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JPA and City Council Lease Extension Related Sessions

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: JPA and City Council Lease Extension Related Sessions
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oafc_notice on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 12:51 pm:

For the sake of keeping you informed of the Oakland A's Oakland-Alameda Coliseum lease extension saga, we want to give you the dates and times of the next public officials' discussions and/or decisions related meetings:

The JPA - Thursday, 5/9 at 8:30am
Coliseum West Side club

The City Council - Tuesday, 5/14 at 7:00pm
Oakland City Hall

Both the above meetings will be open forum and speakers will be allowed to voice their opinions.

We encourage all Oakland A's fans to be present and support what we feel is a good and forward step in keeping the A's in Oakland.

Even though we feel this lease extension would
be a good and positive step towards good will and
cooperation for future talks of the new ballpark in Oakland, if it's not approved it is certainly not a deal breaker nor should it be seen as a sign the ballpark drive cannot move forward successfuly.

We will keep you informed of the next City Council meetings related to the Ballpark Drive. Stay tuned!

The OAFC and Oakland residents should make an effort to be present at all meetings.

Let's continue to REPRESENT!!!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 01:57 pm:

Lease Extension article,1413,82%257E1865%257E595096,00.html

Status of A's new lease is in doubt
City official presses for renegotiation
By Staff Writer: Robert Gammon

OAKLAND -- In a move that could derail a recent plan to extend the Oakland A's Coliseum lease, City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente said Monday he wants to send the proposal back to the bargaining table to get a better deal for taxpayers.
"Obviously we want the A's to stay, but not at all costs," said De La Fuente, who is also vice-chairman of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which oversees the Coliseum Complex and its relationship to local professional sports teams. "The A's should pay their own way, just like everybody else."

De La Fuente, who is also upset that the city of Oakland was not included in lease negotiations with the A's, said he does not believe the Oakland City Council will approve the proposed deal. To take effect, the proposal must be approved by the City Council, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Authority.

The Authority, a joint city-county panel comprising eight elected and appointed members, is scheduled to discuss the proposed lease extension at a special meeting Thursday.

But it is unclear whether the A's will agree to renegotiate. On Monday, A's President Mike

Crowley said the team plans totake a "wait and see" approach.

Crowley also reiterated an assertion he made last week in front of the county Board of Supervisors, saying he believes the proposed deal "is in the best interest of the city of Oakland, the county of Alameda and the A's."

Crowley pointed out that under the proposal, the A's would pay the city and county $450,000 a year in rent from 2003 through 2007. The team currently pays no rent and is on a year-to-year lease through 2004.

"I think once the politicians have the opportunity to understand the deal, they'll see it's a good one," he said.

Crowley also has said the proposed lease extension proves the team is committed to staying in the East Bay. The team is happy that some city officials are attempting to swing a deal to build the A's a new baseball-only stadium. The A's have threatened to leave the East Bay unless they get a new ballpark, saying they cannot compete financially at the Coliseum, one of the older stadiums in the country.

Despite Crowley's endorsement of the proposed lease extension, the county Board of Supervisors last week would not back the deal. Instead the board unanimously decided to send it to the Authority for further discussion.

Since the details of the proposed lease extension first surfaced two weeks ago, De La Fuente and other Oakland City Council members have questioned whether the proposal is in the best interest of taxpayers.

Concerns have been raised about an escape clause in the lease that would allow the A's to leave the East Bay at any time by giving 90 days notice, as long as the team pays what is left according to the lease. At most, the A's would have to fork over $2.5 million to exercise the escape clause.

De La Fuente and other council members also believe the A's should have to pay higher rent, pointing out that the 1995 lease with the team called for the A's to pay $650,000 to $900,000 annually for using the Coliseum, which is owned by the city and county.

That rent payment was lowered to zero as part of a 1998 arbitration settlement between the A's and the city and county. The arbitration dispute was prompted by A's claims that the 1996 expansion of the Coliseum for the Raiders left the facility less desirable for baseball.

