Oakland Athletics’ owner Lew Wolff has formally sent the city of Oakland permission to sign a lease allowing the team to stay at 0.co Coliseum for five more years.
It’s no secret in the baseball world that Wolff has been trying to move the A’s to San Jose in the South Bay Area. The San Francisco Giants own territorial rights to San Jose however and Commissioner Bud Selig is yet to force the two teams to settle.
It appears Lew Wolff has now accepted the inevitable and on December 21, 2012 he sent the city of Oakland a letter asking to extend the team’s lease at their current stadium until 2017.
The San Francisco Chronicle was sent a copy of the letter:
“December 21, 2012
To all concerned and interested:
I believe our organization has been and continues to be a positive member of the City of Oakland and Alameda County community.
Our policy regarding the JPA is to agree on the most mutually beneficial lease relationship to remain in the O.co Coliseum. To that end, we seek a lease extension that will allow us to remain here for the next five seasons. Our president, Mike Crowley, who has administrated our lease for the past 16 years, has full and complete authority to enter into a lease agreement that we hope will be beneficial to our fans, the City and County, and our organization.
Yes, we need a new baseball venue, and sadly, we have not found any path to one in the City of Oakland or in the City of Fremont. None of the three City of Oakland administrations that we have operated under has ever presented a realistic approach for a new ballpark to us. The lack of viable options here is not the fault of any public administration or private party, but rather is due to broader circumstances that impact the elements needed for a Major League Baseball venue.
Regardless of the outcome of our efforts to obtain a new facility in the City of San Jose, we would remain at our current venue for a minimum of five years. If an opportunity arises for the JPA to implement a new or renovated stadium for the Raiders or any other tenant, our lease would have a cancellation clause in favor of the JPA.
I stress that the A’s organization certainly prefers to remain in Oakland for the next five years rather than being forced into looking elsewhere for a temporary home venue. If possible, we should retain the 130 full-time jobs and the almost 800 union jobs that encompass a full baseball season, the fun of the A’s,and Major League Baseball in Oakland for five more years.
I believe the A’s have a great deal to contribute to the area for the next five years, and even thereafter. I further believe, and hope that having the benefit of a five year income stream and the jobs our organization brings in will be viewed as a benefit to the City and County. Simply, Mike Crowley needs an authorized party with whom he can negotiate and complete a new five year lease between the JPA and the A’s.
Thank you for any time and consideration you can afford this request.
Lewis N. Wolff”
Here’s a video of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig discussing Oakland’s current stadium issue:
What do you think, is Lew Wolff doing the right thing for his baseball team by trying to extend their lease with Oakland?