OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Oakland city leaders Wednesday unveiled plans to build a 750-acre sports and entertainment hub in the O.co Coliseum area with a view toward persuading the city’s three professional sports teams to stay in the city.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Quan said the plan for a so-called Oakland “Coliseum City” complex is “a game-changer” that will attract new businesses.
The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend $3.5 million to begin the process of developing the Coliseum area.
The Athletics baseball team, the Raiders football team and the Warriors basketball team have all discussed the possibility of moving out of Oakland in the near future.
The A’s are awaiting a decision from Major League Baseball about whether they can move to San Jose.
The Raiders were said to be at the top of the list of teams wanted by planners of a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles. The Warriors, meanwhile, have talked to San Francisco officials about relocating to a new arena there.
KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:
No one from those three teams attended Quan’s news conference at City Hall Wednesday, but the mayor says she’s still hopeful she can persuade the teams to stay.
Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell said that in addition to building new sports stadiums, the city hopes to develop a site near the Coliseum that would attract business such as biotech, clean technology and digital technology companies.
City Council President Larry Reid, who represents the Coliseum area, said, “if we make this plan happen, it will change the city for a lifetime.”
The plan involved spending $1.6 million to study the viability of new sports facilities for the A’s, Raiders and Warriors, with another $1.9 million for planning and environmental work around the Oracle Arena and adjacent O.co Coliseum.
The money is among the last of the city’s redevelopment funds. The study is expected to take more than a year to complete.
But that may be too late for both the A’s and Raiders whose leases at the Coliseum expire next year. Both have said they want new stadiums of their own and don’t want to share the same facility.
“(We) are committed to working with the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda, as well as the Raiders, A’s and Warriors to create a game plan to retain these franchises in Oakland for the benefit of the entire East Bay,” said Keith Salmon with the grassroots group ‘Save Oakland Sports.’
Still, at least one councilman is urging caution. Ignacio De La Fuente said that if the teams want to stay in Oakland, they should pony up and help pay for the new project.
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