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Oakland City Council Holds up Coliseum Negotiations Over Typos
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons | July 17, 2014
The minor-seeming changes that have thrown the Coliseum negotiations into chaos.
After weeks of delays, boycotts, and posturing, the City Council finally showed its hand over what changes it wanted to see in the contract extension that would keep the A's playing in the Coliseum.
Prepare to be underwhelmed: The City Council voted 5-2 to fix a typo, add a clarifying example to a clause, and tack on a definition of parking practices. Seven changes were made in all, most of them exceedingly minor and procedural. There were no changes to the economics of the lease agreement, which would keep the A's in place for 10 years and bring in $20 million to the city and county. What changes did come were after 14 months of negotiations between the city, the county of Alameda, and the ownership of the Athletics.
For all this, fans screamed, one city council stormed out after the vote, and A's officials said they weren't sure if they would sign. We'd hate to see what would have happened if the City Council had asked for real changes to the contract.
The larger difficulties surrounding the contract, of course, hinge on the A's long-term prospects in Oakland, which have been in doubt for some time now. Though he claimed he'd be open to considering the changes to the terms, A's owner Lew Wolff said that he doubted that working with the city on a long-term solution would be easy, given the present difficulties. However, after a direct appeal to him from Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who is currently running for mayor, he did say that he would be looking at the changes.
Remember: It's not dysfunction as long you're having fun.