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Oakland, Alameda Sparring Over Potential Coliseum Land Sale

Oakland A's

Alameda County‘s potential sale of Coliseum land to the Oakland A’s continues to draw opposition from Oakland officials, who could take legal action against the county.

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.

In order to complete a redevelopment of the Coliseum property, the A’s will need to gain control over the 155-acre site. The team took a step in that direction in April, when Alamaeda County voted to proceed with a sale of its 50% share of the land to the A’s for $85 million. While a potential land sale is not final,  the county’s action came over the objection of Oakland officials, who had hoped to buy out the county and gain 100% control over the property. City officials continue to express their concerns over the possibility of a sale, and it appears that it could seek legal action if the county decides to move forward with the transaction. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

In a letter delivered to county officials Monday, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan and Vice Mayor Larry Reid noted that the deal between the county and the baseball club lacked any provision for building a ballpark for community benefit to be included in the sale.

The letter ends with the request for the county to “clarify” whether it planned to go forward with the A’s sale, so that the city could “determine effective next steps.”

The city’s letter made no mention of what the “next steps” might be, but a separate Aug. 31 email to Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker said the letter is for “the purpose of potential litigation.”

Some City Council members have said privately that they feel the A’s request to — in effect — control both the Coliseum and Howard Terminal sites is too sweet of a deal for the team.

By owning 100% of the land, the city would have more leverage in discussions with the A’s about future plans for the site, and what community benefits any project at the property could yield. From the county’s perspective, the $85 million from the A’s would provide the resources needed 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).

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