With new 10-year lease finally approved, A's stadium drama cools — for now

Mike Oz
Big League Stew
The Oakland City Council approved a 10-year lease to keep the A's at O.Co Coliseum. (AP)
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The Oakland City Council approved a 10-year lease to keep the A's at O.Co Coliseum. (AP)

Previously in this blog space, we've written all about the politicking and posturing that have turned the Oakland Athletics' quest to find a place to play baseball into a head-numbing drama.

The A's and the City of Oakland have now agreed to a deal that will keep the team in Oakland for 10 more years. The Oakland City Council approved the new lease Tuesday after A's co-owner Lew Wolff agreed to a number of changes the city council has asked for late in the negotiations. The A's will pay about $20 million to use O.Co Coliseum for the next 10 years.

All that's left now is for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to give its approval to the new lease next week. That's supposed to be a sure thing and even though there's been fighting at the first two steps of the approval process, most believe getting the county's approval won't be a problem.

So ends all the politics. The A's won't be leaving for San Antonio or Montreal. Bud Selig's power play worked out like he hoped and the A's will be in Oakland for the foreseeable future. The city council got A's ownership to bend to its will. And now, the team with the best record in baseball will be left playing in the same old, problematic stadium that people have been making jokes about for years.

The umpire's locker room smelled like what? (Getty Images)
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The umpire's locker room smelled like what? (Getty Images)

However, given the state of O.Co Coliseum (mmm, sewage!), don't except the A's to just keep playing there as-is. From the sound of things, there will be big changes to the stadium, perhaps even an entirely new stadium at the same site. And the A's could still leave as early as 2017, though it wouldn't be cheap.

The San Francisco Chronicle has details on the possible future for the A's and their current home:

In a letter to City Administrator Henry Gardner last week, Wolff informed city officials of his interest in pursuing a new stadium at the O.co site, and the lease agreement says the team will "engage in good faith discussions" to stay in Oakland.

But if he were to decide to move the team outside Oakland, the lease allows the A's to leave as early as December 2017 by giving two years' notice. The team, however, would have to pay rent for any remaining years on the lease.

So, sure, the A's new lease brings some certainty to where they'll play their games in the future. But, everything about this situation still leads us to believe that until they have a new stadium, whether in Oakland or elsewhere, there's still potential for things to get messy.

Pun very much intended.

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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!