Find out the latest on COVID-19's impact on the sports world and when sports are returning by subscribing to Breaking News push notifications in the Sports and COVID-19 section.
Under the terms of the lease, the annual payment should have been made to the stadium's owner, the Coliseum Authority, on April 1. The A's contend that they can't afford to pay without hosting home games this season.
"They said because they haven't used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay," Coliseum Authority interim executive director Henry Gardner told Debolt.
An attorney for the Athletics admitted the payment wasn't made but told Debolt that the team is also unsure if it will be able to use the ballpark once California allows sports to resume. The Coliseum was listed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom as a potential surge site to treat COVID-19 patients if additional facilities are needed.
On March 31, A's general counsel D'Lorna Ellis told Gardner that the team would not pay the annual fee until knowing for sure whether it could play home games at the Coliseum in 2020.
Gardner stated Tuesday that he's sympathetic but expects the team to honor the contract.
"We recognize that we've all been upended in a number of ways," he said. "Maybe there are some things we are willing to negotiate and waive but we can't just say no rent."
The Athletics have called the Coliseum their home since moving to Oakland in 1968. Despite its storied history as a ballpark, it's now regarded as one of the worst stadiums in baseball due to its age and deteriorating infrastructure. Efforts to build a new ballpark elsewhere in Oakland have led to long legal battles with both the city and the Coliseum.
Long considered one of MLB's poorest clubs, the A's were valued by Forbes at $1.1 billion in April, ranking 26th out of 30 franchises.