by Steve Tavares, East Bay Citizen 

The Athletics and Raiders have a home in Oakland, at least, for the next few years. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority approved a two-year lease Monday for the Athletics, along with a one-year extension of its current deal with the Raiders. Both teams are seeking new stadiums, if not in Oakland, but somewhere in the Bay Area.

The short-term lease agreements were also described as short-term successes for keeping the teams in Oakland. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, also the chair of the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, said primarily of the Raiders deal, “It’s progress. But we haven’t finished the ballgame, but we scored two points.”

Of the three teams eyeing an exodus from the Coliseum, the Raiders have long been viewed as the most amendable to working with the JPA. Upon voting for the lease extension, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty applauded Raiders owner Mark Davis for his cooperation. “We have a partner who wants to work with us and I find that definitely refreshing,” said Haggerty.

The Raiders are seeking to be the main tenants at the same location, dubbed as Coliseum City. The A’s have had their sight on a new ballpark in San Jose for years, yet two potential sites in Oakland remain a possibility–one at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square and another at the current location.

Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, one of the city’s representatives on the JPA, said East Bay sports fans should view Monday’s vote as a positive step toward Oakland keeping two of its professional sports franchises. “We can tell the fans we have finished our short-term goals and now we can move toward resolving the long-term issue of building facilities,” said Kaplan following Monday’s JPA meeting at Oracle Arena. “Oakland is a sports town – and this is good news for the teams, the fans and the city alike.”

However, many of the Coliseum Authority board members were far less than enthusiastic about the terms of the deals, especially with the Athletics. Kaplan for instance, called it “not a horrible deal.” Haggerty added, “This falls short of what I would have hoped we winded up with,” but he says he supports it with the fans in mind. “They put up with a lot, but they continue to support a very good team.” Coliseum Authority board member Aaron Goodwin registered the only no vote against either deal. In an interview, Goodwin declined to say the agreements were bad, but he also noted his colleagues consistently voiced tepid support for the agreements. “I don’t vote for bad deals,” he told EBC.

Pressure from Major League Baseball on the JPA earlier this month to finalize a lease deal or risk the possibility of the team playing at San Francisco’s AT&T Park was a determining factor in negotiations, said Miley, “It’s not ideal, but it’s progress.” Miley and Kaplan both added, the new lease might even ingratiate the city and county with MLB as it fights to keep the team in Oakland, despite very public overtures to San Jose. A blue ribbon committee created by MLB to study the San Francisco Giants exclusive rights to the Santa Clara market has almost comically yielded few reports since its founding in 2009.

Under terms of the Raiders lease extension agreement, which still must be approved by the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the Raiders will play at Coliseum through the end of the 2014-15 football season and pay $400,000, plus half of concessions and stadium club dues. The JPA also agrees to allow the team to play a home game next season in London. Tailgating may get even more expensive, too, with allowances for the Raiders to charge up to $35 for parking. The lease also gives ownership the option of continuing to rent its practice facility in Alameda past the life of the lease at a fair market rate capped at $525,000 annually.

The Athletics lease runs from Dec. 31, 2015 and will pay the JPA $1.75 million annually. The deal also allows the team to control concession providers at the Coliseum complex and one interesting clause. The new deal prohibits the Athletics from making “unfactual statements” about the Coliseum, said the JPA’s Interim Executive Director Deena McClain. During the past baseball season, Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff mad several disparaging comments about the stadium’s plumbing and overall condition following incidents of flooding in the players’ locker room and dugout. AEG, the operator of the Coliseum, said the accidents had nothing to do with the state of the facility’s plumbing, but occurred after towels were flushed down toilets in restricted areas.

Cross posted from East Bay Citizen 

3 Responses

  1. Dark Mavis

    Thank you Don Perata for helping run up hundreds of millions of debt for Alameda County. We are paying $14M this year and another $10M a year for another TEN years…for a delapidated stadium. Thank you on behalf of the taxpayers. You’ve done a fine job.

  2. Oakie

    Geniuses like Kaplan did a fine job of negotiating an extension that’s an even worse deal that the original one set up by Perata. That takes some doing.

    Remember, the total payments by the city of Oakland and Alameda County are $20,000,000 each year for many years to come.

    And this is in support of 3 privately owned for profit sports teams, who pay out millions of dollars per star. For example, the top 10 players for the A’s make over a million dollars each:

    1 Yoenis Cespedes 8,500,000
    2 Coco Crisp 7,000,000
    3 Brett Anderson 5,750,000
    4 Alberto Callaspo 4,100,000
    5 Seth Smith 3,675,000
    6 Jed Lowrie 2,400,000
    7 John Jaso 1,800,000
    8 Brandon Moss 1,600,000
    9 Nick Punto 1,500,000
    10 Jerry Blevins 1,100,000

    Here are the total payments by the Raiders for 18 players each making more than a million:

    Darren McFadden $9,685,084
    Sebastian Janikowski $4,960,000
    Tyvon Branch $3,872,000
    Mike Brisiel $2,810,000
    Vance Walker $2,000,000
    Kevin Burnett $1,857,500
    Marcel Reece $1,857,485
    Charles Woodson $1,800,000
    Nick Roach $1,636,250
    Jared Veldheer $1,3246,750
    Pat Sims $1,500,000
    Mike Jenkins $1,500,000
    Jacoby Ford $1,451,962
    Kaluka Maiava $1,408,333
    Tracy Porter $1,375,000
    Stefan Wisniewski $1,127,837
    Jon Condo $1,125,834
    Lamarr Houston $1,078,750

    Here are the Golden State Warrior payroll:
    Andrew Bogut* $14,000,000
    David Lee* $13,878,000
    Andre Iguodala* $12,868,632
    Stephen Curry* $9,887,642
    Marreese Speights* $3,500,000
    Harrison Barnes* $2,923,920
    Klay Thompson* $2,317,920
    Jermaine O’Neal* $2,000,000
    Toney Douglas* $1,600,000
    Festus Ezeli* $1,066,920
    Nemanja Nedovic* $1,056,720

    So I have to ask, why should the average Oakland household (median income $47,000) have the burden of subsidizing these three For Profit enterprises which clearly have the wherewithal to afford these kind of salaries? And, to add insult to injury, never giving the right to vote on whether we want to pay these subsidies?

  3. Len Raphael

    Perata is considered the mastermind of that Raiders’ deal that costs Oakland and the County 10mill each per year, but it was enthusiastically approved by the City Council and presumedly the Alameda County Supervisors.

    The Council was so hot to get the Raiders back, they worked out the infamous interest rate swap deal with Goldman Sachs that freed up extra millions to sweeten the deal for the Raiders.


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