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Report: Oakland A’s refuse to make $1.2 million Coliseum rent payment


The Oakland A’s mascot Stomper stands on the field during a game delay to due a faulty lighting tower before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.

The Oakland A’s mascot Stomper stands on the field during a game delay to due a faulty lighting tower before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.

Photo: Jason O. Watson / Getty Images

Photo: Jason O. Watson / Getty Images

The Oakland A’s mascot Stomper stands on the field during a game delay to due a faulty lighting tower before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.

The Oakland A’s mascot Stomper stands on the field during a game delay to due a faulty lighting tower before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum on May 7, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.

Photo: Jason O. Watson / Getty Images

Report: Oakland A’s refuse to make $1.2 million Coliseum rent payment

The Oakland A’s have reportedly refused to make a $1.2 million rent payment for use of the Coliseum, citing the team’s inability to use the facility to generate revenue.

“They said because they haven’t used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay,” Henry Gardner, the Coliseum Authority interim executive director, told the Mercury News.

While the A’s are contractually obligated to make the annual payment on April 1, Gardner said the stadium authority is willing to negotiate with the team.

“We recognize that we’ve all been upended in a number of ways,” Gardner told the Mercury News. “Maybe there are some things we are willing to negotiate and waive, but we can’t just say no rent.”

All Major League Baseball games have been on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While MLB team owners have reportedly approved a proposal to start an 82-game season in July, the plan would have to be approved by the players’ union.

Any plan approved by both sides would likely include games played in front of no fans, at least to start the season, as many states, including California, have a ban on large gatherings to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Sporting events that allow fans in the stands would currently be allowed in Stage 4 of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen the state. Newsom has repeatedly said that California is months away from entering Stage 4.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Matthew Tom is a Homepage Editor at SFGATE. Email: mtom@sfgate.com.