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Elephant Rumblings: A’s working toward opening Coliseum; fans might be allowed in Texas stadiums

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MLB news roundup

2019 AL Wild Card - Tampa Bay Rays v. Oakland Athletics Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The S.F. Chronicle interviewed Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval on Thursday, marking the first time that fans have heard from him in a while. One topic of discussion involved the team’s rent payment on the Coliseum, which they chose to defer rather than pay by its April 1 due date. Kaval explains the legal justification for that move, as well as how the two sides are working together to find a solution.

The interview also brought up the related topic of opening the Coliseum for use by the team. After offering a thorough plan for how to operate the facility safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, Kaval hopes to have approval soon, perhaps even by Monday. Check out Susan Slusser’s full writeup for all the details.

While the A’s hope to begin training at their stadium soon, some other clubs might get to do far more than that at their own parks. According to Even Grant of the Dallas Morning News, MLB might let local governments decide whether to allow fans at games once the season gets started. That’s especially important news to the state of Texas, whose governor announced this week that stadiums can start filling to half of their normal capacity. Finally, the Houston Astros might have the benefit of a home-field advantage that is against the rules for most other teams.

Of course, for that to matter, the actual season will have to get going at some point. To that end, the MLB Players Association “resoundingly rejected” the league’s latest demand for further financial concessions, leaving the two sides at a continued deadlock. If progress is to be made toward playing games in 2020, then someone will have to blink at some point. For context on how toxic this owner-labor relationship is, of the five major pro sports in the country (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS), baseball is the only one yet to get this figured out, as all the others have come to various agreements that pave the way for them to resume play.

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