Agency that oversees Coliseum says A's haven't paid rent

23 Mai, 2020, 00:55 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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Count the Oakland A's among the "cancel rent" crowd.

The Oakland Athletics missed their $1.2 million annual rent payment, citing financial difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Bay Area News Group reported.

Henry Gardener, the Coliseum Authority's interim executive director, said earlier Tuesday that A's executives claimed the team had "no ability to pay".

There's a long history of Major League Baseball owners crying poor, including with weird claims about how much they'll lose in a season with no fans.

"They said because they haven't used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay", Garden told the outlet. "Maybe there are some things we are willing to negotiate and waive, but we can't just say no rent".

The report said the A's attorney, D'Lorna Ellis, sent a letter to the authority citing the "force majeure" clause in the contract that could absolve it of its payments in the event of a catastrophe.

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The A's didn't respond to the Mercury News' request for comment.

In a letter sent March 31, D'Lorna Ellis, A's General Counsel, wrote that the organization "recently learned that the Coliseum Complex is being evaluated as a potential surge site to accommodate individuals impacted by the virus, and we support its use for that goal if needed".

"We trust that you understand and agree with our position in the interest of public health and safety", Ellis wrote.

"The A's have fully supported the health directives and community efforts by the City of Oakland, Alameda County and the State", the statement said. Authority board member Ignacio de LaFuente blasted the A's, saying, "it's just an excuse to try to not pay when the city needs the money the most".

The A's had planned to build a new ballpark at Oakland's Howard Terminal by 2023, and the team officially agreed to purchase Alameda County's shares of the Coliseum in December. And yes, the A's aren't getting their usual revenues right now, and yes, it's far from clear that they'll actually play baseball games at the Coliseum this year.

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