The Oakland A’s are making an offer to buy the entire Oakland Coliseum site, but are not ready to commit to building a new ballpark there.
Future ownership of the Oakland Coliseum complex–which includes the A’s Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oracle Arena, and surrounding parking–has been a subject of intrigue of late. The City of Oakland is mulling the idea of buying out Alameda County’s half of the site, effectively making it the sole owner and simplifying future development discussions, while some private firms are reported to have an interest in the land. The A’s, meanwhile, continue to consider the site among their options for the location of a new ballpark in Oakland.
The A’s are planning an offer to buy both the City of Oakland’s and Alameda County’s shares in the site. While the team is not yet ready to commit to the Coliseum site as the home of its future ballpark, the purchase would serve as a precautionary measure by ensuring that another entity does not take control of the land. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:
“We think the best way to guarantee our long-term viability and success in Oakland is to own our own home,” A’s President Dave Kaval told us.
The Coliseum is one of two likely sites left in Oakland for the A’s to build a new stadium, the other being Howard Terminal on the waterfront near Jack London Square. Kaval says the A’s offer doesn’t necessarily mean they’re committing to the Coliseum location — but they don’t want another buyer snatching it up, just in case.
Kaval intends to send a letter Monday to Mayor Libby Schaaf, the City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors detailing the team’s offer. The A’s are proposing to buy the site in exchange for paying off the city and county’s roughly $135 million in outstanding debt on the stadium and Oracle Arena.
“We think that’s a very robust offer and a sharp contrast to the Raiders, who wanted the land for free” had they committed to building a stadium in Oakland, Kaval said. As it is, the A’s co-tenant at the Coliseum intends to decamp for Las Vegas, possibly after the 2020 season.
There are multiple factors in play when it comes to the future of the Coliseum and surrounding land. While the Raiders are set to move and the A’s want a new Oakland ballpark, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are departing Oracle Arena for the Chase Center–a new arena currently under construction in San Francisco–in 2019. That should free up a lot of land for eventual redevelopment, meaning that in any case the future of the site is going to be the subject of considerable discussion. With this move, the A’s are taking a step to make sure that a new ballpark remains part of that discussion for now.
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