OAKLAND (KCBS)— In a political shift that signals change at Oakland City Hall, the mayor and Alameda County appear to be on the same page to allow both the A’s and the Raiders to submit competing proposals for the Coliseum site.
The move is to accommodate both tenants, but it could end up pitting one against the other.
The clock is ticking and Mayor Libby Schaaf and the county know it. For the last several years, the city has had a revolving door of developers offering ideas for the site, now both teams could pitch their own separate proposals. A’s owner Lew Wolff is a developer who supports the plan.
Chris Dobbins a member of the grass-roots group Save Our Sports and member of the Joint Powers Authority, which currently runs the Coliseum, notes the uniqueness of having a combined baseball stadium and football complex.
“We’re the last stadium in the country where both teams share a stadium, so I’d be concerned that them competing against each other would be a detriment to one another and that we didn’t have to choose one over the other. It should be more of a collaborative effort,” Dobbins said.
It turns out Dobbins may get his wish. Alameda County, which co-owns the land with the city is on board with the plan.
A statement from Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley says supervisors are considering a negotiating agreement used by the city, but that approach has been a point of contention since it was launched three years ago.
Mayor Schaaf has said she doesn’t want to use public funds to build a new stadium for either team, but is open to paying for infrastructure upgrades.
Dobbins wants to keep both teams in town with its 2,000 jobs at each Raider game and 800 jobs at every A’s game.
KCBS, KPIX 5 and San Francisco Chronicle Insider Phil Matier explains now that Mayor Jean Quan is out of the picture, Alameda County officials are more willing to work with Schaaf in keeping both teams in Oakland, but it will be an expensive undertaking.
“When the A’s were threatening to leave and the Raiders looked like they were heading out and the Warriors were leaving, she convened an idea of her own. She was the mayor that had the 100-block criminal plan without consulting the police chief and she basically decided to come up with a thing called Coliseum Complex without talking to the people that actually run the operation. They didn’t like it, they never really signed on to it. As everything just sort of sat in limbo for a couple of years,” Matier said. He also claims Schaaf has a better relationship with the board.
The question remains will there be room for both teams and to make it all pay for itself?
“It boggles the mind sometimes; the logic or illogical of the owners about what their demands are,” Matier said.
He made an interesting point that no matter how badly run team owners conduct business with stadium or arena deals, or any other kind of poor decision; you can still sell the team at a healthy profit. “In the meantime, the league will keep you going.”