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Alameda County Opts to Sell Share of Coliseum Site to A’s

New Oakland Athletics Coliseum Redevelopment May 2019

Alameda County is proceeding with a sale of its half-share of the Oakland Coliseum site to the Oakland A’s, as supervisors unanimously advanced the deal Monday.

Back in April, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors moved forward with a planned sale of its half interest in the Oakland Coliseum site to the A’s ownership for $85 million. A later lawsuit filed by the City of Oakland–which co-owns the site with the county–temporarily put the transaction in question, but the city opted last month to drop the lawsuit and open negotiations with the team while allowing Alameda to move forward with finalizing its agreement with the A’s.

The plan went before supervisors on Monday who, as expected, unanimously voted to sell the county’s share of the property to the A’s. Technically, Monday’s vote does not finalize the sale–it instead triggers a 190-day review period that could lead into a finalized agreement– but it is nonetheless a significant step forward in the A’s efforts to obtain the site. Under the terms that have been hammered out by the A’s and Alameda County, the team would pay the $85 million over a six-year window, while contributing $5 million annually toward the site’s operating costs. For Alameda County, a sale of its share to the A’s would yield funds to pay off debt from renovations made in the mid-1990’s to lure the NFL’s Raiders back to the Coliseum. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“We’ve worked all year to get to this day,” said Dave Kaval, CEO of the A’s. “We are very excited about today. It’s a big deal. We are excited to move forward in the next step.”

Mayor Libby Schaaf had previously opposed the sale, but on Monday she said the transaction represents progress for East Oakland and A’s fans: “My greatest hope is that any sale of public land by the county includes generous community benefits, affordable housing and ensures that the people who will benefit most are the residents of East Oakland.”

The agreement between that has been in the works would allow Alameda County to get out of the sports facilities business, while potentially giving the A’s more influence in mapping out the site’s future. As part of their ongoing effort to build a new ballpark at the waterfront Howard Terminal site, the A’s are proposing a large-scale redevelopment of the Coliseum complex.

More exact parameters of that project could take shape over time, but the A’s have released a broad vision that includes tearing down RingCentral Coliseum and replacing it with a small sports park/amphitheater (as shown in the rendering above), retaining Oakland Arena as an event venue, and redeveloping the surrounding the land with mixed-use amenities. With the construction of any new ballpark and ancillary mixed-used development at Howard Terminal expected to be privately financed, it is believed that redeveloping the Coliseum site would make any initiatives at Howard Terminal more economically viable for the A’s. In theory, control of the Coliseum property also gives the A’s a fallback option for a new ballpark site in the event that the organization cannot finalize plans at Howard Terminal.

Rendering courtesy Oakland A’s and Bjarke Ingels Group.

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