Oakland Coliseum.

Oakland Coliseum.


Oakland Coliseum.

The City of Oakland is extending an olive branch to the Athletics on the franchise’s apparent way out the door that would end the two sides’ contentious relationship.

The city will present an offer to the team on Tuesday that would keep the Athletics in Oakland until their anticipated move to Las Vegas for the 2028 season. The Athletics’ lease with the city to play in the Oakland Coliseum will expire at the end of the next season.

The city’s offer will require the Oakland Athletics to pay a $97 million extension fee and would run through the 2029 season with an opt-out clause following the 2027 season. Even if the team does indeed move to The Strip in Las Vegas in ’28, it would be required to pay the entire $97 million under the terms of the offer.

The proposal was first reported by ESPN’s Tim Keown and KGO-TV in San Franciso.

Oakland Says Take It or Leave It

Oakland chief of staff Leigh Hanson says the offer is take it or leave it and the city will not negotiate with the Athletics. That includes lowering the cost if the team leaves after 2027 as anticipated.

Part of the contract would also include the Athletics assuming the cost of switching the playing field for the Oakland Roots SC of the United Soccer League.

Additionally, the city wants the Athletics to guarantee they will sell their 50% stake in the Coliseum complex to a local development company so the land can be redeveloped. The two sides have already agreed to the provision, but it has not been finalized.

The city has dropped its demands that the Athletics’ name and colors be reserved for the city nor that Major League Baseball guarantees Oakland a team in the next round of expansion. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he does not anticipate the league expanding until at least 2030.

Most observers in the Bay Area believe the Athletics are likely to balk at the extension fee. They are paying just $1.5 million to the city this season to use the Coliseum.

“We are very interested in doing business, and in having the A’s stay in Oakland,” Hanson said. “Part of that is helping them solve this interim location challenge and just being clear in what we expect in return.”

Hanson added the city would use the $97 million to help pay a $170 million structural deficit on the stadium.

Athletics are MLB’s Most Nomadic Franchise

The Athletics have been the most nomadic of MLB’s current 30 franchises. And they could on the move again after this season.

The team does not have a home stadium lined up in 2025. The Athletics are considering playing their home games in Triple-A stadiums in Sacramento or Salt Lake City. Another possibility could be the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park.

The Athletics began play in 1901 in Philadelphia as a charter member of the American League. The franchise then moved to Kansas City in 1955 and Oakland in 1968.

The Athletics have won the World Series four times while in Oakland, the last championship in 1989.

Owner John Fisher has substantially lowered the payroll in recent years in anticipation of the team leaving Oakland. The Athletics were 60-102 in 2022 and 50-112 last season for the worst record in MLB.

They are 1-3 this season after beating the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday.

John Perrotto covers Major League Baseball for Heavy.com. He has covered MLB since 1988 and is a Hall of Fame voter. John is a columnist for Pittsburgh Baseball Now, a contributor to The Associated Press and Baseball Digest, and the student media advisor at Robert Morris University. He is a graduate of Geneva College. More about John Perrotto

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