After some last-minute negotiations and a threatening email late last night from Lew Wolff, it looks like the City of Oakland has caved and the A's are now definitively staying in Oakland through the 2024 season. The team posted this statement about the deal to Twitter minutes ago.
As we discussed earlier, negotiations have been ongoing since April between Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff and the City of Oakland to keep the A's from high-tailing it out of town. Those negotiations heated up this week with a fresh threat from Wolff to pack up and move... somewhere... if the City doesn't agree to some lease terms by Friday.
San Jose was pretty much out, however, after the MLB seems to have all but deferred to the Giants, who claim the South Bay as their turf. (This map backs that up claim.)
As the Tribune reports, Wolff dashed off a late-night email on Wednesday to Oakland city leaders saying he had the MLB's authority to take the team and leave the city, saying "we will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland" if the ten-year lease terms were not agreed to by July 4. He got MLB's COO Rob Manfred to back him up on his threat too.
At issue in the negotiation was the city's problem with the A's keeping $5 million in parking taxes and its reduced lease payments for O.co Coliseum. The A's have agreed to pony up $10 million in stadium improvements, including HD video boards, in time for opening night in 2015. The Coliseum Authority is agreeing to pay for necessary structural improvements.
The A's have pretty tired of that worn out, nearly 50-year-old stadium, where, as ESPN notes, there have been multiple sewage problems in the last year, and an outage in the outfield lighting last month.
Though there's been talk about a new stadium closer to downtown, and/or separate stadiums for football and baseball in the vicinity of the Coliseum, none of that is even close to becoming a reality.
Anyway, congrats, Oakland! You will not be in danger of being a one-team town for at least another decade.