Oakland’s ballpark deal approved by authority

Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics have moved a step closer to finalising an agreement to stay at the Coliseum ballpark until the end of 2024.

The 10-year lease extension, which was agreed last month, has been approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. The deal still needs to be approved by the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors later this month, but the latest development marks a major hurdle in Oakland’s efforts to stay at the Coliseum.

The deal with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority settles all outstanding issues between the two sides, including a dispute of past rent owed by the franchise. As part of the deal to stay at the ballpark, the team – more commonly known as the A’s – will spend more than $10m (€7.4m) on a new scoreboard and the authority will pay for any structural improvements that will be in place by opening day of the 2015 season.

Athletics owner Lew Wolff has long harboured a desire to relocate the team to San Jose, but any potential switch has been met with concerns over how it would impact on the San Francisco Giants’ territorial footprint.

The A’s have played at the Coliseum since 1968, but the stadium has been hit with numerous issues in recent years, most notably sewage problems, while the team currently ranks only 24th in the MLB attendance stakes despite its success of late.