Where shall the A's stay to play?
The Oakland A's have made no secret their desire to depart the East Bay as soon as possible and play in San Jose. No stadium exists there, however, and no deal to build one is in place -- nor has a site even been finalized or approved.
That means that the A's do not have a place to play after 2013, when their lease on the O.co Coliseum ends. The team is slated to pay the City of Oakland $1.8 million to stay in the Coliseum until then.
So now the negotiating begins. The A's say that they offered the city what they consider a fair deal for a lease extension last summer, but that a "convoluted" response from the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, which consists of city and Alameda County elected officials. The terms of that deal were not disclosed, according to a report in the Oakland Tribune.
The A's options appear limited. The team cannot play home games at AT&T Park or Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The team's minor league franchise in Sacramento does not have an Major League Baseball-approved ballpark. And there are no other stadiums around the Bay Area suited for pro baseball.
So -- what?
Progosticators believe that Oakland may be able to nail down a long-term deal with the A's in such a precarious position. But the waters appear poisoned between the team and the city.
"The A's have made it absolutely clear the last place they want to be is in Oakland," said City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who sits on the Joint Powers Authority. The city has bent over backward to persuade them to stay, he told the newspaper, and "sometimes, enough is enough."