In a move that could have implications in the Oakland A’s ballpark search, Alameda County will negotiate with the City of Oakland over its share of the Oakland Coliseum site.
Traditionally, Alamaeda County and Oakland have shared in the ownership of the Oakland Coliseum complex, which includes the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Oracle Arena. However, there has been some discussion of the late that the county will pursue talks about selling its share of the property to the city. If the city does take full control of the site, it is believed that it could simplify any discussions of future development options.
One possibility for the future of the site is a new A’s ballpark, as it is one of three choices–along with a location near Laney College and Howard Terminal–that the team is considering in its search. Though they have not settled on it as their preferred option, the A’s recently offered to take ownership of the Coliseum complex in exchange for paying off nearly $137 million in debt the city and county owe on the Coliseum. Time will tell how these issues play out, but Alameda County supervisors agreed on Tuesday to enter into negotiations with the city. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:
The Coliseum is owned and managed jointly by the city and county, and the board believes having a single owner would make it easier to negotiate a sale, said supervisors Scott Haggerty and Nate Miley in a statement.
Because the city controls land use at the site, the supervisors said, it makes sense for Oakland to become the sole owner and bargain with the A’s for the property, the supervisors said.
Oakland and Alameda County have owned the Coliseum complex, including the stadium, arena and sprawling parking lots, for more than 50 years. They’ve been home to the A’s, Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors, whose success prompted officials to name the complex the “Home of Champions.”
In addition to keeping the A’s in Oakland, the supervisors hope the sale of the Coliseum will spur development of the area, which sits aside Interstate 880 and a short walk from BART and the Capitol Corridor rail line.
As noted, the A’s have not settled on a ballpark site, but the Coliseum property is receiving interest from other parties, as car manufacturer Tesla and sports entrepreneur Mark Hall are have been linked to all or part of the site. Redevelopment of the Coliseum site will be a topic of discussion regardless, because the NFL’s Oakland Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in 2020, the A’s want a new ballpark, and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are slated to depart Oracle Arena for the Chase Center–a new arena currently under construction in San Francisco–in 2019.
There has also been some recent news about Howard Terminal, a waterfront site that remains in the mix. Access issues are one of the questions surrounding that site, but the A’s are looking into a creative solution that would lead to the use of gondola ski lift to bring fans from downtown to Howard Terminal. The San Francisco Chronicle has more on this story, but with the construction of a new BART stop near Howard Terminal seemingly out of the question, the gondola ski lift could lift fans from downtown, above I-880 and rail road tracks, to the ballpark site.
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