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Athletics agree to lease extension that will keep them in Oakland at least until 2015

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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(Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics won't be playing their games in San Francisco anytime soon, as MLB threatened recently. They also won't be leaving for San Jose for the foreseeable future.

The A's will play their home games at Oakland's O.Co Coliseum for at least two more years, inking a two-year lease extension Monday with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. It's more of a short-term submission than anything from a team with nowhere else to go.

The A's will still be looking to leave a sewage-prone stadium that has become one of baseball's go-to punchlines, but the new lease buys some them some time. The team's current lease would expire at year's end.

The Oakland Tribune has more details on the agreement, which also includes a one-year extension for the NFL's Oakland Raiders:

The deals will require the A's to more than double their total payments from $800,000 last season to $1.75 million in each of the next two years, while the Raiders total rent will drop from more than $3 million this year to just under $1 million next year.

Both the A's and Raiders want new stadiums and view their continued sharing of the publicly-owned Coliseum as a stopgap measure. With the teams staying put for now, East Bay leaders are continuing with plans to redevelop the Coliseum complex as a privately-financed sports and entertainment center as well as a potential alternative stadium site for the A's near Jack London Square.

"The most important thing about this deal is that it opens the door to make a better long-term deal," said Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who also sits on the Coliseum board.

Although the board voted 7-1 to approve both deals, commissioners acknowledged that they had hoped to extract more concessions from the A's, who will continue to control valuable concessions rights at the Coliseum that grants them a share of proceeds from Raiders games.

Commissioners relented on their demands recently after Major League Baseball threatened to help the A's move to AT&T Park in San Francisco. City and county officials didn't want to get in a fight with the league, whose support it will need to keep the A's in Oakland.

"At the end of the day, it's not ideal, but it's progress," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who is chairman of the Coliseum board. "The big thing is Major League Baseball supports this, and I think it's important to have (their) support for what we're doing with the A's for the moment and looking toward the future."

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(USA Today)

The A's are in an all-around sticky situation — and that's not a sewage joke. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority wanted to lock the team into a longer-term lease, something between five and eight years, but the team didn't want to be committed to O.Co Coliseum for that long, even though it has no where else to play at the moment. In that respect, MLB gave the A's some leverage by opening up the possibility of playing in San Francisco.

However, MLB has been dragging its feet on an A's move to San Jose. The San Francisco Giants would need to give up their territorial rights to the Silicon Valley. The A's and the City of San Jose have a deal, plans for a stadium, even a name. The City of San Jose sued MLB earlier this season, a case that is still not totally resolved. So at the same time, MLB is both helping the A's and hindering them.

In fact, it doesn't seem like anybody in this entire saga is completely happy, and that didn't change with this new lease agreement.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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