The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to move forward with a sale of its half interest in the 155-acre Oakland Coliseum site to the Oakland Athletics ownership for $85 million.
The site includes the Coliseum, Oracle Arena and a slew of parking lots. The sale awaits final approval from the board. The city of Oakland, for now, will retain its half interest, but the A’s are seeking to buy out the city’s share as well and redevelop the site. While the specifics of the development still need to be worked out, the broad strokes of a plan has the A’s tearing down the Coliseum but retaining Oracle Arena as a concert venue, while the team pursues a Howard Terminal ballpark. Left unsaid for the moment: It also gives the A’s a backup site for a new ballpark in case the Howard Terminal plan falls through.
Oakland officials are not against the Athletics redeveloping the site, but controlling half of it gives the A’s ownership some leverage as to the specifics of a development–leverage that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf addressed before the county went ahead with the vote. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
A deal with the A’s to sell the Coliseum, Schaaf told the county supervisors, should include community benefits such as union jobs, living wages, environmental mitigation, sustainable development and, most importantly, affordable housing.
“You can’t just take the money and run,” she said to the supervisors.
The tentative agreement presented at Tuesday’s board meeting proposes the A’s will pay the county $10 million a year through 2022, and $15 million a year through 2025. It’s the first step toward a binding deal between the county and the A’s….
Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said the team has an agreement with the city of Oakland to provide many of the benefits Schaaf listed.
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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