It's looking more certain that the A's are staying in Oakland -- and at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum -- for the foreseeable future.
The team and the Coliseum's Joint Powers Authority agreed on Tuesday to a 10-year extension of their current lease, approved by the Oakland City Council last week. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors still needs to green-light the deal, but that's expected to happen at their July 29 meeting.
The announcement puts an end to weeks of dueling in the media, as negotiations were carried out in fits and starts between A's ownership, the two elected bodies, and the JPA with representatives from each. Amicable press releases were issued by the team -- “We appreciate the cooperation and efforts of Oakland city officials in this process and are optimistic that our negotiations have led to a fair and mutually-beneficial relationship" -- and by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Council President Pat Kernighan -- "We want to thank the team’s ownership, our colleagues at the County of Alameda, our negotiators and everyone at the City of Oakland who has worked tirelessly on our shared priority of keeping the A’s here at home."
"A's fans should be happy about the lease extension being signed," said Bryan Cauwels, president of the grassroots group Save Oakland Sports. "The A's ownership is committed to putting in new scoreboards at the facility before the beginning of next season -- larger, easier to read, bigger video boards, along with ribbon boards. But the long-term importance of this agreement is that we feel it's the first step in the process of getting the A's a new baseball stadium in Oakland."
"Good-faith efforts" towards a new facility are part of the lease agreement, and A's co-owner Lew Wolff told Oakland city administrator Henry Gardner in a letter last week that as soon as the deal was signed, he would "immediately re-evaluate the possibility of a new, modern ballpark to be located on JPA property here in Oakland."