With the A's lease-extension negotiations bogging down in Oakland, officials from Major League Baseball have introduced the idea of having the Giants share AT&T Park with the Athletics in 2014, this newspaper has confirmed.
However, it's unlikely such an arrangement will take place unless the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Commission fails to reach agreement on the A's request to extend their lease at O.co Coliseum for five years or less. The team's agreement to play at O.co expired at the conclusion of the 2013 season. But with MLB still wrestling with both the A's request for a move to San Jose as well as no feasible new ballpark plan surfacing in Oakland, the team wishes to keep playing at O.co until that issue is settled.
Negotiations on a lease extension have been ongoing for more than six months and differences have surfaced on concessions revenue and length of the extension. \
Representatives of the A's expected the terms to be resolved by now and still expect the team to play in Oakland in 2013 and for several more years. But with lease-extension talks stalling, Major League Baseball has become a party to the negotiations because it administers the schedule and needs to inform opponents where home games will be played.
The Giants could be forced to accept the unique sharing agreement for the same reason that the A's have been denied their request for a San Jose move -- because MLB has an antitrust exemption that gives it special powers to control franchise movement.
Two teams sharing a Major League ballpark would not be unprecedented. The Dodgers and the Angels both played in Dodger Stadium while Anaheim was building its new ballpark in the 1960's, and the Yankees and the Mets shared Shea Stadium during a Yankee Stadium remodeling project in the 70's.