, the committee that has studied this issue did not determine that the Howard Terminal site was the best location for a new facility in Oakland.”

In other news, that committee of his has actually studied something. People study and get PhDs in the time it took to choose between a couple of ballpark sites — and they still have released their “dissertation” about that choice — but good for them for working!

My gut says that if they’re not going to leave town altogether, staying where they are would be a good plan given the public transportation that goes right to the Coliseum’s front door. But of course my gut is pretty ill-informed about all of the local issues at play here as I have only visited the area a handful of times and have little more to go on than the stuff my Bay Area-dwelling friends have said on the matter. For that reason, go check out Newballpark.org for continuing coverage of this stuff. Those guys are on it all the damn time.

  1. danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Come on voters of Oakland. Do NOT let your city council give away your tax money to build a new stadium that benefits millionaires. Keep the faith, like LA with the (lack of a) NFL football stadium.

    Beware of proposals similar to what the Miami city council did. In Miami, the sold bonds to provide the funds on behalf of the city. $400M bonds now, but due to be paid starting in 2036. By the time the future taxpayers are done, they will have paid back over $1 Billion. And by 2036, the Marlins will be asking for a NEW new stadium.

    • clydeserra - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      there is no way a publicly funded stadium happens.

      The best Lew Wolff can hope for is a SF style free right of way.

  2. blacksables - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Monterrey, Mexico.

    It needs to happen.

    • blacksables - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Let’s see A’s fans travel to Mexico and act stupid. Please let it happen.

      • clydeserra - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:25 PM

        wut?

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        they don’t need to travel to Mexico to act stupid…

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      Monterrey is still violent and scary…

      Yes, it has improved a bit from 2010 and 2011 levels but nowhere near enough to justify or warrant this.

      I mean, only a few yrs ago dead bodies were being dumped or hung up for folks to see.

      Bullet holes are sill in buildings 3 to 4 yrs later.

      “But Alanis, like most residents of Monterrey, knows that he lives in a city that is only half-saved. That night, he would drive over the cobblestone streets of Barrio Antiguo, once the premier night-life zone, pointing out the near-lifeless streets that previously were packed with revelers. He pointed to the bullet holes in the wall of the Cafe Iguana, where four people were slain in May 2011.”

      “Later, he would drive to the Casino Royale, where the ruthless Zetas drug gang set a fire that killed more than 50 people that year. The building remains a burned-out husk, its fence adorned with white crosses commemorating the dead.”

      Sadly, from the Fall of 2013, there is this…

      “The butcher shot in the head Sept. 5. The bakery supply salesman slain Sept. 24. The four patrons of a suburban bar killed by gunmen Sept. 26, their deaths apparently a message to the owner to pay up.”

      Again, it IS improving… but it needs to continue improving and it needs to last for a longer period of time…

  3. hackerjay - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Public transportation or not, I have a very hard time believing that the Coliseum’s spot is the best one. There is no hanging around before or after a game with that area. You get in on the train as the doors open, and you leave as quickly as possible after the game.

    • jrob23 - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      for real. That’s just ghetto there. He probably signed the lease because it’s cheap as heck and he isn’t too worried about the fan experience. He doesn’t mind his team being the farm system for the large markets because Billy has worked miracles. That won’t last forever. Billy will eventually tire of this and bolt for a team that spends so he can prove he can win it all. It will NEVER happen in Oakland.

      • clydeserra - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        its not the ghetto. Its an industrial area that is slowly being residentialized.

        There is nothing there really, you are right. that is a problem.

        Its nice for tailgates.

  4. proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Who pays for the plumbing improvements?

    • clydeserra - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      the coliseum authority.

      The place is below sea level. that is your problem right there

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:36 AM

        I realize that pumps are a recent invention and all…

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    “Yay!! We get to stay in our home!”
    -e.coli

    • blacksables - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Now that’s funny.

    • dillongeeescapeplan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Well done.

  6. spacenettle - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    Oh.no Coliseum

  7. coffeeblack95616 - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Wolff should build a coliseum facing SF and the Giants’ park. It could build off the whole rivalry issue. Put in some condos across the street and build it near Jack London Square and you would have a jewel in what should be a beautiful city. Tragically, the prime land that is Oakland is overrun with a blighted and undereducated community that seems to have little pride in its environs as based on all the litter and spray paint and dilapidated buildings and houses. This new stadium could be the start of an improvement to the community.

    • clydeserra - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      wut?

      Oakland is a port city. JLS and Howard terminal are places that once were very important parts of the port. The conversion, as with any conversion, is slow and has many stops and starts.

      Oakland is still a busy sea port.

  8. barrybondsisthealltimehomerunking - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    It’s bad real bad. I have been to all 30 stadiums these would be my bottom 3.

    28. O.Co
    29. Rogers Centre
    30. Tropicana Field

  9. jwbiii - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Or maybe not. From the NewBallpark.org link above:

    Oakland Mayor Jean Quan denies that the A’s and the JPA have come to a lease agreement

    [JPA vice char] Larry Reid also appears to be surprised.

  10. flyinhighwithvick - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Move them back to Philly. Build a brand new stadium down by the 30th St. Station.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      Think bigger! Broad and Lehigh – the former Baker Bowl.

      • flyinhighwithvick - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        Not the nicest of areas up there, plus you have the backdrop of the skyline real close down on 30th.

  11. clydeserra - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Good. I fking love that place. Mostly because you all hate it.

    • hcf95688 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      thats where I’m at with it.

      Not to mention great memories, reasonably priced tickets and plenty of room for tailgating.

  12. sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    That building won’t be standing in 10 more years…

    There is a problem with that building in it’s bowels…

  13. dillongeeescapeplan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Sewage problems are the new market inefficiency.

  14. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    How did I not notice that the A’s, with their sewage backup problems, had guys named Colon and (sounds like) Yo’ Anus last year? If they could swing a trade for Pujols and maybe Leake or Asdrubal, or a dyslexic Park, I might lose my 13-year-old mind.

  15. irishmanknowsall - Jun 26, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Move to Indianapolis. New stadium, short road trips everywhere, away from SF competition. Get out of that dump, leaving the Cubs to having the worst stadium in the majors, setting aside history. Wrigley is falling apart and in a bad neighborhood from standpoint of having zero parking. Might have been a good location 100 years ago. Time to move, turn Wrigley into the new baseball HoF, which is desperately needed. There, or Fenway.

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