Oakland plans second vaportecture stadium for A’s

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, not content to have one A’s stadium plan with no real idea how to pay for it, announced on Friday that “we are sending today a letter to Commissioner Selig to make it pretty clear that Oakland wants the A’s, that we have two sites for the A’s that are viable that could be delivered by 2014.”

Site #2 is, in fact, the current site of the Oakland Coliseum (I can’t be bothered to remember its latest corporate name — nice investment, whoever owns naming rights this week!), which would be replaced by a new A’s baseball stadium, a new Raiders football stadium, and a new hotel under the latest plan. (Not-very-detailed renderings available at Newballpark.org.) This “Coliseum City” would be paid for by … okay, Quan didn’t actually mention that part, but the city has a Request For Proposals out for the project, which … actually asks the developers to submit “a description of its approach to developing financing measures.” Three guesses how many of the six developers who’ve reportedly responded to the RFP will be proposing to fund the whole project themselves?

Coliseum City, incidentally, would also include a renovated arena for the Golden State Warriors, which is significant because the Warriors owners last week met with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Giants CEO Larry Baer to discuss a new arena near AT&T Park to open in 2017, the year the Warriors’ lease at Oracle Arena — which was completely rebuilt in 1996 for $121 million — runs out.

One more item from the Quan news conference: She said that the Giants claim they can use legal measures to delay any A’s move to San Jose for as much as ten years. Which is exactly what they would say, and exactly what she would say, but just passing it along.

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14 comments on “Oakland plans second vaportecture stadium for A’s

  1. Last act of a city that knows they’re likely to lose at least their baseball team to San Jose very soon (and possibly their football team to Santa Clara and their basketball team to San Francisco). Fact is however baseball was looking for real progress on stadiums in Oakland to counter the progress San Jose has made. Instead Oakland hasn’t even started the environmental impact report for their first “site” at Victory Court. And now they bring back to MLB a site the team and league rejected and a site the now 3 year old blue ribbon panel stated was the worse choice in Oakland.

    And of course as Neil points out they have no plan on how to pay for it, though City Administrator Fred Blackwell admitted in post press conference interviews that the “Coliseum city” project would cost at least 2 billion dollars. This in a city which can’t get enough private investment independently or from the teams to make it happen, and a city that has no money left of it’s own once redevelopment funds are eliminated next month. If they’d been buying land when San Jose was maybe they wouldn’t be in this mess, but they’ve dragged their feet for over a decade now.

    And as for the Giants threats, that’s nothing but hot air. The Lodge wouldn’t allow the Giants to start filing lawsuits against their chosen city (should they choose San Jose next month), or the A’s. Between the MLB constitution and the “best interests clause” in particular they’d shut them down quickly.

  2. the legacy of charlie finley lives on, what a joke…

    “oakland is the luckiest city since hiroshima…” – missouri senator stewart symington reaction to the a’s leaving kansas city 1967

  3. Not sure this really has anything to do with Charley Finley’s legacy. Oakland had already built the Coliseum when the A’s decided to move from KC to Oakland (in fact it had been open 2 years already). And Finley hasn’t been the owner of the team in over 30 years now. In fact during the end of Finley’s watch/beginning of the Haas years, was about the last time the city of Oakland actually did anything for the A’s. They’ve not done much of anything since. I mean they’d like to claim the “renovation” of the Coliseum in 1995 “helped” the A’s but fact is it was that renovation that made the stadium unsuitable for baseball. And they like to pretend they’ve offered up options for the A’s in their city, but again fact is they’ve offered them their own parking lot twice now, an area uptown which they proceeded to then sell off to the then mayor’s cronies, and a site near the Oakland estuary that has well over two dozen landowners, many of whom are unwilling to sell.

  4. it’s the legacy of a cheap owner (not much different than current group) in an undersized eastbay market (then and now) that already had a franchise and can’t financially support a second one and a city that can’t pay it bills and get it’s priorities in order.
    impetuous charlie wanted to move the a’s to seattle but didn’t want to have to use a run down facility (that helped to kill the pilots) until king co. got around to build a concrete bunker dome. he also knew that staying in k.c. would not make the new stadium materialize any faster so he settled for a place that was already built and in the pre-free agent era he could survive there. oakland was a second choice and has rarely risen above that status since.
    oakland and the a’s are about 10 years late to make anything happen there and lew-lew isn’t interested in the public transit crowd anyway. remember when he wondered aloud why they couldn’t have a place with 100% club seating?
    charlie has everything to do with mlb in oakland…

  5. With the “no free agents of any kind until a stadium” policy, looks like we’re going to party like it’s 1979 at the Coliseum this year.

  6. So a guy who is willing to invest $500M of his own money in a new stadium for a team that has rotted in a football stadium for 40 years is “cheap”–show me another owner that has been willing to do this–

  7. San Jose is a dream. It will never work. Selig will never overturn the Territorial Rights that the Giants have. Lew Wolff will have to work with Oakland, or sell the team.

  8. Selig isn’t the one who will be turning over the rights, it’s the owners who would do so by a 3/4’s vote. Selig will just advise them. And remember this is the same Bud Selig who has been quoted many times that he thought going to Oakland in the first place was a mistake. So not sure why you think he wouldn’t overturn rights the Giants shouldn’t even still have to get the A’s out of a city he never thought they belonged in. And as for working with Oakland, the only thing that will be happening to the A’s if they’re not allowed to move to San Jose is they’ll be sold, to MLB or someone out of state who will pay top dollar (no one is going to pay top dollar to own a team in Oakland then to turn around and have to build a financially untenable private ballpark in Oakland). 900 million dollars to buy a team in the only major city in California that is shrinking is not going to entice anyone…

  9. “…guy who is willing to invest $500M of his own money…”
    such words are easy to say, but hard to be held accountable to.
    i’ll believe it when it’s a binding contract
    btw – ol’ charlie was famous for saying that “contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on…”

  10. Not really. If he tries it in San Jose by law it automatically triggers a citywide vote on the issue. They’ve already planned to schedule one on the land transfer and they’d have to schedule another one if he tried to get any city money directly for the stadium. So unless the citizens of San Jose agree to it, he’ll be held to that statement.

  11. Has the commissioner ever thought of moving the A’s to Portland, Oregon? They have a group interested in bringing major league baseball to their area.

  12. Either A) Bud wants Wolff to sell the A’s to someone who will work with Oakland or B) sell them to someone who will move them out of the Bay Area completely. Since Magowan is no longer with the Giants, it appears that Bud no longer wants to punish them for having the gumption to pay for their own ballpark. That is why I doubt we will ever see the San Jose A’s.

    If Bud wanted them there, a deal with the Giants would have been brokered by now. Unless he’s waiting for Wolff to sell, and sell at a loss.

  13. Either A) Bud wants Wolff to sell the A’s to someone who will work with Oakland or B) sell them to someone who will move them out of the Bay Area completely. Since Magowan is no longer with the Giants, it appears that Bud no longer wants to punish them for having the gumption to pay for their own ballpark. That is why I doubt we will ever see the San Jose A’s.

    If Bud wanted them there, a deal with the Giants would have been brokered by now. Unless he’s waiting for Wolff to sell, and sell at a loss.

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