Wolff envisions Coliseum improvements if lease is extended

Wolff envisions Coliseum improvements if lease is extended
April 16, 2014, 5:00 pm
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O.co Coliseum is currently the only two-sport complex in Major League Baseball. (AP)

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ANAHEIM – If the Oakland A’s manage to get a 10-year lease extension hammered out to remain at the Coliseum, co-owner Lew Wolff says the team is ready to sink money to make improvements at the aging venue.

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First and foremost would be two new scoreboards to replace the outdated one in left field and the ones that extend horizontally between the first and second decks.

“One thing that would make the ballpark look better and save a lot of aggravation is a top-notch scoreboard,” Wolff told CSN California on Wednesday. “We need to put in two, put in exactly where they are. (The current ones) are falling apart. We can’t get parts.”

Wolff said the team is willing to make improvements in excess of $10 million if a 10-year lease gets completed. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority is expected to meet Friday to discuss the lease, according to a report in Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

The A’s long have had their sights set on moving to San Jose. But that plan is held up in legal proceedings and may not ever become reality. Meanwhile, Oakland business leaders are trying to rally support for a new ballpark at the Port of Oakland, and there’s also been talk of building a new stadium at the current Coliseum site.

Regardless, the A’s figure to be playing several more years at the Coliseum, their home since moving from Kansas City in 1968. The venue, the only remaining two-sport complex in Major League Baseball, has garnered lots of unwanted publicity in the past two years for sewage and plumbing problems, not to mention a postponed game April 4 when the field was left uncovered and judged unplayable after rain fell.

Meanwhile, the city of Oakland also has its eye on a potential new football stadium for the Raiders at the current Coliseum complex. Wolff told the Chronicle that a proposed A’s lease contains a clause where the A’s would be willing to evacuate the Coliseum if the Raiders begin building their own stadium.

Where the A’s would then play their games is an open question, and one Wolff isn’t willing to dive into right now.

“I’m taking each thing incrementally,” he said.