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Manfred Displeased with Lawsuit Over Potential Coliseum Land Sale

Oakland A's

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is displeased by Oakland‘s lawsuit over a potential sale of Coliseum land to the Oakland A’s, making his concerns know to city officials. 

On Friday of last week, the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit against Alameda County over its previous decision to move forward with selling its 50% share of the 155-acre Coliseum site to the A’s for $85 million. While the sale has not been finalized, the county’s action was viewed as a boost to the A’s, who have proposed building a new ballpark at the waterfront Howard Terminal site while also taking on a separate redevelopment of the RingCentral Coliseum site and surrounding property.

The lawsuit came just days before the A’s hosted the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Wild Card game on Wednesday. While in Oakland for the game, Manfred indicated that he was upset with the city’s action to sue the county and called on city officials to start making progress with the A’s long-running ballpark search. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I’m very concerned about the developments of the last couple of days,” Manfred said. “I think (A’s President) Dave Kaval and John Fisher and the rest of the A’s organization have made a huge investment to try to get a stadium done here, and to have a city entity turn around and litigate against progress is upsetting.”

Manfred met with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf — who has been behind the A’s efforts to build a stadium at Howard Terminal — and City Council President Rebecca Kaplan earlier in the day.

“I made it clear that it’s time for the city of Oakland to show concrete progress on the stadium effort,” Manfred said. “It’s gone on too long, and things need to fall into place to get a new stadium here. The fans here, as demonstrated by the 55,000 here tonight, are great fans and deserve a major-league-quality facility.”…

“I said to the mayor at one point, ‘The timing was such that some people could read it that maybe it is time for us to consider other alternatives,’ ” Manfred said.

From the A’s perspective, future redevelopment of the Coliseum site would help provide revenue that should make a privately financed Howard Terminal ballpark and surrounding development more economically viable. 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 Oakland Arena (formerly Oracle Arena) as an event venue, and redeveloping the surrounding the land with mixed-use amenities.

In its lawsuit, the city–which jointly owns the Coliseum site with the county– is seeking an injunction that would stop the sale from proceeding and force negotiations between the city and the county. An Alameda County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order on the sale Tuesday while scheduling a November 14 hearing for the case, according to the Chronicle.

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