Notoriously cheap owner has to pay for A’s to leave Oakland

Notoriously Cheap Oakland Athletics Owner Forced to Pay for Team’s Departure

The Oakland Athletics, known for their frugal spending habits, are now being forced to pay a hefty sum just to leave the city of Oakland. According to reports, Alameda County has demanded that the A’s pay $45 million by May 14 of next year.

The demand stems from a contract between the Athletics and Alameda County. In 2019, the team bought out the county’s 50 percent stake in the Oakland Coliseum’s site for $85 million. The agreement stated that the Athletics would pay the remaining balance in three equal installments of $15 million across 2024, 2025, and 2026.

However, the county claims that the A’s triggered a key clause in the contract by announcing their move to Las Vegas. The clause reportedly requires the team to pay off the entire remaining balance within 180 days of announcing their departure from Oakland. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the Athletics, stating that the clause was triggered on November 16, the same day that all 30 MLB teams unanimously approved the relocation to Vegas.

The Athletics’ majority owner, John Fisher, and President Dave Kaval, were specifically mentioned in the letter for making statements about the team’s relocation out of Oakland.

This demand for payment puts the Athletics in a difficult financial position. The team is notoriously one of the cheapest in all of baseball, consistently ranking in the bottom half of the league’s payroll rankings. In fact, they ranked dead last in payroll in 2022 and 2018. The team’s frugal habits have drawn criticism from fans and players alike.

Interestingly, the team’s reluctance to spend also extended to their stadium-building plans. The A’s had wanted Alameda County to provide a significant portion of funding for their billion-dollar stadium project. The county had secured over $425 million in funding and increased bonding capacity to accommodate the team’s ambitious plans. However, the team rejected all offers from the city of Oakland between 2021 and 2023.

The demand for payment from Alameda County highlights the strained relationship between the Athletics and the city they called home for over five decades. It also serves as a reminder that even notoriously cheap owners must face the consequences of their actions.

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