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Elephant Rumblings: Oakland A’s pay their rent on Coliseum

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Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

During the last couple months of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the Oakland A’s made a few negative headlines regarding financial decisions. Fortunately they addressed and corrected a couple of their criticized moves, by resuming payment of their minor leaguers and un-furloughing their scouts, and this week they tied up yet another loose end.

Late May brought news that the A’s had deferred their $1.2 million rent payment on the Coliseum, citing a provision in their rental agreement and the fact that they hadn’t been allowed to use the facility. That decision, while seeming to be logically and legally defensible, drew criticism from the Coliseum’s governing body, as well as some segments of media and fans. Now it’s taken care of, as the A’s paid their rent this week, reports Phil Matier of the S.F. Chronicle.

However, while the rent is now paid in full, Matier notes the team plans to seek a partial refund for the games it wasn’t able to play. Either way, this should be the final rent payment they ever make on the Coliseum, as they are entering talks to buy out the city’s half of the site and thus own it outright.

Meanwhile, the Coliseum should start seeing some use soon. The 2020 MLB season was officially announced this week, and the A’s have received permission from the health department to begin utilizing their home park for workouts (and eventually games), reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

Players will report to training camp by July 1 to undergo testing for the virus, and teams can start working out on July 3, reports Slusser. The A’s will use the Raiders’ old locker room in addition to their own, in order to increase social distancing, though they might need to build extra space for visiting teams.

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