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Two-facility solution on horizon in Oakland?

Coliseum City, OaklandWith Athletics ownership laying the design groundwork for a new ballpark at the Coliseum site and the realization by city officials that large-scale development there is unlikely, we could see planning for a two-facility solution in Oakland commence.

That the A’s have been working on a game plan for the Coliseum site isn’t news, despite what the San Francisco Chronicle reports in January co-owner Lew Wolff said the election of Libby Schaaf “re-energized” him on Oakland, with the city and the team moving forward with an agreement to explore the possibility of a new A’s ballpark on the Coliseum site, working in parallel to Floyd Kephart and New City Development seeking a much larger project, Coliseum City. Also going on at the same time: discussions with the Oakland Raiders (NFL) on a new football stadium at the Coliseum site. Now that the ambitious Coliseum City project has imploded and the Raiders are close to a stadium solution — the team meets with the city tomorrow regarding a new stadium, and the NFL is expected to act on teams pitching a move to Los Angeles in August meetings — we’re seeing the outline of a stadium solution emerge.

That solution seems to be a two-stadium setup at the Coliseum site, either with two completely new stadiums for the A’s and Raiders or a renovated Coliseum joined by a new facility. With the future of Oracle Arena in doubt as well, there’s certainly enough land to build two new facilities if the Coliseum ends up being parking — it’s a matter of logistics to make sure the new construction doesn’t totally impact existing operations. We’re a little surprised to see the Chronicle talk about Coliseum renovation — the issues with that facility run deep, literally (remember the sewage flowing into the clubhouses?) — and we’re guessing that by the time you address all the physical problems and aesthetic upgrades, you’re more than halfway to the cost of a new stadium. (To put it bluntly: the circular bowl really isn’t good for football or baseball.)

The big story: we should see some sort of resolution to the Oakland facility issue in coming months. The issue has not been the Athletics; the uncertain state of the Raiders re: Los Angeles has been paralyzing lots of folks in recent months. A resolution of that issue will help resolve ballpark issues for the Athletics.

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