OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has finally weighed in publicly on the proposed 10-year lease extension that would keep the Oakland A's at O.co Coliseum.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Quan made her first public comments on the lease deal, that was approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority.
"We need the city council to approve it as soon as possible so we can start talking seriously about a new stadium," Quan said.
Mayor Quan's statement comes after weeks of haggling over details of the lease extension. The plan, which still needs approval from the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors, calls for the A's to play games at O.co Coliseum through the 2024 season. The team would commit more than $10 million for upgrades to the stadium, including the installation of new HD video boards, "ribbon boards" between the field and plaza level of the stadium, and associated control room equipment.
At issue for many Oakland and Alameda County officials is that the proposal would allow the Coliseum Authority to terminate the lease should the Oakland Raiders strike a deal to build a new football stadium on the Coliseum site. The A's would get two-year's notice before having to vacate. They also have an escape clause after the 2017 season. There are also concerns about the exit fee if the A's were to terminate the deal early. Officials have also been upset about reduced rent payments for the team in the deal.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Quan has asked interim City Administrator Henry Gardner to negotiate "a few clarifications" with A's co-owner Lew Wolff before the deal is approved. It is not know exactly what Quan is looking to change in the agreement. For his part, Wolff said he is "not interested" in making substantive changes after spending the past 14 months negotiating a deal with the Joint Powers Authority.
It is still not clear when the Oakland City Council will take up the proposed lease extension.
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