The expected vote on the A’s 10-year lease extension at the Oakland Coliseum did not take place Friday, as members of the Oakland City Council reportedly boycotted the meeting.
That development came as a surprise to other members of the eight-person Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which operates the Coliseum and was prepared to vote on the matter.
It’s yet another snag in negotiations to finalize a long-term agreement to keep the A’s at the Coliseum beyond the 2015 season. The team’s current lease is due to expire after that season.
The lease must be approved by the Coliseum Authority, the Oakland City Council and Alameda County supervisors.
Oakland city leaders say they need more time to deliberate over lease details that they say were still being fine-tuned and discussed with the team earlier this week.
Oakland mayor Jean Quan and City Council President Pat Kernighan issued a joint statement Friday that read, in part:
“The City Council met to discuss the proposal in closed session Monday. It was clear we needed more time to negotiate terms that will keep the team in Oakland and protect residents’ interests. Council President Pat Kernighan and Vice Mayor Larry Reid made multiple requests to (Coliseum Authority) Chair Nate Miley to reschedule today’s JPA meeting. Our top priority is to ensure this deal is successful, and bringing it to a vote before it was ready would only delay a final agreement with the team.”
Adding some confusion to the whole issue was a statement released Wednesday from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, which gave the impression that a final agreement on a lease had been struck.
A’s co-owner Lew Wolff told CSN California on Wednesday that elements of a 10-year lease would include escape clauses for the A’s that could allow them to leave the Coliseum during the course of the 10-year term. It’s unknown if those elements are part of the sticking point for Oakland city leaders.