OAKLAND -- A seemingly done deal to keep the A's in Oakland for up to 10 more seasons has hit a roadblock as city leaders question whether they are making too many concessions.
With Oakland officials seeking amendments to the lease extension, the public agency that operates O.co Coliseum called off a Friday vote to ratify the agreement.
The postponement frustrated A's co-owner Lew Wolff, who thought he had a done deal.
"We had thought this would be voted on this Friday," Wolff said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "We have made countless concessions, including many requested late last week after we were told we had a deal. We are done negotiating. It is up to them to vote."
Any lease extension would have to be approved not only by the Coliseum board but also the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Council members got their first look at the deal Tuesday evening during a closed-door meeting.
Council members could direct their representatives on the Coliseum board to seek more concessions; they also could endorse the existing terms.
The A's have been seeking a long-term lease in Oakland as they continue seeking Major League Baseball's permission to move to San Jose.
Oakland officials, hopeful that the team can be swayed to build a ballpark at their current home, also want a lease deal. But sources said they fear that if they give up too much in negotiations now, they won't have any leverage for another decade.
Relations between the team and their landlords in the city and county have been acrimonious at times. Last year, MLB intervened on the A's behalf to seal a two-year lease extension that required the team to increase its annual payments from $800,000 to $1.75 million but didn't include additional concessions sought by the Coliseum board.
Talks on a long-term extension came to a halt two months ago as both sides traded barbs in the press. Negotiations heated up again in May when the framework of an agreement was hashed out during a meeting between Wolff and Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.
However, sources said several city officials aren't sold on the deal. It failed to resolve whether the A's must pay the city more than $5 million that the team has deducted from its rent payments to offset a city parking tax. Also the deal originally allowed the A's to give only one-year's notice to leave Oakland with minimal financial penalty.
Sources said the team has agreed to several revisions over the past week sought by attorneys representing the city -- a few of which provided additional flexibility for the Oakland Raiders if they build a new football stadium adjacent to the Coliseum. However, the A's have refused to agree to any amendments that could change the economics of the deal, sources said.
The lease deal has come under fire from fan groups who fear that it concedes too much to the A's and could potentially push the Raiders out of town.
Jim Zelinski of the group Save Oakland Sports called on city officials to closely scrutinize any extension with the A's. "I think every aspect of it should be studied to make sure it's in the best interest of the teams, the taxpayers and the fans," he said.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.