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A’s sign two-year lease to stay at Coliseum

Oakland AthleticsThe Oakland A’s and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority agreed on a two-year lease extension for Coliseum, giving the team control of concessions and flexibility for the future.

The two sides had suffered through some contentious negotiations: the authority, believing it had the upper hand, sought a lease extension between five and eight years long, while the A’s were seeking a shorter deal. How contentious? MLB got involved and threatened to move the A’s at AT&T Park temporarily while a new ballpark solution was determined. The threat worked, per the San Francisco Chronicle:

The A’s lease isn’t much better, authority members said. At two years, it’s much shorter than the Coliseum Authority hoped for and allows the team to control the stadium’s food services and revenues.

“We haven’t finished the ball game, so to speak, but we’ve scored some points,” said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, the Coliseum Authority president. “It’s not ideal, but its progress and we’ll see where it takes us down the road.”

The road, observers speculate, could come to a precipitous end if all of this talk doesn’t eventually lead to new stadiums. Oakland and Alameda County officials have been working on preliminary plans for a sprawling multi-stadium complex on both sides of Highway 880, but any concrete plans would first have to be run through a political gauntlet.

Even if a new San Jose ballpark were to be approved tomorrow, the A’s would need the Coliseum for at least three more seasons; it’s hard to see a new MLB ballpark being put together any sooner than 2017, which is the timeline the Atlanta Braves are working under in their new-ballpark plan.

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