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Manfred: A’s ballpark needs attention

Coliseum City, OaklandWith several communities — Inglewood, San Diego, Carson, Oakland, St. Louis — preoccupied with NFL stadium plans, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says the ballpark needs of the Oakland Athletics shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle.

If you’ve been following the NFL stadium discussions, you know that three NFL teams — the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers — are currently involved in negotiations for new facilities with the aforementioned communities, and the outcome of the negotiations are certainly in flux. Will the Raiders end up in Carson or St. Louis? Will the Rams return to LA? Will the Chargers move back to LA or stay in San Diego? Things seem to change daily, and there are some other factors — like the future of Oracle Arena or whether St. Louis can find funding for a new waterfront stadium — at play as well. Let’s just say the future is muddy.

Which has a direct impact on the future of the Oakland Athletics in the Bay Area. After years of casting about for a new community, ownership has finally come to the conclusion that a new ballpark at the current Coliseum site is the best plan. And while the Coliseum site is certainly ripe for some level of development, city officials have been paralyzed until there’s something solid with the Raiders and a final determination on a new Golden State Warriors (NBA) arena in The City.

A process that’s moving along very slowly, a situation addressed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred:

“I think Oakland is active in terms of constantly exploring what their options are with the principal focus on Oakland,” Manfred said, referencing the A’s. “I speak to Lew (Wolff, managing general partner) probably more than any other individual owner because I am very concerned about the situation in Oakland and I’m concerned about the pace at which this is moving forward.”

Manfred seemed encouraged by the intentions of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, saying, “She seems to be very interested in keeping the A’s, which is my principal concern.”

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