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Coliseum City, Athletics ballpark plans in flux

Coliseum City, OaklandWith the Oakland Raiders planning for a new L.A.-area stadium and Alameda County refusing to play ball, the future of Coliseum City and a new Oakland A’s ballpark remains to be seen.

In a joint statement, the Raiders and San Diego Chargers ownership announced they were in negotiations to share a new stadium in Carson, a suburb in the greater Los Angeles area. However, the teams came short of saying they were committed to the new stadium; instead, they announced that they would continue to work with Oakland and San Diego, respectively, on new stadium efforts:

  • We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.
  • In short, for the remainder of 2015, we intend to move down two tracks simultaneously:
    • On track one, we will continue to work in our home markets to find permanent stadium solutions that are publicly acceptable.
    • On track two, we will work in Carson to preserve our options, and the future economic viability of our franchises, in the event that our efforts in our local markets fail.

It’s an interesting approach, and it’s hard to tell where the posturing ends and the actual attempt to move begins. But whether it moves the Coliseum City project forward remains to be seen, as Bay Area politics prove to be fascinating yet again.

Which is where the baseball, and the Oakland Athletics, come in. There is a developer on board for the Coliseum project, but it’s a project going nowhere fast because Alameda County — half of the Oakland-Alameda County partnership that brought the world the Coliseum in the first place — is not participating in any planning for development at the Coliseum area that could include new facilities for both the Raiders and the A’s. From

Speaking to the West Oakland Commerce Association, Floyd Kephart, the lead executive of New City Development LLC, said city of Oakland officials have been “very straightforward” in working on the Coliseum City project but he said, “We don’t have that same thing from Alameda County.”…

Alameda County’s participation is a key component for the $2 billion-plus Coliseum City project because the county and the city own about two-thirds of the 200 acres at the Coliseum site where the development is proposed. Plans call for at least one new sports stadium at the site plus housing, retail stores, hotels and housing.

Kephart said the Coliseum City project “could be the vibrant urban center that everyone envisions and include 5,700 residential units and 475,000 square feet of retail space. But he said the development “is hung up on the city and county coming together on land.”

A loss of the Raiders could end up being really good news for the A’s, leaving the team as the only major sports tenant in the development. Or the loss of the Raiders could be really bad news for the A’s, with the proposed development collapsing because of a lack of city and county support. If the A’s are committed, the future of a new Coliseum-area ballpark may depend on forces outside their control.

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