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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Oakland and the A’s Could Reunite for a Few More Years. Here’s How

  • Team, city, and county officials will meet Thursday regarding a possible lease extension.
  • Media money and stadium approvals could help prompt a return to the Oakland Coliseum.
Oakland A's logo at RingCentral Coliseum
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

After months of increasing toxicity between the A’s and the city of Oakland, the two estranged organizations could be finding their way back to each other—at least for a few more years.

The A’s are set to meet Thursday with officials from the city and Alameda County, Calif., according to the San Francisco Chronicle, regarding a potential lease extension, with the session itself representing a marked turnaround from the recent tenor of their relationship. Again foremost at issue—as it’s been for months—is where the A’s will play the 2025 to ’27 seasons while a new ballpark is being built in Las Vegas. 

Despite recent tours of minor league parks in Salt Lake City and Sacramento by A’s officials, including owner John Fisher, there are still two key reasons why the 57-year-old and increasingly dilapidated Oakland Coliseum remains potentially the leading option for those interim years.

  • By staying in the club’s current market, the A’s will remain eligible to receive their local media rights fees from NBC Sports California as part of a deal running through 2034 and paying the club $67 million in ’23. 
  • The Coliseum is already approved for MLB play and offers player amenities that most minor league facilities do not. Despite extensive physical and operational work to upgrade Buffalo’s Sahlen Field for the Blue Jays during the COVID-19 pandemic, complaints about the facility persisted, highlighting the complications that can occur staging big league games in smaller facilities. Playing at the Giants’ Oracle Park would involve another MLB-approved facility, but also create no shortage of schedule challenges given how actively the Giants use that ballpark for nongame purposes.

A decision on the temporary home for the A’s is due by the summer, when the 2025 MLB schedule is expected to be released. In the meantime, stadium development in Las Vegas has been troubled on multiple fronts, leading MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to say last week he would be “disappointed” if the A’s miss their ’28 target to open the new stadium. 

Further coloring the discussions back in Oakland is a new effort by the Bay Area–based African American Sports and Entertainment Group to acquire a 50% interest in the Oakland Coliseum site currently owned by the A’s. The group would like to develop that land, and plans for the area after the A’s leave for Las Vegas have not been solidified. 

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