The Coliseum board voted yesterday as our own Andrew Brown detailed to approve a two-year extension of the lease for the Oakland Athletics and one year for the Oakland Raiders to play at the O.co Coliseum. The agreement came amid a whirlwind of uncertainty that had left in question the future of both teams at the site beyond 2013. There had been much discussion that the A’s could play the 2014 season at the home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park, essentially “crashing on their couch”.
Neither the A’s, fans of the A’s, or the Giants themselves really wanted that to happen. We may never know whether MLB’s threats to force the A’s to play in San Francisco were anything but a bluff to force the A’s and the Coliseum to hash out their differences and come to terms, but I’m glad we won’t have to find out. Lew Wolff and the A’s wanted a longer term extension, and were discussing a five-year deal, but the league wanted a short term deal. There is some belief that MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig have come up with a solution for the A’s issues, and just need a little more time to make it all happen. Normally, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but in this case one has to take the “I’ll believe it, when I see it” approach. We’ve heard whispers of a resolution on the horizon countless times over the last 5 years, and we still have made no progress.
I don’t think this is good or bad news for the pro-Oakland crowd, or for the pro-San Jose crowd. It’s really nothing except for the fact that we now know the A’s have a place to call home for the next two years. This deal is simply kicking the can further down the road. Considering where we were a few weeks ago, contemplating having to stomach the A’s borrowing AT&T Park, I’ll take another couple seasons at the old O.co Coliseum any day.
Ultimately, this agreement is a good thing, but it comes with its drawbacks. The O.co Coliseum became something of a joke last season when the plumbing failed miserably. Backed up pipes, leaking raw sewage into MLB clubhouses is embarrassing. Those incidents were an illustration of just how delapidated the Coliseum is. Chances are we’ll see another such incident in the next two years, hopefully it isn’t worse than the previous ones. The A’s are too good to have to suffer embarrasments like that.