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Oakland A’s Enter Coliseum Negotiations

Oakland A's

As the result of a vote by the Oakland City Council, the Oakland A’s will enter exclusive negotiations about building a new ballpark at the Oakland Coliseum site. 

With their search for a replacement for the aging Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum still unfolding, the A’s are considering multiple site options for a new ballpark. An exclusive one-year negotiation agreement for Howard Terminal was approved last month, and the team will now take a similar approach with the Coliseum.

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday voted to approve an exclusive nine-month negotiating agreement with the A’s. The team has not made a final decision on its preferred site for a new ballpark, but that vote allows the A’s and team president Dave Kaval to take a closer look at the Coliseum while also considering Howard Terminal. More from The Mercury News:

Last month, the A’s and the Port of Oakland agreed to study Howard Terminal, located near Jack London Square and the estuary. Kaval has called the study of two sites “parallel paths” to keep the team in Oakland.

Though an aging complex, the Coliseum has had some bites from developers lately. Walnut Creek developer Mark Hall approached the city to build a 15,000-18,000 seat soccer stadium for a United Soccer League franchise. The city said another person proposed to build a corporate campus at the Coliseum.

While Howard Terminal needs environmental review and has access issues, an environmental review for the Coliseum is already completed. It’s also favored for its proximity to BART, Interstate 880 and the Oakland International Airport.

In March, Kaval wrote a letter to Mayor Libby Schaaf offering to purchase the complex for $135 million. The A’s current lease ends in 2024, a year after Kaval hopes to open the new privately financed stadium. Alameda County is considering selling its 50 percent share of the complex to the city of Oakland, which would allow the city to be the lone group negotiating with the A’s.

This agreement can be extend by the city for an additional three months of negotiations. Time will tell how discussions surrounding the A’s options will pan out, but the Coliseum site would appear poised for future redevelopment, regardless of whether a new ballpark is constructed there. While the NFL’s Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in 2020 and the A’s want a new Oakland ballpark, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors will depart 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.

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