A’s Agreement to Stay in Oakland Put on Hold

Though Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff has long wanted to move his team to San Jose, he has reached a tentative lease agreement to stay put for another decade.

The deal would keep the A's in the Oakland Coliseum through 2025 and comes to a vote July 1 by the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. But a vote scheduled to occur Friday was delayed after four of eight coliseum authority board members did not show.

It will also need final approval from the city of Oakland and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Wolff and puttering MLB Commissioner Bud Selig continue to say the team needs a new venue. Selig still hasn't ruled whether the A's can move into Silicon Valley—territory that the San Francisco Giants have claimed. The beleaguered Coliseum, home to the A's since 1968, is the only facility in the nation that doubles as home to an MLB and NFL team.

As the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Lauren Hepler notes, the tentative lease deal leaves San Jose in the lurch. The city, which sued MLB for delaying the move, has already penciled in the A's move into major downtown development plans. On June 17, the City Council unanimously OK'd the long-term blueprint for the 250-acre Diridon Station zone.

The plan envisions turning the transit hub into a bustling mixed-use destination for high-speed rail and BART with nearly 5 million square feet of office and industrial space, 900 hotel rooms, 2,600 residential units and 424,000 square feet of retail.

"The question San Jose will have to mull over as it hones an implementation strategy for the Diridon area is whether a development project potentially without baseball will be enough to fill those new buildings," Hepler writes.

Oakland wants to keep the team as long as possible, but MLB rejected a site at the Howard Terminal near Jack London Square, according to the Associated Press.

"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," Selig said in a statement released Tuesday by the MLB.

A previous version of this story has been updated.—Editor

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

13 Comments

  1. Wolff, San Francisco Giants leadership and Selig have been awful in how they have handled this situation…

    Wolff in how he on one end expresses an interest in moving to SJ, while on the otherhand signing a 10 year lease with Coliseum and proposing a stadium in Jack London Square.

    The San Francisco Giants for being greedy pieces of crap in trying to claim SJ as giants territory eventhough the stadium would be 30 miles further from Pac Bell Park than the As current piece of crap home is.

    And last but not least Selig, who is an idiot who has been in his job for waaay too long and needs to retire.

    • Wolff is only doing the stadium deal until the lawsuit is decided. The real bad guys are MLB and the SF Giants. We should only care about what’s in San Jose’s best interest economically.

  2. Well done Wolff, now what is Chuck going to do with all the land the city purchased? What a joke SJ rejected the Giants years ago (big mistake) This council is brain dead when it comes to making business deals. Welcome to San Jose City Council, the biggest idiots in the state, if not the country.

    • What is Chuck going to do? He will sell the land he purchased for the ball park with about $24.45million dollars of taxpayer money to his good friend and real estate developer Lew Wolff. Yes, the same Lew Wolff who owns the A’s (and the Earthquakes and their currently under construction stadium on Coleman) who purchased the rights to buy the land for $50k (for the right to purchase NOT the actual purchase) from the City in the event that the MLB does not allow an A’s move to San Jose. What might the City sell that land for? When Lew purchased the “purchase rights” in 2010 the land was valued at $6.98MILL (about 28% of what it was purchased for). Not a bad deal for a friend of Chuck more than a 70% discount!

  3. is there any doubt a MLB park downtown in the middle of mass transit links could be anything but successful. look what AT&T park did for China Basin. the chippies harping on Reed are only self interested haters. the Giants would have been in Fla. long ago had not the then owners of the A’s (Hass family) agreed to let the Giants have “territorial rights” to SCC – for nothing – this allowed the giants to secure private $ to build ATT – which by the way got some help from the city of SF on the land deal. now the A’s desperately need a new ballpark and where is the true sportsman like gratitude from the giants.
    Ask Selig what makes him think he knows what’s good for baseball in the Bay Area – and ask the Reed bashers what do they know what’s good for the city and not just themselves.

    • You are correct, sir. If we all agree that what’s best for San Jose’s economy most important, then of course the A’s moving down here is the right thing. I wonder if people realize the ALL the candidates for mayor agree on this.

  4. The real idiots are taxpayers and the American people who vote for the Congress lizards who give Big Baseball an “anti-trust” exemption which then allows them to carve up “territories”.

