The Oakland Athletics missed their $1.2 annual rent payment, citing financial difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Bay Area News Group reported.
Henry Gardner, the interim head of the Coliseum Authority, confirmed the lack of payment to the media group.
“They said because they haven’t used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay,” Gardner said.
The Coliseum Authority manages RingCentral Coliseum, the current name of the cavernous 54-year-old stadium long known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
“We recognize that we’ve all been upended in a number of ways,” Gardner said. “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.
That didn’t sit well with one member of the Coliseum Authority board.
The crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is “not the city’s fault, not the county’s fault or the state’s fault,” Ignacio De La Fuente said. “I’m going to make sure we do whatever we can to make them pay.”
He added: “It’s just an excuse to try to not pay when the city needs the money the most.”
The A’s are the only major tenant left at Coliseum Authority properties. The NFL’s Raiders moved to Las Vegas, and the NBA’s Warriors relocated from the nearby arena to the new Chase Center in San Francisco.
The A’s could need to reach a deal with the Coliseum Authority soon. On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave teams in the state the green light to return to their home arenas and stadiums next month without fans in the seats.