A’s Agree to Coliseum Lease Agreement Changes Proposed by City

City of Oakland leaders said today that the Oakland A’s have accepted changes that the City Council made last week to a lease agreement that would keep the baseball team at the O.co Coliseum for another 10 years.

City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, one of Oakland’s members on the Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority that oversees operations at the Coliseum sports complex, said in a statement, “I am absolutely thrilled that the World Series-bound A’s will stay in Oakland.”

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Council President Pat Kernighan said in a separate statement that, “We are pleased to hear today that the A’s owners are agreeing to the terms the City Council approved last week for a 10-year lease extension.”

Quan and Kaplan said, “We want to thank the team’s ownership, our colleagues at the county of Alameda, our negotiators and everyone at the city of Oakland who has worked tirelessly on our shared priority of keeping the A’s here at home.”

The baseball team confirmed that it has accepted the City Council’s changes, saying in a statement, “The Oakland A’s have come to a lease agreement with the JPA (Joint Powers Authority) on all outstanding points, regarding a new 10-year lease at the Coliseum.”

However, A’s pointed out that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors must still approve the agreement when it votes on the matter on July 29.

But Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid, another city representative on the JPA, said he believes the Board of Supervisors will approve the agreement.

The A’s said, “We appreciate the cooperation and efforts of Oakland city officials in this process and are optimistic that our negotiations have led to a fair and mutually-beneficial relationship.”

The team said, “Most of all, we are happy for our great fans who, pending the county vote, will know that the Oakland Athletics will continue to play its games at the O.co Coliseum.”

At a rancorous three-hour meeting last Wednesday night, the City Council made six amendments to the lease agreement.

A’s President Michael Crowley told the council during the meeting that the A’s could only accept one of the amendments, which simply corrects a typographical error in the lease agreement.

After the meeting, Crowley said he was “disappointed” that the council didn’t accept the original language that was drafted after 14 months of negotiations and approved by the Joint Powers Authority in a 6-2 vote on July 3.

The lease agreement includes an escape clause that allows the A’s to leave Oakland after 2018.

It also allows the city to force the A’s out of the O.co Coliseum if a deal to develop the site and build a new football-only stadium there for the Oakland Raiders materializes.

The most significant amendment made by the City Council would free the city of Oakland and Alameda County from liability if the Raiders violate the terms of their lease at the Coliseum.

Another amendment is a clarification of the language in the agreement that allows the A’s to leave Oakland at the end of 2018.

Quan and Kernighan said, “Once the A’s ownership and the county have approved the deal, we look forward to moving on to talking about the bigger goal: building a beautiful new ballpark for the team right here in Oakland.”

Kaplan said, “This deal was an incredible team effort, and I’ve fought very hard to ensure this victory for the fans, team, workers and the economic future of our city.”

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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