    Criminally illegal for any other business.

    Smash crony capitalism! Repeal the baseball anti-trust exemption.

  5. Notwithstanding the generosity exhibited by the Haas family in granting the Giants territorial rights to the south bay, I don’t see any evidence of generosity in Lew Wolff’s efforts to move his team to San Jose. I see just the opposite: his sweetheart deal with Chuck Reed is going to provide San Jose taxpayers with zilch, while putting almost $20 million dollars in his own, already fat with cash, pockets.

    Chuck Reed’s defenders, as well as those blinded by their hunger for a baseball team, fail to acknowledge the idiocy of his pursuit of the A’s. Buying a construction site for a baseball team (or any other enterprise) that is legally prohibited from locating there is indefensible during the most stable of financial climates, but to do so at a time of strained budgets and volatile real estate values, and assume all the financial risk entailed, is lunacy. An objective observer would have no choice but to conclude that Chuck Reed’s strategy was authored by Lew Wolff.

    If San Jose really was such an ideal place for the A’s baseball team then there would’ve been no reason for the city to do anything other than be cordial. Great baseball cities are scarce; recession resistant areas are scarce; perfect weather cities are scarce; good downtown stadium sites are scarce, so someone explain why Chuck Reed behaved as if San Jose was the ugliest girl at the major league ball? There can be no question that an A’s team in San Jose would’ve been a great showcase for baseball and made money for every team owner in the league; if that wasn’t enough of an incentive for baseball to make the move happen then the city should’ve accepted that MLB was serious about its obligation to the SF Giants and looked to other opportunities. Instead, it squandered the taxpayer’s money.

    Was this just a case of a small town schmuck being outplayed by a Wolff in sheep’s clothing, or are Mayor Reed’s hands dirtier than even I want to imagine?

    • A shrewd, reasoned, perfectly articulated analysis that rings true.
      Thanks ff.
      If the taxpayers can be so oblivious to the fact that they’re being fleeced in such a high profile case as this, just imagine what the City gets away with in scores of other dealings that are not so well publicized.
      Most San Joseans hold the belief that our city government is clean and corruption free.
      That’s kind of what you’d expect of people who don’t recognize corruption even when it’s staring them in the face.

      • The sad part is that aside from Frustrated FinFan, David Wall, Me and a very few other POSTERS, this side of the fact equation gets ZERO attention. When we do post in this topic here (though not in this thread -yet…) we hear the same things that can be sourced directly to Mayor Reed and the Baseball San Jose crowd lead by Michael Mulcahy – “This will cost the taxpayers NOTHING!” or “What part of “private money will construct the stadium” do you not understand?”

        Sure, the A’s say they would pay all construction costs for “THE STADIUM” forgetting to mention that the stadium would be built on land purchased with tax dollars and GIVEN to the A’s. Also forgetting to mention that THE CITY and its TAXPAYERS are responsible for all “infrastructure” improvements to tone area surrounding the stadium sight (estimated at $300million in old money).

        All for the shot at injecting a “”whopping” estimated $3million in annual tax revenue to the City???

        Regardless of whether or not the MLB ever approves a move the taxpayers are the real losers not like Reed and Co hasn’t ever sold you a bill of goods or anything…

  6. > Most San Joseans hold the belief that our city government is clean and corruption free.

    Who knows?

    You certainly can’t trust most polls to tell you what “most people think”.

    Just like the so-called “unemployment numbers”, enormous opportunity for those in the business of constructing “narratives” about how happy the people are under the regime.

  7. ” Selig still hasn’t ruled whether the A’s can move into Silicon Valley—territory that the San Francisco Giants have claimed. ”

    Sorry, but in fact he has ruled and he ruled before San Jose filed its lawsuit against MLB.

    “The case-management statement says: In fact, MLB denied the Athletics’ relocation request on June 17, 2013, one day before this lawsuit was filed. On that date, Commissioner Selig formally notified the Athletics’ ownership that he was not satisfied with the club’s relocation proposal.”

    http://blog.sfgate.com/athletics/2013/12/07/did-mlb-deny-the-as-request-to-move-to-san-jose-in-june/