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A’s Reach Tentative Deal to Purchase County’s Share of Coliseum Site

Oakland A's

A transaction involving the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site could move forward, as the Oakland A’s have reached a tentative agreement to purchase Alameda County‘s share of the sprawling complex. 

The A’s continue to push their vision for a new ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s waterfront Howard Terminal site. As detailed in plans that were first released in November, the Howard Terminal ballpark project would be part of a larger initiative that also calls for the A’s to redevelop the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and surrounding land. Potential redevelopment of the Coliseum site could include housing, a tech hub, a youth sports complex, retail, and light manufacturing. In addition, Oracle Arena –the soon-to-be-former home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors–would be kept open for a variety of events.

Ownership of the 155-acre Coliseum site is jointly shared by Alameda County and the City of Oakland, but the A’s have struck a tentative agreement that calls for the team to purchase Alameda’s 50% share of the land for $85 million. Alameda County supervisors are slated to vote Tuesday on allowing negotiations to get underway, with team officials emphasizing that Howard Terminal is still the preferred site for a new ballpark. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“It’s way to keep the A’s in the East Bay and at the same time finally get us out of the sports business,” said Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who also sits on the Coliseum Authority board.

A’s President Dave Kaval said the team’s first choice for building a new ballpark is still at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal.

“We are still 100% committed to the waterfront ballpark at Jack London Square,” Kaval said, “but this other project in East Oakland is not only good for the city. It’s also good for the A’s.”

The A’s are looking to keep Oracle Arena and turn the Coliseum into a chopped-down “roman ruin-like” multisports facility. There would also be parks, housing and a technology campus.

There are plenty of questions remaining about the viability of the Howard Terminal project. An environmental review of the site–which has a long history of heavy industrial uses–is underway, and concerns have been raised about the proposal’s potential effect on traffic congestion in the area. The A’s have also been defending the proposal from concerns from the Port’s maritime industry, which has raised several objections about the plan for a new ballpark and surrounding development that includes housing and other amenities.

Should an agreement with the A’s move forward, Alameda County would use proceeds from the sale to pay off its share of debt from Coliseum renovations that were completed to lure the NFL’s Raiders back from Los Angeles in 1995. (The Raiders are slated to move to Las Vegas in 2020). The A’s had not been the only suitor for the county’s share of the land, as the City of Oakland had explored buying out the county in an effort to improve leverage in negotiations for future redevelopment of the site.

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