Athletics Las Vegas Relocation

How A's, Oakland's final Coliseum lease meeting reportedly went

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Two days before the Athletics announced they would play at least the next three MLB seasons in Sacramento before eventually moving to Las Vegas, the team met with city of Oakland officials for one last meeting to see if the sides could come to an agreement on a Coliseum lease extension.

The April 2 meeting at the A's Jack London Square offices featured team president Dave Kaval, Oakland chief of staff Leigh Hanson, A's chief of staff Miguel Duarte, Oakland councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Alameda County supervisor David Haubert and Oakland policy chief Zach Goldman, per ESPN's Tim Keown.

In a feature article published Wednesday, Keown provided details about that final meeting, which began at 8:30 a.m. PT last Tuesday.

Per Keown, this was the fourth meeting between the A's and city officials after Hanson said the team reached out in mid-February about possibly extending the Coliseum lease, which expires at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

"Approaching us halfway through February indicated to us it wasn't super serious," Hanson told Keown. "A normal negotiation would have started two months after they pulled out last April. So much trust had deteriorated, but we thought we'd give them the benefit of the doubt and realize their organization was going through a lot of transition. We felt it was our responsibility to the fans and the city to go forward and try to make it work on our terms."

The final meeting started with Kaval bringing up news that the city's five-year, $97 million extension offer to the A's had been reported by KGO and ESPN in the days prior.

Kaval told city officials that the $97 million fee was a "nonstarter."

"This is above market rate," Kaval said, per Keown.

"It is," Hanson responded, "and your deal now is criminally below market. The goal is not to make this the cheapest deal possible. The goal is to make this work for the city."

"Well," Kaval concluded. "This isn't going to work for us."

Hanson told Keown that she shrugged before responding.

"It's your responsibility to decide where you're going to play baseball," Hanson told Kaval. "We pick up trash and we do cops and we care about economic development, but it's not our responsibility to house you."

Keown reported, citing sources, that while the A's had called the meetings, they never brought an offer to the table, though during a March meeting, Kaval mentioned the team would be willing to accept something he called the "Raiders' deal," a term Hanson didn't appreciate and a two-year, $17 million agreement she said the city wouldn't be able to do.

"First of all," Hanson told Kaval, per Keown. "Please don't call it the 'Raiders' deal' -- that brings back bad memories for everyone in this town. And second, that's not going to work."

Per Keown, the meeting ended at 9:30 a.m. PT, with city officials returning to Oakland City Hall, where they ultimately decided -- with Mayor Sheng Thao's blessing -- to offer the A's a reduced three-year, $60 million lease extension, which was reported by the San Francisco's Chronicle's John Shea on April 4, shortly after the team announced they would begin playing at West Sacramento's Sutter Health Park in 2025.

Hanson told Keown that she called Kaval at 7:15 p.m. PT on April 2 with the revised offer, but no agreement was hatched before the conversation ended.

Just over 36 hours later, Kaval, A's owner John Fisher, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and several local Sacramento officials stood at a podium inside Sutter Health Park announcing a partnership that would bring MLB baseball to the state capital for at least the 2025, 2026 and 2027 seasons.

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