Letter to Editor of Oakland Trib /Lease Extension
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Monday, June 10, 2002 - 3:07:30 AM MST
Approve A's lease extension
Iam writing today to urge the city to approve the proposed lease extension for the Oakland A's at the Coliseum.
When Scott Haggerty first brought the lease extension before the Joint Powers Authority in May, there was understandable hesitancy to approve the deal sight unseen. Further review was required, at which point the chief administrative officer for the JPA, Thaxter Trafton, was brought in to work on the proposal.
Since that time Mr. Trafton has been working with the team on revisions, and at the Oakland City Council meeting on May 28 a decision was made to get City Council members involved with the process. On June 11, the City Council will once again take up the lease proposal, this time in the revised form that Mr. Trafton and the City Council have been working on.
Serendipitously enough, at this very same City Council meeting there will be a report regarding a recent tour of downtown ballparks. This tour was a fact-finding mission to determine the viability of a downtown ballpark in Oakland.
The coincidence of these events represents a unique opportunity for the city to forge better relations with the team. Make no mistake: This is a pivotal moment for the future of the A's in Oakland.
Coming to mutually beneficial terms on the lease extension will stabilize the future of the team and provide the necessary time to explore the possibilities of a new ballpark in Oakland. Rejecting the lease proposal out-of-hand will send a dangerous message to the Oakland A's about their importance to the city and will seriously damage the city government's relationship with the team.
I urge the City Council to listen carefully to the presentation from the downtown ballpark tour. The City Council recently voted to move forward with the Forest City proposal for housing at the uptown location that is also considered the best for a new A's ballpark by HOK Sport to develop a plan to incorporate both a new A's ballpark and housing.
Short of that, I would ask that the City Council institute a 60-day contingency period before Forest City's exclusive negotiating rights for the location kick in. We must consider the likelihood that people would want to live in the uptown location as it currently stands, and then envision a new ballpark attracting 3 million visitors per year.
Jennifer Medeiros is an Oakland resident and a member of the Oakland A's Fan Coalition
| By jenmed on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 02:03 pm:|
Even though it shows up on the Trib's website this was actually published by the Hayward Daily Review. (both papers are part of the ANG newspaper group.) I am waiting to hear back from the Trib about publication.
The Daily Review modified my letter a bit, and in the second to last paragraph it kind of lost what I was getting at. For the full text of my original letter, see the current OAFC column.
| By c_man on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 03:55 pm:|
Congratulations for getting printed in the Paper!!!!
| By jenmed on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 04:04 pm:|
Thanks, c-man, and welcome to the board!
| By chris_d on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 04:53 pm:|
Great letter, Jen. I'll bring you a hard copy soon.