OAKLAND -- The A's responded Monday to a March 11 column in the San Francisco Examiner about A's owner and managing partner Lew Wolff that was titled, "A's owner Wolff standing in the way of a new stadium." The team said that the column included "numerous and unresourced inaccuracies that need to be clarified."
The team made the following points in a news release:
• The Oakland A's have paid rent to play their games at O.co Coliseum and will continue to pay rent under the current new two-year agreement with the Joint Powers Authority. The A's are also the only team playing at the O.co Coliseum that directly pays for day of game police protection.
• The team continues to negotiate with the JPA about a 10-year extension to continue to play at the Coliseum. Under such an arrangement, the A's would continue to pay rent and has offered to pay for over $10 million in major improvements to the venue including two HD video scoreboards and LED ribbon boards.
• It is not "urban legend" that Walter Haas granted territorial rights to Giants owner Bob Lurie so he could explore possibilities in the South Bay. It is fact and Major League Baseball or the A's would have confirmed that if either would have been asked.
• Wolff did not create "artificial attendance reduction" by tarping off seats in the upper deck of the Coliseum. As a point of reference, the average attendance at the Coliseum in the 10 seasons before the tarps were installed was 21,872-capacity with the tarps installed is 35,067. Attendance in 2013 averaged 22,337. On several occasions, Wolff has said the team will remove the tarps if there is consistent ticket demand that justifies it. In fact, the team did remove the tarps during the 2013 postseason once ticket sales indicated the need for a larger capacity. However, the smaller capacity with tarps has clearly created a more intimate and exciting atmosphere at the Coliseum, as noted by many of our players, media and fans.