OAKLAND -- The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority issued a statement on Wednesday regarding negotiations with Oakland Athletics on a ten-year lease to remain at O.co Coliseum. The Authority remains committed to working with the Athletics; however, they believe there are pressing issues that must be addressed as negotiations continue.
“The Authority made an offer to keep the Athletics at O.co Coliseum that safeguarded city and county taxpayers while addressing the team’s concerns. Unfortunately, it took less than a few hours for them to reject that offer. Despite this, we are still committed to negotiating a fair deal,” said Coliseum Authority Chairman Nate Miley, who serves as an Alameda County Supervisor.
[RELATED: A's reject Coliseum's 10-year lease offer]
Among the issues cited by the Authority are that the Oakland Athletics owe the City and County more than $5 million because they have not been paying their rent for over five years. While the team is asking that this debt be written off, the Authority insists that this money could be used for public purposes such has hiring more police officers or funding public health services.
Additionally, the Athletics are demanding that the Authority give the team rent subsidies of $3.5 million per year. This is despite the team being an MLB franchise with a market value of nearly $1 billion.
[RELATED: Forbes values A's at $495 million]
“We look forward to addressing these issues and are committed to negotiations,” stated Oakland Councilmember and Coliseum Authority Vice-chair Larry Reid. “We agree with the A’s that they should stay for at least ten years, and we are staying at the bargaining table. We look forward to continued discussions and to coming to an agreement on a mutually beneficial lease.”
The Authority added that it wants to keep baseball in Oakland, and a ten-year extension, lasting through the 2024 season, gives the Athletics a place to a call home and fans an opportunity to cheer a great team.