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A’s See New Lease Terms in Oakland, but Fans Aren’t in the Mood

  • City officials are set to present an updated offer for the club to stay temporarily at the Coliseum.
  • Oakland begins its 2024 home schedule with four weak attendance totals as fan anger rises.
Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The good news for the A’s is there is further progress in the team’s lease extension talks with Oakland. 

But staying at the Coliseum—where attendance is low and fan unrest is high—also could become very bad news for the beleaguered MLB club. 

The city of Oakland is presenting the A’s with an updated version of its proposed term sheet for the club to stay at the Coliseum for the 2025–27 seasons while a new ballpark is being built in Las Vegas. That revised offer, according to ESPN and San Francisco’s KGO-TV, includes:

  • A $97 million total extension fee that is a radical departure from the current $1.5 million annual rent the team currently pays
  • A provision for the club to sell its 50% share in the Coliseum complex, allowing for future development to occur on the site
  • A further provision for the A’s to bear the costs of field conversion when the United Soccer League’s Oakland Roots play at the Coliseum
  • An elimination of previously stated demands by the city to retain the A’s name and team colors, and to have an MLB guarantee of a future expansion team
  • A five-year term with an opt-out after three years, allowing both the A’s and the city to have flexibility should changes occur in the Las Vegas construction timeline

Despite the 57-year-old Coliseum’s state of increasing age and disrepair, the venue has existed for weeks as the most likely temporary option for the A’s, in part because it is already approved for league use by the MLB Players Association and would not require significant modifications. Staying in the Oakland market would also preserve a local media-rights deal with NBC Sports California that paid the club $67 million last year. 

The Coliseum lease issue is set for further discussion Tuesday when the A’s meet again with Oakland city officials.

Challenging Signs

The current mood among Oakland fans, however, is angry, and the A’s are now threatening to post attendance marks not seen anywhere in MLB in more than a generation. After the club’s Opening Day was marked by a large-scale fan protest in the Coliseum parking lot, the team drew a total of 26,902 for the entire four-game, season-opening series against the Guardians (above), resulting in three losses for the A’s. That four-game total was less than what six other MLB teams each drew for just their Sunday home games, despite the day coinciding with the Easter holiday. 

The current A’s attendance average of 6,726, if it holds for the duration of the season, will be MLB’s lowest non-COVID-19 total since Oakland averaged just 3,787 per game during the 1979 season. 

MLB is aiming to settle the club’s temporary stadium issue in the coming weeks, in part to allow for the finalizing of the 2025 schedule and its release this summer.

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