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Oakland to meet with A’s on new Coliseum lease deal

Sunni Khalid

Viva, Las Vegas? For A’s fans, not so fast.Negotiations between the A’s and the City of Oakland about a new lease have added yet another wrinkle in the torturous relationship between the two sides.A year ago, the A’s broke off negotiations on a new stadium at Howard Terminaland announced that they would be moving to “Sin City” – to a billion-dollar domed stadium on the Las Vegas Strip. But the club’s existing lease to play their games at the antiquated Coliseum expires at the end of this season.

The A’s have been exploring options about where to play their home games before the new Vegas stadium can be built in four years – including moving to minor league parks in Sacramento, Fresno and Salt Lake City, Utah.Over the weekend,the city reportedly offered the A’s a multi-year extension on the lease.Among the terms of the lease are a $97-million “extension fee” to be paid by the A’s to the city; a five-year deal, with a three-year opt out option, if there are construction delays with the Vegas stadium, or if the deal for the new park collapses.

The city has reportedly dropped its demands for the team to relinquish its colors and nickname, if it moves to Vegas, and that major league baseball promise Oakland an expansion franchise.

Meanwhile, on the field, the A’s opened their 56th season at the Coliseum last week, losing their first three games, amid protests and drawing less than 8,000 fans per game – the worst in the major leagues.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.