Article about JPA vote/A's lease extension
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| By fanamy on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 08:10 am:|
Hi everyone - here's the article about the JPA meeting and vote yesterday about the A's lease extension. I was there at the beginning, but had to leave to go to work. From what was said while I was there, Gammon seems to have done a better job reporting this than he did the County Supervisors meeting! Lil, please feel free to prove me wrong!
here's the CC Times article
A's contract barely survives talks
Joint Powers board accepts the proposed extension in concept; City Council members are not ready to OK it
By Ann Tatko
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
OAKLAND - A proposed lease extension for the Oakland A's barely survived a contentious meeting Thursday and now faces uncertainty as city officials blocked efforts to approve it without revisions.
Scott Haggerty, the president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors who privately negotiated the lease terms with the A's last month, brought the proposal before the Joint Powers Authority for the first time Thursday.
The JPA, which oversees the Coliseum complex, is composed equally of elected and appointed members from the city and county.
Although Haggerty termed it "an excellent deal," city-appointed JPA members weren't as quick to agree.
After more than an hour of heated discussions and several impasses, City Attorney John Russo finally interrupted the verbal free-for-all, suggesting a compromise that approves a five-year fixed lease in "concept" but requires clarification on two points and further negotiations with the A's on the financial terms.
All eight JPA commissioners voted for the compromise to prevent killing the deal altogether.
"We didn't want this to stall here," Supervisor Gail Steele said. "The wrong thing would have been to walk away from this with nothing."
Haggerty had urged the JPA to approve the proposed lease terms, which would give the A's a 90-days-notice buyout clause and eight blackout dates in exchange for $450,000 annual rent, plus 50 cents per ticket over 2 million sold each season.
City officials were reluctant to endorse a deal they said they had not seen in detail before Thursday's meeting. Oakland's City Council is scheduled to discuss the proposal in open session Tuesday.
The proposed lease would run through 2007. The current deal, which runs year-to-year, expires in 2004 and requires no rent from the A's.
Under the compromise reached, JPA chief executive officer Thaxter Trafton has 30 days to meet with the A's to clarify the cancellation clause and blackout dates and reopen discussions about how much the A's will pay.
"I feel strongly that we can reach a deal acceptable to everyone," city appointee Robert Brown said. "I'm with the deal 90 percent. I just didn't understand why it was so imperative that we approve it as is, with no room for compromise, today."
During the meeting, Councilmen Ignacio De La Fuente and Danny Wan outlined a list of concerns. Chief among them:
• The financial terms fall short of the 1995 lease with the team, which required the A's to pay a fixed rent and share ticket revenue beginning with the first ticket sold. That meant the city and county earned from $650,000 to $900,000 a year.
• The blackout dates would prevent other engagements from playing at the Coliseum complex during eight dates selected by the A's each year, thus denying the JPA revenue needed to pay its $11 million debt.
As Wan noted, if the A's had blacked out their Opening Day date this season, the JPA would have lost more than $250,000 from a Paul McCartney concert held at the neighboring Arena.
• The cancellation clause would allow the A's to leave at any time with only 90 days' notice, whereas a year's notice would give the city, county and Coliseum employees more time to make arrangements for their futures.
Brown also cautioned the JPA not to rush into a deal the way the former Coliseum commission did in bringing the Raiders back to Oakland in 1995 for $200 million, an expense now burdening taxpayers.
"The one thing we've learned is to not do something under the pressure of threats today, because the consequences can last a lot longer," Wan said.
But other commissioners on the JPA have taken those threats seriously, especially because Major League Baseball has considered contracting teams.
Haggerty said the proposed lease provides time to pursue a baseball-only ballpark. The deal, he said, is "intended to calm everyone down and show Major League Baseball the commitment of the JPA."
Beyond that, it would serve as a major step in improving landlord-tenant relationships, Steele said, noting the chronic problems the city and county have had with the Raiders and Warriors.
The A's approached Haggerty to try to negotiate the lease extension.
"This is the first time that one team has offered an olive branch," Steele said. "This deal is our chance to give them one in return."
...and the Merc
Posted on Fri, May. 10, 2002
A's lease talks are rocky
SHORT EXTENSION DOESN'T CHARGE TEAM ENOUGH, SOME SAY
By Barry Witt
Oakland and Alameda County officials battled openly Thursday over a proposed A's lease extension at Network Associates Coliseum, with city officials saying the county supervisor who negotiated the tentative pact failed to extract enough rent from the team.
The dispute over the short-term extension underscores the difficulty the East Bay will have putting together a plan for a new A's ballpark in a political climate soured by costly deals with the Raiders and Warriors.
``I'm not sure this sends a great message to our fans or Major League Baseball about how serious Oakland is about its franchise,'' A's President Mike Crowley said after hearing reports of the contentious two-hour meeting of the joint city-county agency that runs the Coliseum.
Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty last month privately negotiated the proposed five-year extension with Crowley. The lease would require the team, which currently pays no rent, to pay a base annual rent of $450,000, increasing by 50 cents for every ticket sold above 2 million each season. The A's could cancel the lease with 90 days' notice at minimal cost. The entire rent package is considered small for a team that reported revenues of $75.5 million last year.
The lease also would allow the A's to declare eight ``blackout'' dates every season where events couldn't be booked into the adjacent Coliseum Arena to preserve parking capacity for big games. City officials say they fear such a provision could cost the Coliseum Arena major events, such as the recent Paul McCartney concert, which in one night brought a $250,000 profit. The concert was held on opening night of baseball season, which upset A's owner Steve Schott.
After listening to Oakland City Council members say they wanted better terms, Haggerty warned that ``any talks about a new stadium will end because of greed.''
Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb has been leading an effort to build a new stadium for the A's, but he has yet to reveal any information on how he would pay for it. Schott has made it clear he expects public subsidies, a perilous position when city and county taxpayers already are pumping more than $20 million a year into the Raiders and Warriors deals.
The eight-member board that runs the Coliseum -- which has four members each appointed by the city and county -- initially split along city-county lines Thursday in two votes on whether to approve the lease terms. The board then agreed unanimously to accept ``in concept'' the length of the lease but instructed the agency's chief administrator to reopen talks with the A's on the rent.
To go into effect, the lease needs separate approvals by the city council, county board of supervisors and the joint agency.
Oakland Councilman Danny Wan said he didn't want to approve the lease, because he was uncertain about what he called the ``A's intentions.''
``Are they really, really serious about negotiating for a new ballpark, or are they looking for a buyer for the team?'' Wan said.
Contact Barry Witt at email@example.com or (408) 920-5703.
Amy, I think pretty much all the articles above were pretty close to what went on yesterday...
I believe this lease will be approved within the 30 days after a lot of posturing.
The major problem was ego and power play from the part of DLF and Dan Wan (this last one simply is on the same page with Nancy Nagel)...they will vote against any and everything that would help keep the A's in Oakland.
I think having to deal with politicians smells of rotten eggs...and rotten eggs at 8:30am is not a fund thing...
Kudos to the 10+ A's fans who took the time and made the effort to be there! I truly believe we made a difference.
| By darth2900 on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 09:03 am:|
I know it is not what we want to hear and I like all of us want the A's here... but if I was the A's right now I would be wondering "why do I want to stay in Oakland again?"
How much revenue would the city get form the colisuem during baseball season with the A's playing Portland again?
| By chris_d on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 09:22 am:|
I may be wrong in saying this, but as disappointing as SOME of the politicians were yesterday, I'm more disappointed by how quick Crowley is to play hardball with his comments. The lease extension will very likely pass, as is. Just a little patience. Also, if anyone here has not e-mailed the Oakland City Council and the Alameda Supervisors, please do so today. Yesterday showed that we can't get complacent THEY NEED TO HEAR FROM US A'S FANS.
AND make plans to be at the May 14th City Council Meeting at City Hall at 7:00pm...
PLEASE folks...don't get complacent!
When? Tuesday, May 14th
Where? Oakland City Hall - Frank Ogawa Plaza
WHY? To voice your opinion on the A's Coliseum Lease extension.
| By bubba69 on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 10:13 am:|
I do not blame Crowley for being miffed. They have put together what I think is a fair deal. Now IDLF and Whine (Wan) are trying to shoot it down because of ego! FU to both of them!
| By ronc on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 10:18 am:|
For approving the lease today "as is" the vote was as follows:
Brown said he did not have enough time to study the document.
IDLF wants to renogotiate.
Wan is happy to wait 2 years till the current agreement expires. He wants to renogotiate. He wants more than 5 years on the lease and a 1 year escape clause
Dron said nothing.
For Approval on approving the lease subject to contingencies (Blackout Dates, Escape Clause, ticket revenue). The vote was 8-0
| By ronc on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 10:25 am:|
The Blackout dates is a sticking point. Brown stated that they made $250k from the Paul McCartney concert.
The ticket revenue not applying to post season was a problem.
| By rocket on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 12:09 pm:|
I can see the black outs having to be
modified, they make a lot of money on the
one day events.
| By darth2900 on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 01:11 pm:|
I see what the city is saying about black out dates... but it is pretty lame for them to treat the A's like stepchildren... Blackout dates 8 out of 81 games the A's can reserve the complex, that is not even close to unreasonable.
I understand why Crowley said what he said... it is true. It boils down to Iggy and Wan. I really think it boils down to Iggy and the whole "moving to Las Vegas" thing.
It is pretty clear that he played hard ball with the A's. Heck, he didn't even make sure he was right before he said anything he just said it.
Iggy is one of the main reasons the Raiders are taking money from Oakland and now he is trying to cover his butt using the red headed step children of Oakland franchises in his opinion.... I fear Iggy will be the reason the A's end up in Portland.
Comments like Wan's... "are they going to sell the team." Well, I guess you would know seeing as how they told you all before they even had an offer from Mandalay, but see if they ever tell you anything again with that jack ass grand stander Iggy around.
