Oakland still has no idea how much Coliseum City would cost, who would pay for it

Finally somebody has noticed that Oakland’s proposed Coliseum City project lacks any semblance of an idea how to pay for it: Members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which co-owns the Oakland Coliseum site, say they’re concerned that the project — which could include new stadiums for the Raiders and A’s, as well as a massive 800-acre housing and office complex — has no commitment of money from its private partners and would cost the public an as-yet-undetermined amount. As they told SFGate:

“We don’t have all the inside information as to why Forrest City (the original developers) dropped out,” [Supervisor Nate Miley] said. The city’s investment partners, Colony Capital, “have all this money but to date have put no money on the table.”…

“This project is bigger than all of us and the I-880 corridor has great potential benefits,” [Supervisor Richard] Valle said. “I’m not going to be in favor of any public financing or gift of public funds – across the board. If it’s the economic development opportunity that people perceive, then it’s got to stand on its own legs.”…

“The county’s position is that the city can’t do it without the county – and if they … need county resources, then we also want a share in the upside from the project,” [said … actually, SFGate left off the attribution, but presumably it was someone on the board].

How much in city and county “resources” are we talking about here? No one quite seems to know, though Miley speculated, “At the end of the day — if it’s a $2 billion project and the public share is half a billion — will there be enough revenue to offset that. Who knows?” But why quibble over a couple billion dollars in missing money when there are all these pretty pictures to — wait, is that a monorail? No wonder the Oakland city council hearing on the project went like this.



8 comments on “Oakland still has no idea how much Coliseum City would cost, who would pay for it

  1. First this meeting where Coliseum City was essentially revealed for what it was, a smoke and mirrors project that no one has a clue how to pay for. Then we get word that MLB at best rejected Wolff’s plan to move to San Jose and build a 100% privately financed park due to concerns about the financial viability of said project (which looks to me like they want some city contribution to offset the team’s risk which won’t be forthcoming from San Jose’s voters.) And they may have rejected San Jose outright according to some reports.


    Where this leaves the A’s I’m unsure at this point, particularly as it relates to the Bay Area. The future for the A’s has never been more murky.

  2. Dan, where are you seeing that Selig’s letter was based on “concerns about the financial viability” of the San Jose project? It’s not in the Merc News article that Ballpark Digest uses as its source.

  3. You know I’m having trouble locating the article I read that particular tid bit in. The best I’m finding right now are that Selig was not happy with the particulars of the San Jose plan. But I distinctly remember reading an article last night that stated the letter Selig sent had specific concerns about the financials, the land acquisition for the site, and the fact a vote had yet to be held in San Jose on the ballpark issue (I remember because it was the last point in particular that made me nearly spit my tea on my keyboard since it was Selig himself that told the city NOT to hold a vote on the ballpark in the first place).

  4. Neil, here’s an article in the SF Chronicle that goes into a little more detail mentioning the financial and apparently attendance projection issues (hadn’t heard about the latter until right now). Guess there’s a list of problems Selig has with San Jose.

    Though I suspect the real PROBLEM for Selig is the same its always been, the Territorial Rights. The rest is just smoke and mirrors to justify his current stance.

  5. Forgot the link…


  6. Thanks. And I agree it’s probably smoke and mirrors. Interesting that he actually sent an honest-to-god letter, though — does this mean that Wolff had recently filed a formal relocation request?

  7. Neil, I was wondering the same thing. You don’t generally send a formal rejection of a plan unless something formal has been submitted to the same effect requesting said plan.

  8. Neil,

    Thanks for the work you do on this topic.

    Per Bill Shaikin, LA Times, MLB questioned the viability of the A’s San Jose stadium propoal, and their financial projections.


    Colony capital has a Dubai based partner in the Coliseum City project. They’d teamed up previously on a takeover bid for AEG which was not succesful.

    Keep up the good work.