The Oakland Athletics did not pay $ 1.2 million in rent for the RingCentral Coliseum because of their inability to “generate revenue,” reports said.
Coliseum Authority acting head Henry Gardner told The East Bay Times on Tuesday that the A’s revealed that they “do not have the capacity to pay” the annual rent, which was due on April 1.
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“They said that because they hadn’t used it, they weren’t able to generate income and they couldn’t afford to pay,” said Garden at the point of sale.
He said he understands that the unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic have had an impact on the organization’s finances, but not paying rent is simply not an option.
“We recognize that we have all been upset in many ways … maybe we are ready to negotiate and give up on some things, but we can’t just say no rent,” said Garden.
According to a letter obtained by the East Bay Times, A’s general counsel, D’Lorna Ellis, cited a contract clause that relieves both parties of their respective obligations in the event of an extraordinary event.
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In the letter dated March 31 – just one day before rent – Ellis said the organization would defer payment “until we understand better when the Coliseum will be available for our use”.
Athletics did not respond to the East Bay Times’ request for comment.
Coliseum Authority board member Ignacio De La Fuente accused the A’s of profiting from the crisis, saying at the point of sale that “it’s not the city’s fault, not the county’s fault or state ”, that the coronavirus pandemic is occurring.
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“It’s just an excuse to try not to pay when the city needs the money the most. “