Oakland Coliseum

A's say they deferred Coliseum rent payment for lack of use during coronavirus

A's say they deferred Coliseum rent payment for lack of use during coronavirus

The A's deferred a $1.2 million rent payment due to the Oakland Coliseum last month because they couldn't use the stadium, the team said in a statement Tuesday.

The payment was due April 1 as part of the team's annual agreement to use the Coliseum. In a statement provided to NBC Sports California, the A's said the Coliseum Authority "has been unable to make the Coliseum available for use by the A's" and that the team deferred payment as a result.

"The A’s sent notice to the JPA in March stating the Club is in support of these public health efforts and would defer annual rent payment, given the building was not available for use by the organization, per provisions in the contract," the statement read. "The A's look forward to when the City and County feel it is safe to lift current directives, and the A's are granted access to the facility to play baseball."

Henry Gardener, the Coliseum Authority's interim executive director, said earlier Tuesday that A's executives claimed the team had "no ability to pay."

“They said because they haven’t used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay,” Gardner told Bay Area News Group's David DeBolt on Tuesday.

Oakland banned events of 1,000-plus people on March 11, and MLB first delayed the start of the 2020 regular season and canceled spring training a day later due to the coronavirus pandemic. The A's said in a statement to NBC Sports California that the City of Oakland Alameda County have kept the Coliseum available as a potential surge location for COVID-19 patients. That, combined with state and local bans on mass gatherings, made the Coliseum unavailable for use, the team said.

In a letter obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, the A's told the Coliseum Authority would invoke the force majeure provision of the 10-year lease the team signed in 2014 and defer the rental payment.

The city and county still have $55 million in unpaid debt from renovations when the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995, according to DeBolt. DeBolt reported the stadium authority is "tied up in a legal battle" with the Warriors over $48 million in unpaid debt on Oracle Arena. The Warriors were in the midst of their first season in San Francisco when the NBA season was suspended, while the Raiders are set to play their first season in Las Vegas.

The A's had planned to build a new ballpark at Oakland's Howard Terminal by 2023, and the team officially agreed to purchase Alameda County's shares of the Coliseum in December. In March, the A's requested fast-track environmental certification of the site from California Gov. Gavin Newsom under state Assembly Bill 734. A group of shipping, trucking and steel companies filed a lawsuit on March 17 opposing the team's submission, and state officials' focus on the coronavirus pandemic likely will push back the team's timeline.

NBC Sports California's Jon Williams contributed to this report.

Why Oracle Park stands above rest as Bay Area's best live sports venue

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USATSI

Why Oracle Park stands above rest as Bay Area's best live sports venue

We really are blessed here in the Bay Area.

From the waters of McCovey Cove brushing up against Oracle Park to the shiny panache of the Warriors’ new digs down the street at Chase Center to the South Bay behemoth that is Levi’s Stadium, Northern California features some beautiful homes for its professional teams.

NBC Sports Bay Area compiled an eight-team bracket of the best arenas and stadiums the Bay has to offer on social media Saturday, giving fans the opportunity to anoint a champion. Some of these decisions were easy, others not so much.

We’ll start with the top left side of the bracket and work counterclockwise.

Oracle Park vs. Candlestick

Obviously 49ers fans who were around for the dynastic run through the 1980s and 1990s have a special place in their heart for the team’s former stomping grounds. But this is an easy decision. 

Oracle Park has been through plenty of names but has maintained the beauty and charm that have consistently made it among MLB fans’ favorite stadiums overall. Looking out over the field and out into the San Francisco Bay on a Sunday afternoon, there are few views in professional sports that equate.

Candlestick was a shell of its former self by the end, not to mention that unbearable wind. Plenty of championships and success were had by both the 49ers and Giants at Candlestick, but in terms of where the average fan would want to watch a game, Oracle Park clearly is the choice.

Chase Center vs. Coliseum

This must be a typo, right?

The Coliseum has plenty of history in its past, but any stadium that has sewage seeping into the dugouts and locker rooms doesn’t belong anywhere near a list of the best facilities.

There wasn’t much winning in the inaugural NBA season at Chase Center for the Warriors, but it’s pretty easy to see when arriving why the total cost of the arena is north of $2 billion. 

