A’s talk lease offer with Oakland; Sacramento meeting on tap

Representatives of the Athletics‘ ownership met with officials from Oakland and Alameda County on Tuesday to discuss the city’s most recent offer to keep the Las Vegas-bound team in the Coliseum at least through the 2027 season.

The negotiations, which took place in the team’s offices, did not produce a resolution, and the Athletics are expected to meet with Sacramento officials Wednesday to hear their proposal to be the team’s home for a minimum of three seasons beginning next year.

News of the Sacramento meeting was first reported by KGO-TV in San Francisco.

“Oakland made a fair and reasonable offer to the A’s,” according to a statement from the office of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “We await their response and look forward to continuing discussions as necessary.”

The strategy to pit two Northern California cities against each other would seem to mirror the A’s much-derided “Parallel Paths” plan — their decision to negotiate simultaneously with Oakland and Las Vegas before disclosing an agreement to move to Las Vegas last April. In this case, the A’s are negotiating simultaneously with Oakland and Sacramento — and, to a lesser extent, Salt Lake City — for their temporary home.

Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, a longtime friend of A’s owner John Fisher, sees a Major League Baseball franchise as the next step in Sacramento’s ascension to a full-fledged big league city. He owns the Triple-A Sacramento RiverCats, a San Francisco Giants affiliate that plays in West Sacramento that would share Sutter Health Park with the A’s. The move to temporarily house the A’s would position Sacramento to be the team’s permanent home if the move to Las Vegas falls through.

Oakland’s initial offer Wednesday was a five-year lease with a team opt-out after three seasons; the current lease expires at the end of this season. The A’s expect to be in a new ballpark in Las Vegas to start the 2028 season, but that estimate assumes a smooth timeline in Las Vegas to build a ballpark in the parking lot of the current site of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, which was scheduled to be demolished even before the A’s deal was announced.

The A’s, in a statement released to KGO-TV, said, “We appreciate Oakland’s engagement and also we are far apart on the terms needed to agree on an extension.”

Any move will reduce the revenue from the A’s regional television contract with NBC Sports Bay Area, which currently pays the team a reported $67 million per year. Even a move within Northern California (Sacramento is roughly 90 miles from Oakland) would require a renegotiation of that contract.

As part of the proposal to remain in Oakland, at least temporarily, the city is also requiring the A’s to sell their 50% stake in the Coliseum property to a local developer so the city can move forward with redevelopment plans that will include venues for sports and entertainment. Sources indicate the A’s have expressed a willingness to sell. The A’s have a $30 million payment to make by May 14 to finalize the purchase.

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