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A's, Raiders get new leases in Oakland

The SportsXchange

Pro football and baseball will remain in Oakland, Calif., for the short term after the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority approved lease extensions for the Raiders and Athletics.

The A's will remain at O.co Coliseum for at least two more years, while the Raiders will stay put through the 2014-15 season. Both deals passed with 7-1 votes Monday, the lone dissenter being sports agent Aaron Goodwin.

The Athletics' existing lease was set to Dec. 31. The baseball team wants to move to San Jose and build a new ballpark, but the San Francisco Giants are fighting the move, claiming territorial rights. Major League Baseball threatened to use its anti-trust exemption powers to force the Giants to share AT&T Park with the A's in the event an agreement with the Coliseum board was not reached.

The Raiders could move out of the Coliseum after the 2014 season, but their only option in the Bay Area is sharing the soon-to-open Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., with the San Francisco 49ers.

The A's will have greater control of concessions revenues from the Coliseum board as part of the deal.

"At the end of the day, it's not ideal, but it's progress," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, chairman of the Coliseum Authority. "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."

Oakland City Council member Rebecca Kaplan, a Coliseum board member, voted in favor of the deal for the A's.

"If we had not done this, the A's would have said, 'See, we can't play here.' That would have opened the door for them to leave," she told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Kaplan said she hoped the extension would allow the city time to work on plans for a new stadium complex.

Goodwin opposed the extensions because he wanted longer-term deals with the teams.

"I didn't think this deal was fair for the fans or the public, so I couldn't vote for it," he told the Oakland Tribune.

A's owner Lew Wolff said Sunday that the short-term lease extension with the Coliseum is "fine with me."

As for the Raiders, owner Mark Davis said previously he wants to keep the team in Alameda County.
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