According to multiple reports, Major League Baseball has suggested that the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants share the Giants ballpark next season.
The idea is being suggested because lease-extension talks between the A's and O.co Coliseum have stalled. Negotiations have been ongoing for more than six months and differences have surfaced on concessions revenue and length of the extension. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the A's want a two-year lease that would give them the possibility to move somewhere else. The Coliseum would prefer that the A's sign a five-to-eight year deal.
Major League Baseball is involved in the negotiations because it administers the schedule and needs to inform all teams when games will be played.
The Giants could be forced to accept the shared stadium agreement because MLB has an antitrust exemption that gives it special powers to control franchise movement.
But, according to Chris Dobbins, who sits on the Coliseum Authority Board and leads the grassroots organization Save Oakland Sports, a deal between the A's and the Coliseum is almost done.
"That I can say, confidently, that we're really close to getting it done. So, really excited, hopefully in the next, you know, few, short while we're going to get this lease extension signed," he said.
Giants' fans are about as proud of their stadium as they are of their team. To some, asking them to share AT&T Park is pushing it.
"For the most part, you know, I would say that Giants fans want to keep AT&T Park their own," said Matt Schubert of San Francisco.
Diehard A's fan David Sanchez isn't keen on the idea of his beloved green and gold crossing the bay to play its home games.
"The A's are from Oakland, they're the Oakland A's and I can't imagine going all the way to San Francisco for a game," he said.
It's not just fans who take issue with this proposal; it's also those who have to navigate the area around the ballpark on game days.
"I work around here. It's a nightmare getting in and out as is, and like, to double the capacity on the home games; I don't think is a very good idea," said a man who works near the ballpark.
But surprisingly, we found fans, from both teams, who tell us they can see the positive in this idea. It's no secret that the A's are hoping to move to San Jose and fans tell us they'd prefer a move to San Francisco.
"I don't want [the A's] to leave, but while they get the ballpark situation situated and everything, I would like them to stay close in the Bay Area so as to where I could see them, and everything play, instead of go all the way out to San Jose," said A's fan Jason Greer.
There is also an economic impact. Bars, restaurants and coffee shops line the area around the ballpark. Those businesses cash in when the Giants play at home.
"Business goes way up, which is great for us. And, to have the A's here, if they could figure out the schedule, we would love to have the fans here," said Max Wechter, Assistant Manager at Philz Coffee.
The A's released a statement that read:
"According to Managing Partner Lew Wolff, we intend to extend our lease in Oakland and look forward to another great season."
The Coliseum Commission is expected to vote on a lease extension for the A's at its next meeting on November 15th.