A's, Sacramento to meet on Wednesday

Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of third base at Oakland-Alameda County
Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of third base at Oakland-Alameda County / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
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The A's and the City of Oakland met on Tuesday to discuss a potential lease extension at the Coliseum, and judging by the quotes coming out of the meeting, it doesn't look like there will be Major League Baseball in The Town next year, or perhaps ever again, once the 2024 season is over.

According to Casey Pratt of ABC 7, the A's statement following the meeting was, "We appreciate Oakland’s engagement and also we are far apart on the terms needed to agree on an extension."

That doesn't sound encouraging.

Pratt also shared Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao's statement. "Oakland made a fair and reasonable offer to the A’s. We await their response and look forward to continuing discussions as necessary."

This was the third meeting between the two sides, and after the previous two they had immediately announced a date and time for the following meeting. This time around, it looks as though they are too far apart and there is no middle ground to be found, so the A's will be looking at other options.

Pratt has been busy today, becuase on his YouTube channel he said that he heard that the A's and Sacramento will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss using Sutter Health Park as the team's interim home, sharing it with the San Francisco Giants' Triple-A affiliate.

We don't know what kind of terms Sacramento is offering, or what kind of a restructured tv deal NBC California is proposing for the A's if they leave the Bay Area for up north, so it's not a forgone conclusion that Sacramento ends up with the A's, but it sure looks like the most likely outcome at the moment.

It's also worth noting that John Fisher is friends with Sacramento Kings/River Cats owner Vivek Ranadivé, so striking a deal doesn't seem like it would be too tough if the other factors in play line up.

Ultimately, where the A's wind up will be determined by cost. If the team were to stay in Oakland, the city has been requesting $97 million in rent (the alleged shortfall at Howard Terminal that led the A's to switch to Las Vegas) over the course of the three or five year deal. While that seems like a lot to ask, especially when the A's are paying somewhere around $1.5 million in rent this year, it should be noted that by staying at the Coliseum, they would still collect the full amount from their tv deal at $70 million per season. Oakland is asking for about 46% of that money over a three-year span, or 28% over a five-year span.

What kind of a deal the A's strike with NBC California to broadcast games in Sacramento could be the determining factor here. The team could get half of what they are currently, and that would look good at first glance, but when you account for ballpark upgrades (and who pays for them) at Sutter Health to make the facility Major League ready, relocating an entire big-league franchise, the operations staff, and everything else that comes with it, then it could be fairly close.

Some have mentioned that putting in the work to get away from Oakland would save Fisher from all of the fan protests, but people must not realize that Sacramento is only about an hour and a half away, and many A's fans who saw their beloved Kings nearly ripped away, would be plenty happy to support the cause up north.

All in all, it feels as though a Sacramento announcement is looming. If the A's decide to follow the blueprint they laid out last season, they'll come to terms on Wednesday, and then reveal those plans as soon as the team leaves on a road trip for a week.

Jason Burke