Chase Center wins in a landslide.

Levi’s Stadium vs. Earthquakes Stadium

Although Levi’s Stadium always has been met with mixed reviews by 49ers fans, it still is quite an impressive facility on appearance alone. The stadium also was well ahead of its time when it came to technology.

Earthquakes Stadium, meanwhile, is the smallest in Major League Soccer, having been constructed back in 2015. While it did build what at the time was the largest outdoor bar in North America, the allure of the average Bay Area sports fan never was fully captured.

Levi’s comes out on top here, although the idea of a massive outdoor bar sounds pretty enticing once these social distancing guidelines are lifted.

SAP Center vs. Oakland Arena (formerly Oracle)

The atmosphere of a Sharks game at SAP Center is excellent, and the team has brought some incredible moments to the fans in the South Bay, including most recently the incredible third-period comeback against the Vegas Golden Knights in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

But there was no experience in the NBA like a playoff game inside “Roaracle.” The noise and raucous environment made life miserable for all of the Warriors’ postseason foes. Although the team clinched just one of its three recent NBA titles at Oracle, there are way more than a handful of iconic moments in team history that played out inside the hallowed halls of Oakland’s largest basketball arena.

Although the arena no longer is hosting any NBA action, the endless memories and atmosphere put it over the top of the SAP Center.

Semifinals

Oracle Park vs. Chase Center

This one is tricky.

Chase Center likely wins out based on appearance alone, but Oracle Park has so many more quintessential moments in Giants’ history, with the team bringing home three World Series titles in five seasons.

Both have a waterfront location and barely are a mile apart. 

Until the Warriors can bring their winning ways across the Bay, Oracle Park sneaks by here in probably the tightest matchup of this mini-tournament.

Oakland Arena vs. Levi’s Stadium

This one is tougher than it sounds. Levi’s Stadium is so far superior from a technology perspective, and we finally got to hear postseason roars in Santa Clara when the Niners won two playoff games in 2019 at home, both in commanding fashion.

But there was something special about Oakland Arena during a playoff series that can’t be replicated by any stadium or arena in the Bay.

It’s hard to explain without being in it, but the explosion of euphoria that took over the arena when Steph Curry or Klay Thompson would hit a big shot late in a playoff game or even a decent regular-season game is unmatched.

Oakland Arena advances.

[RELATED: Why Steph is the Bay Area's all-time favorite MVP athlete]

Final

Oracle Park vs. Oakland Arena

The folks over at the Oracle corporate offices must be smiling here, as the company name has preceded both of these special venues. 

Similar championship and tradition histories make this decision arduous.

But for a combination of a great fan experience and a facility rich with winning heritage, it has to be China Basin and Oracle Park that takes the cake here. Plus, it's hard to beat those garlic fries.

Hopefully, soon we can return to all of these venues and enjoy a game in-person, as American sports remain entirely on pause while we battle the coronavirus.

Source: Raiders decline their 2020 option to play at Oakland Coliseum

Source: Raiders decline their 2020 option to play at Oakland Coliseum

The Raiders have long planned to play the 2020 season in Las Vegas. They’re building a state-of-the-art venue just off the Las Vegas Strip scheduled to open this summer, but they established a contingency plan should Allegiant Stadium encounter unexpected delays.

They added a 2020 option into their last lease with Oakland Coliseum just in case.

The Raiders had until April 1 to execute it. They didn’t need that much time.

The team declined its 2020 option with Oakland Coliseum, a source familiar with the situation told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday morning.

Construction at Allegiant Stadium has continued despite the Nevada’s 30-day shutdown due to the cornonavirus pandemic forcing local, state and federal governments to prohibit large gatherings and encourage social distancing.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, construction was not impacted by the shutdown of non-essential businesses.

Allegiant Stadium construction is scheduled to be complete by July 31.

[RELATED: Guenther should be pleased with Raiders' defensive haul]

Declining the Oakland Coliseum essentially cuts long-term ties with the East Bay. The Raiders will conduct football operations at their Alameda training complex through the summer. They’re wooing free agents from that location now and will conduct the draft and the offseason program there as well. Training camp will take place in Napa, after which the Raiders will move to a new facility in Henderson, Nev. and be completely embedded in their new market.