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Stewart makes bid for city share of Oakland Coliseum site

Oakland A'sWe have another suitor for the Oakland Coliseum site, as former A’s pitcher and Oakland native Dave Stewart is offering $115 million for the city’s half ownership, with the A’s already controlling the other half.

The A’s have been negotiating with the city over its share of the Coliseum site after purchasing Alameda County’s half-ownership. But the A’s aren’t the only entity expressing interest in the city’s share, with a spokesperson confirming talks are underway. One group foresees a return of the NFL to a new stadium on the site, while Stewart sees the development potential in the area–as do the A’s–and has submitted his own $115-million bid.

New Howard Terminal rendering (3)

Here’s what the A’s have in mind. The team is still moving forward with a plan for a new ballpark at the downtown Howard Terminal waterfront site (shown above), which will include new development as well. Once that ballpark is done, redevelopment would begin at the East Bay Coliseum site, with the ballpark torn down and the area utilized as a mixed-use development. According to the A’s, both the downtown and Coliseum should be viewed in the same economic lens: proceeds of the Coliseum development will help fund the downtown development.

Now, the downtown Howard Terminal ballpark is far from a sure thing. And the general assumption is that the A’s are viewing the Coliseum site as a backup location for a new ballpark, with the Coliseum coming down and replaced by a new ballpark. In all the scenarios, the arena would remain and used as a concert venue.

So what Stewart sees for the site is pretty much what the A’s are planning in either scenario, per the San Francisco Chronicle:

Stewart, who played parts of eight seasons with the A’s and is an analyst on their pre- and post-game TV broadcasts, said he has talked with team president Dave Kaval about how the Coliseum site would be used and would be happy to work with the team.

Stewart also said he still views the site as a viable option for a new A’s ballpark and he’s submitting plans to the city that both do and do not include a stadium there.

“To me, the most important thing is for Oakland to keep the A’s free and clear — even if they do it at the current stadium site, that’s fine with me,” Stewart said. “But you still have to do something to improve that area for the residents and make it a more attractive destination. … I’m just trying to do what I’ve always tried to do — something good in the area I’m from.”

Whether the A’s need Stewart to realize their development plans is debatable: the ownership group seems to be well-capitalized and has plenty of development experience. We’ve written plenty about how MLB teams are transitioning to real-estate developers, and the A’s ownership seems uniquely suited to such a task.

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