As part of the settlement, the city and county also agreed to pay the A's $2 million and drop the rent to nothing. The team also gets to keep all revenues generated at the Coliseum during A's games -- a perk the team would keep under the proposed lease extension.

De La Fuente and others also are upset the city was not invited to the negotiations with the A's over a new lease. The proposal was hammered out in secret between the A's and county Board of Supervisors President Scott Haggerty, who is also chairman of the Authority.

Haggerty acknowledged last week he was not authorized by the city, the county or the Authority to negotiate with the A's.

Haggerty did not return two phone calls seeking comment Monday. Crowley said last week the talks with Haggerty were kept behind closed doors so the deal would not be negotiated in the media.

Sources said Monday the A's did not want to negotiate with De La Fuente, who has been publicly critical of the A's current deal with the city and county.

De La Fuente said he will propose Thursday the Authority's new chief executive, Thaxter Trafton, be included in further negotiations with the A's.

The Authority hired Trafton earlier this year to represent the interests of both the city and the county in such talks. Trafton said Monday he was not invited to join the original negotiations with the A's until the talks were virtually over.

Trafton, who came to the Authority with extensive sports business experience and is being paid $150,000 annually by the city and county, said he wished he had been part of the original negotiations, but is not sure whether more talks would be fruitful.

"Do I think it's a great deal? No. Do I think it's a bad deal? No. But I think it's a fair deal," he said.

Trafton added that he believes the flap over the proposed lease deal has more to do with how it was negotiated than with the specific details of the plan.

Supervisor Gail Steele but added> said she's not opposed to further negotiations with the A's.

She also agreed with De La Fuente that Trafton should have been included in the original talks with the A's and should take the lead in future negotiations.

"He needs to be given the role he was hired to do," Steele said. Steele added, however, that she believes the proposed lease extension is a "pretty good deal."

"I'm fairly sure that there's not much more to negotiate," she said. "From what I've heard and what I know, we don't have a lot of wiggle room."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 02:53 pm:

"De La Fuente and others also are upset the city was not invited to the negotiations with the A's over a new lease."

IDLF is just ticked off that he wasn't involved. I hope his ego doesn't get in the way of this deal.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 03:08 pm:

Eyleen, you and Bubba hit the nail on the head...

It isn't fair that because of ego, internal politics, and mistakes of the past, they are now trying to nix a possible important step in bringing the A's closer to a longterm commitment and good will to negotiate a new ballpark deal.

I also think Haggerty should try to mend the fences if he is responsible for going against the grain and the public officials who should have participated in the lease negotiations from the start.

What we have to remind them is that we the fans and Oakland residents who support keeping the A's in Oakland expect these officials to act like responsible adults and not like a bunch of imature egocentric jerks.

They are representing the taxpayers and they have to do their jobs without agendas and personal vindictive attitudes.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jeffreyb on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 03:16 pm:

actually, my take on it is that, aside from his personality, De La Fuente thinks he can squeeze a few more dollars, maybe the return of concessions control...after all, the pre law suit rent included a concessions percentage and over $990K a year..., and then fold his tent.

i don't see his comments as a big threat for fans or really to doing the lease, and actually think he is doing his job re minding the public purse strings.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 01:31 pm:

We need fans to be there tomorrow a.m. and at other upcoming meetings. I know we're all busy and have to work, but in order to make this thing happen, we all have to pay the price. Please take the time. See you there.

JPA meeting. 8:30 a.m., Thursday, May 9. Westside Club. Oakland Coliseum.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 09:05 am:

The City Council took the lease extension off their agenda last night (MAY 14th).

Unfortunately we had no prior warning of this fact and several of us were there prior to their meeting yesterday.

But the night was not lost. We were able to personally speak with a few of the City Council members and took the opportunity to request a meeting with one of them.

The lease extension will be put back on their agenda after the A's review the new suggestions presented by the JPA. We will post the new date when announced to us.

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