April 17, 2024

“No scheming”: The A’s and Oakland enjoy a productive first discussion over the Coliseum lease renewal.

A’s president Dave Kaval met with Oakland and Alameda County officials at the A’s executive offices in Jack London Square on Thursday morning to discuss a possible lease extension for the team at the Coliseum.

In a 45-minute meeting that was described as positive and informal by those in attendance, everything was put on the table to facilitate discussions about an extension that would keep the A’s in Oakland until at least 2028 — the earliest date their proposed ballpark in Las Vegas is expected to be ready.

It’s the first time the A’s have discussed an extension with local officials in person, according to Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao’s chief of staff Leigh Hanson and City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan also were among those in attendance.

“It’s a recognition that we all have to work together, we’re all in the same boat to some degree,” Haubert said. “The fact that we had a dialogue, had a positive dialogue, is a good thing. There were no food fights. No backstabbing. No yelling at each other. It’s professional dialogue.”

The A’s also have met in recent weeks with city officials in Salt Lake City and Sacramento about playing in Triple-A ballparks that seat 15,400 and 14,000, respectively.

They expect to continue having conversations with representatives from Oakland in the coming weeks with the hope of reaching a resolution soon, before MLB releases its schedule for 2025 in the summer.“We had a positive meeting with the city and county,” said an A’s spokesperson familiar with Thursday’s meeting. “We look forward to further discussions regarding a lease extension at the Coliseum for the interim period before the Vegas ballpark opens.”

The big question is what Oakland would want in return and if the A’s are able to give it to them.

Thao said last September that she would want “some tangibles for our city.” Among those discussed again on Thursday were the idea of the A’s name and logo being kept in Oakland, the guarantee of an MLB expansion team coming to the city, and a guarantee that the Oakland Roots and/or Oakland Soul soccer teams could play games at the Coliseum.

But many of those factors would involve cooperation from additional parties, such as Major League Baseball. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has already said that he isn’t in position to guarantee an expansion team to any city, because MLB hasn’t formally decided on expansion yet and doesn’t plan to do so until the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays are in new stadiums.

Manfred also has said the matters of the name and logo are up to A’s owner John Fisher, who would present a recommendation to the other MLB clubs.

Both Fisher and Manfred have expressed concern about the viability of the 58-year-old Coliseum, with Manfred saying in November that “at some point a facility deteriorates to the level it’s just not a major league facility.”

Thursday’s planned Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board meeting was canceled. They have yet to file development and non-relocation agreements for their new ballpark, but they have submitted three different ballpark renderings, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The renderings contain different plans to build on three locations throughout the Tropicana hotel site. The site is 35 acres, but the A’s 33,000-seat ballpark will have to fit on just nine acres.

The Tropicana hotel will be shut down on April 2 to clear the site for the A’s to begin building as soon as nine months, per the report. The A’s hope to open their stadium in 2028.

Prior to Thursday, the A’s already had been engaging in discussions with Oakland officials about an extension to the Coliseum lease, but Haubert said he didn’t feel as though all sides were talking openly.

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