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Oakland approves A’s lease, with modifications the A’s don’t like


The baseball-football battle in Oakland continues to move from simmer to boil. Which perhaps isn’t the best metaphor when it comes to a stadium with a periodic sewage problem.

Via Matthew Artz of the Oakland Tribune, the City Council approved the 10-year A’s lease that the Raiders had opposed, with modifications that the A’s oppose.

The money and the major terms didn’t change. But the Oakland City Council has added language making the city and Alameda County immune from liability for lease violations committed by the Raiders. That pressure point underscores very real tensions between the A’s and Raiders regarding the future of the Coliseum.

The Raiders don’t like the A’s lease because it would delay the timetable for tearing the venue down and building a new stadium. And that’s apparently setting the stage for concern that, down the road, a courtroom battle between the two Bay Area teams will unfold.

It won’t get to that point if the A’s don’t accept the revised lease. A’s President Mike Crowley said the team is “disappointed” by the situation, but that the organization will “have to take a look at it and talk about it internally.”

If the A’s ultimately decide they don’t like it, there could be an issue. At least one member of Oakland City Council doesn’t seem to be willing to blink.

“There seems to be this pattern where everyone wants the city of Oakland to be on their page,” Dan Kalb said, via Artz. “Maybe they’re used to seeing the city of Oakland get pushed around. I think there needs to be some clarity that developers or team owners need to be on our page.”

Another member of City Council stormed out of the meeting at which the vote was taken, expressing concern that the A’s would leave Oakland if the lease isn’t finalized.

“It is more nonsense,” Noel Gallo said, via Will Kane of the San Francisco Chronicle. “The City Council is full of nonsense.”

Balanced against Gallo’s concern that the A’s will leave was the worry, as expressed loudly by fans attending the meeting, that a lease for the baseball team will result in the Raiders moving.

“Don’t do the lease!” Raiders fan Brien Dixon screamed, via Artz. “This guy is never going to work with you. He doesn’t believe in you guys.”

So, basically, the situation is and continues to be a mess so big that the fresh flow of raw sewage at the Coliseum would be regarded as a welcome diversion at this point.