Athletics

Athletics

The Oakland City Council has reversed course and voted to allow negotiations to begin for the sale of the city's half of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site to the A's, now the lone professional sports team occupying the land, Phil Matier of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

This comes after the city threatened a lawsuit against Alameda County for attempting to sell its ownership stake in the Coliseum. The suit was dropped at the urging of MLB, as commissioner Rob Manfred insinuated there was a risk of the A's relocating if the legal action continued.

The A's still have aspirations of building a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square. The franchise has maintained it would like to own and redevelop the Coliseum site, now that the Raiders have moved on to Las Vegas and the Warriors are fully moved into their new home at Chase Center.

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“After the coronavirus shutdown, we are looking at a very, very serious budget deficit, and they are saying it could cost us $6 million just to maintain the site,” Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo said (h/t San Francisco Chronicle.) “We don’t have that kind of money. This way we can get some badly needed help.”

The city's deal -- reportedly decided Thursday -- likely will mirror the deal Alameda County struck with the A's in December, sources tell The Chronicle's Phil Matier. County officials voted to sell their half for $85 million over six years to the A's.

 

The A's long-term plan is to own both the Coliseum site and a new ballpark at Howard Terminal, so this appears to be another step in the right direction for the franchise.