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Oakland Balks Over Potential Sale of Coliseum Land to A’s

Oakland A's

Alameda County‘s potential sale of its share of the Coliseum site to the Oakland A’s is drawing opposition from city officials, which could complicate any transaction.

The A’s are working on a proposal to build a new ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, but are also making plans to redevelop the RingCentral Coliseum site. More exact parameters of the development could take shape over time, but the A’s have released a broad vision that includes tearing down the Coliseum, retaining Oracle Arena as an event venue, and redeveloping the surrounding the land with mixed-use amenities.

Any redevelopment would require the A’s to gain control of the 155-acre site and the team took a step forward in April, when Alamaeda County opted to move forward with a sale of its 50% share of the land for $85 million. While that decision did not finalize the land sale, it came over the objection of Oakland officials, who had hoped to buy out the county and gain 100% control over the property. Opposition has apparently not calmed in recent months, with the city council reportedly voting to draft a yet unsent letter to the county that brings about the possibility of legal action if a transaction with the A’s moves forward. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Nonetheless, sources said the Oakland City Council instructed the city attorney in a closed meeting before going on summer break to draft a letter to the county opposing the sale and raising the possibility of a legal challenge if the deal goes through.

To date however, no letter has been sent.

“I think they are rattling their sabers,” said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.

Oakland council members we spoke with confirmed having voted to send the letter, but declined to comment publicly because the matter is still under discussion.

The city has not specifically objected to the A’s redeveloping the Coliseum property, but 100 percent control over the land could give it more leverage in future discussions with the team about the site’s future. 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, meanwhile, have made the argument that future redevelopment of the Coliseum site could help provide revenue that makes a privately financed Howard Terminal ballpark and surrounding development more economically viable.

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