The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority signed off on the new deal after a power play by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, but the Oakland City Council still isn't 100% on board. And the council will have to give its approval to a new lease too.
You'll recall that city council members who also serve on the Coliseum Authority board no-showed at a vote a few weeks ago, and now there are reports that the Oakland City Council itself is quite divided.
The City Council met in closed session Monday to talk about the lease with City Attorney Barbara Parker and City Administrator Henry Gardner —and two councilmen who favor the lease abruptly walked out of the meeting before it ended, frustrated with the proceedings.
After the meeting, Gardner was meeting A's co-owner Lew Wolff for dinner at the Coliseum to discuss the city's concerns. The City Council has not scheduled a vote on the lease, and Monday's closed council meeting was intended as a discussion on the lease terms.
Councilman Larry Reid, meanwhile, is telling the media that the A's could still leave, and he's even naming possible destinations. From the Chronicle's Matier & Ross blog:
Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid says he doesn’t believe the A’s are bluffing in their threat to leave the city if they don’t get a 10-year lease extension at the Coliseum, and he pointed to a pair of possible destinations — Montreal and San Antonio, Texas.
Reid said that was the word he got from the Coliseum Authority negotiators who have been working for the past 14 months to try to reach an A’s lease extension. “They have options,’’ Reid said.
Now, this doesn't mean people in San Antonio and Montreal should get too excited. We're talking about a politician here, so conventional wisdom says it's mostly posturing to swing a vote his way. Besides, San Antonio doesn't have a MLB-ready facility and Montreal's stadium is old. The previous team left when it couldn't get a new stadium built, a sad ballad the A's know too well.
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