Sorry... this whole thing fustrates me... especially Wan and Iggy and their request to renegotiate the lease.... don't do it and leave it the way it is now, let them have the freedom to leave at the end of any year.... Portland Athletics in 2005. Maybe the City of Portland should name the new park they build "Iggy Field."
Okay... I am done... I probably am not even making sense at this point since I am so mad.
I think Haggerty should have brought two key people into his negotiations with the A's and it cost us the votes to get this lease approved.
The JPA had appointed Thaxter R Trafton specifically to be the chief administrative officer of the Coliseum and Robert Brown, who is a self proclaimed "sports expert". Both these men agreed that the lease proposal was a good deal, but since they had not been brought into the negotiations, felt they wanted more time to approve the deal. (simply put in good English...but men were pissed they were left out of something they felt they should have been part of)
Haggerty didn't do the ground work necessary and tried to overpower DLF...not a good way to deal
with a man who refuses to be intimidaded.
PS: please Darth...stop with the Portland A's already?!?!?!?!
For those who plan to attend tomorrow's City Council meeting at City Hall at 7:00pm, here's a good summary of what went on and what's to come:
Oakland A's granted conditional stadium lease extension
After a rancorous debate and two stalemate votes, the Oakland-Alameda
County Coliseum Authority unanimously agreed to extend the Oakland A's
lease another 5 years -- with a few provisos.
The motion that eventually passed to keep the Oakland A's in Oakland
until 2007 came through City Attorney John Russo, who offered language
the eight-member authority could live with only after the authority
plodded through two-and-one-half hours of talks punctuated with
character stabs at one another.
Russo's suggestion had the authority agree to the extension upon one
condition: Thaxter Trafton, the authority's chief administrative
officer, must return to the Oakland A's to further discuss the 90-day
"escape clause" in the lease extension, the eight blackout days
requested by the Oakland A's, and whether more money can be paid to both
Oakland and Alameda County.
The authority must then meet within 30 days to vote on whether to give
final approval. In the meantime, Oakland's City Council and the county
Board of Supervisors are expected to meet and discuss the lease
In the end, the compromise means the A's are one step closer to paying a
base annual rent of $450,000, with an additional 50 cents per ticket for
each ticket sold over the 2 million ticket mark. The A's will have a
90-day escape clause to leave the stadium, if and when it chooses, and
will be allowed to use eight "blackout days" in its regular season.
Russo's suggestion came after the authority deadlocked on two separate
motions -- one, spearheaded by Authority Chairman Scott Haggerty, to
approve the extension as is, and one, spearheaded by Authority member
Danny Wan, to hold off on voting until the blackout days, escape clause,
and revenue formulas were further discussed with team officials.
After the two tied votes, the authority then made two more motions that
essentially demarcated the board's two previous schools of thought. Once
Russo stepped in, however, authority members rescinded their motions,
then voted unanimously to give tentative, conditional approval.
The eventual resolution didn't come without some verbal barbs, however.
At the forefront, City Council President Ignacio De la Fuente has
stepped into a spotlight as a critic of Haggerty and his initiative to
work out the lease extension without getting input from the City
Council. In turn, Haggerty, along with several members of the local
press, lambasted De la Fuente, saying his criticism would scare away the
A's and any potential for a new ballpark, something the A's and the City
of Oakland have been hinting is much needed for a successful franchise.
"I'm not here to get into a fight, and I think there are enough
ingredients in this agreement, but it needs clarification," De la Fuente
said. "I'm just not willing to do what the authority has done in the
past with the Raiders."
But Haggerty retorted that, if the authority couldn't agree on an
extension, it would send a message to the A's that the city and county
wasn't serious about keeping the A's here, "and any new ballpark talks
Wan, who is also a city councilman, said he wants the A's to stay, but
questioned the urgency in passing an extension now.
"Whether or not the A's want to stay is a business decision, and isn't
going to be affected by a 5-year lease, and I think if we agree to an
extension now, while we still have questions on it. We're giving up our
flexibility to negotiate more clearly," Wan said. "I don't think I'm
being unreasonable in asking for that."
You can view this article on the web at:
| By darth2900 on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 04:39 pm:|
Stop with the Portland A's? I never said I wanted there to be a Portland A's... I think it is time for someone to ask DLF what he thinks of the idea... that is all I am trying to point out... there is another city on the West Coast that many believe to be a possible baseball market, in fact there have been rumblings since last year that the league wants the A's in Portland... Would it be any easier if I said Sacramento A's or Salt Lake City A's? DLF keeps playing his ego card and the only sports teams in Oakland will be the Raiders and the Warriors and I am not sure how long the Raiders will be there with all the court motions they have going right now.
The gravity of the situation is if Danny Wan and Iggy have their way, they are doing more for the Portland A's than the Oakland A's.
But I promise... no more saying that from this point forward. It is a nightmare.
Some of us who will be going to the City Coucil meeting will be meeting at around 5:30pm at the
City Center Max Cafe...the meeting starts at 7:00pm tomorrow.