Oakland ‘wants $97m’ from A’s to remain until Vegas switch

Featured image credit: Quintin Soloviev/CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED/Edited for size

The City of Oakland is to demand a $97m “extension fee” as part of a proposal that would keep the Athletics baseball team in California until their new ballpark is completed in Las Vegas.

The A’s franchise is set to switch from Oakland to Las Vegas as soon as the stadium is constructed, likely in time for the 2028 Major League Baseball season.

With the move having now been approved by MLB owners, the A’s must now come up with a plan as to where they will play until the ballpark is ready.

Despite actively pursuing its departure Oakland after more than 50 years, the prospect of remaining there on a temporary basis is appealing for the A’s. So far the team has only said that it’s temporary home will be “someplace in the West.” Talks have already taken place with officials from Sacramento and Salt Lake City.

According to ESPN, Oakland is proposing a five-year lease at the Coliseum with the opt-out after three to safeguard itself in case there are construction delays in Las Vegas or the deal falls through. According to the offer sheet obtained by ESPN and KGO-TV, the city has dropped previous requirements that called for MLB to keep the A’s name and colours in Oakland, as well as a demand that MLB guarantee the city a future expansion team.

“We are very interested in doing business, and in having the A’s stay in Oakland,” said Leigh Hanson, the city’s chief of staff. “Part of that is helping them solve this interim location challenge and just being clear in what we expect in return.”

Redevelopment of Coliseum site

ESPN sources indicate the A’s, who currently pay just $1.5m in rent to play in the Oakland Coliseum, offered a two-year deal and payments of $7m and $10m over the course of the lease, contending they have options after two seasons.

The city is also asking the team to assume the costs of switching over the Coliseum playing field for the Oakland Roots SC, which plays in the United Soccer League.

The city is also asking the Athletics to sell the 50% share of its ownership in the Coliseum complex — an agreement that has been agreed to but not finalised — to a local developer to allow the city to move forward with redevelopment of the site.

In November, the A’s received the green light from MLB to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas. The team will play the 2024 season at its current home, the Oakland Coliseum (pictured), but it remains to be seen where the A’s will spend the following seasons ahead of the planned move to Las Vegas in 2028.

In January, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing a source familiar with the matter, reported that A’s owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval visited Sutter Health Park in Sacramento, California last week to assess the stadium’s credentials as a potential temporary home for the franchise.

Sutter Health Park is home to Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team the Sacramento River Cats, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, and has a seated capacity of over 10,000.

The Review-Journal added that the A’s are also considering Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the Las Vegas Aviators MiLB team, which is affiliated with the A’s. Other options on the table are said to include Oracle Park, home of the aforementioned Giants; Greater Nevada Field, home of MiLB’s Reno Aces; and Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, home of MiLB’s Salt Lake Bees.

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