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Will numbers work for new A’s ballpark at Coliseum site?

O.Co Coliseum

An ambitious plan to make over the current Coliseum site with new Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders facilities is hitting some political turbulence over the financials.

Oakland officials are pushing a Coliseum City plan for the current site of the O.Co Coliseum and Oracle Arena; it calls for a new A’s ballpark, an Oakland Raiders football stadium and would expand over I-880 with new retail, housing and office space. A developer — Colony Capital LLC — is theoretically on board, although the A’s and the Raiders have not as of yet signed on to the plan.

And neither have Alameda County officials, who have been equal partners with the city on the current Coliseum arrangement — an arrangement, by the way, that still carries $200 million in debt after the last renovation of the Coliseum. County officials want to see that debt addressed as well as receive a share of the tax proceeds for the development, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Under the proposed deal, Oakland would receive about 10 percent of all the taxes generated by the project, which includes the Coliseum property and land across Interstate 880.

That’s an arrangement that county supervisors cannot accept.

“The county’s position is that the city can’t do it without the county — and if they … need county resources, then we also want a share in the upside from the project.”

Behind closed doors county officials are pushing for a more equitable revenue-sharing agreement. They say that if they incur half the debt — and risk — of any new project then they should receive a greater share — than 90 percent — of the benefits.

No, we don’t understand that math, either. But that’s not the issue: the issue is whether there is a financial formula to make this work. Understandably, Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff probably wants to see how the San Jose ballpark proposal works out before he commits to anything in Oakland, and, remember, there’s still a proposal out there for an A’s waterfront ballpark in downtown Oakland. The Raiders, too, will need to commit somewhat to this concept before anyone can talk numbers. But if we’re talking about a $2-billion project and the two teams (plus the NFL) can come up with $800-$900 million, you have a decent start to the finances.

RELATED STORIES: A’s sign two-year lease to stay at Coliseum; Wolff: No move to AT&T Park — yet; A’s to AT&T Park in 2014?; Judge: San Jose has no rights to A’s; Selig: We’ll solve Oakland ballpark issue before I leave office; Selig: Oakland Coliseum a pit, but it’s our pit; Legal settlement could pave way for new Oakland ballpark; San Jose suit against MLB a weak one, saye experts; San Jose files suit against MLB in quest for A’s; Selig to San Jose Mayor: Sorry, no time to meet; Progress on new A’s ballpark? Not likely; Athletics propose five-year lease for Coliseum; What drives Lew Wolff?; Wolff: No more delays on A’s ballpark decisionSan Jose ballpark land deal under formal reviewCould Giants-A’s battle be settled in court?Waterfront site emerging as new A’s homeMLB committee meets with Oakland, San Jose officials about future of A’s; Developer: I can build new A’s ballpark with private financingSan Jose: A’s ballpark land safe — for nowWolff meets with Knauss, has clear message: A’s not for saleGiants: Nothing would tempt us to give up Silicon Valley territorySelig: A’s can leave Oakland — just not for San JoseCal to San Jose: Slow down on new ballparkA’s expected to push for ballpark decision at owner’s meetingsToday’s A’s/Giants update: nothing newWolff: A’s aren’t for saleSuitors emerge for Oakland Athletics


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