Christie Smith gets reaction from Oakland to news that the A's may be forced to play at AT&T Park as early as next season.
Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff was quick to deny a report in the San Francisco Chronicle that claimed Major League Baseball was stepping in the stalled talks between the team at the stadium concerning a short-term lease.
Wolff claims his team is staying put. Through his PR director Bob Rose, Wolff said on Monday: “We intend to extend our lease in Oakland and look forward to another great season."
The Chronicle's Matier and Ross reported MLB offered to help broker a deal for the A's to play at AT&T Park for the next two years if a deal can't be reached during a recent close-door meeting.
In sports terms, MLB is coming in the late innings of the negotiations.
It was unclear how many years the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority is seeking for its lease, and the team declined further comment since no deal has been reached.
The Joint Powers Authority also weighed in saying they were "optimistic that a final deal is close at hand.” It would not comment on any involvment by MLB. (See full statement below).
Wolff has remained determined to move the team to San Jose and build an intimate new ballpark, yet Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to rule on whether the A's can move into the Giants' territory in the South Bay
For the A's to move across the bay, the San Francisco Giants would have to approve sharing AT&T Park, which is owned by the Giants. The benefit to the Giants would be a nice fat rent check, and the probability that the team would move out of the area which would give the Giants sole ownership of one of the biggest markets in the country.
The move across the Bay would many details to work out, including the problem that comes when you look at the schedule and see the Giants and the A's have home games on the same day nine times in 2014.
The Giants have not commented on the story.
Joint Powers Authority Board Chair Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley full statement:
“We have been collaborating with the Oakland A’s for nearly a year on negotiations concerning an extension of their lease. We are working on a deal that we believe will be beneficial for both our tenant and the people of this community. We are confident that everyone involved sees the value in continuing for as long as possible the 45-year relationship between the A’s and the City of Oakland. While we cannot comment on the specific issues now under discussion or on whether there is any basis to recent rumors that Major League Baseball has played a role in the discussions, we are optimistic that a final deal is close at hand.”