Two stadiums on Oakland Coliseum site wouldn’t leave much room for actual money-making development

If you want to see why many folks are skeptical about the Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders both being able to build stadiums as part of a redevelopment of the current Coliseum site, check out these images, both courtesy of Newballpark.org. First, the original, now-discarded “Coliseum City” plan, which would have covered 800 acres on and around the current stadium site:

And now the latest 120-acre plan:

Notice what’s missing there? The vast majority of the housing development, aka “the stuff that you can actually make money on in the Bay Area.” As Newballpark.org’s Marine Layer notes, there’s still room for two stadiums on the smaller site, but you have to ask yourself: “If capital wasn’t biting at 800 acres and two stadia, why would they bite at 120 acres and two stadia?”

What about 120 acres and one stadium? That’s slightly more feasible, but we still need to see A’s owner Lew Wolff’s and Raiders owner Mark Davis’s actual financial plans for those — if it’s “120 acres of rent-free land and property tax exemptions and one stadium,” that’s not so hot a deal for Oakland. New city mayor Libby Schaaf has asked the two team owners for competing bids, anyway, so hopefully soon we can see if either is less craptacular than the other.


27 comments on “Two stadiums on Oakland Coliseum site wouldn’t leave much room for actual money-making development

  1. I can’t see how this can end well for either Oakland, the county, the raiders or A’s.

    Ok, maybe it can/would have worked for one club (likely the As b/c baseball stadiums are cheaper [or are they?] and there are more events per year), but there just ain’t enough real estate and, I had forgotten about the $200M debt still outstanding.

    Something has to give. Oakland would be better off letting both teams go and developing the land entirely with a mix of commercial and residential. They allowed themselved to get screwed once, i hope they don’t let it happen again.

  2. “Oakland would be better off letting both teams go and developing the land entirely with a mix of commercial and residential.”

    I tend to agree. Schaaf really should have thrown open the Coliseum site to all bidders, whether they plan to build a stadium or not. If nothing else, that would throw a scare into Davis and Wolff that they might both get evicted.

    This is starting to look like the Tampa Bay scenario, really, where the winner will be less whoever gets the teams than whoever manages not to get stuck with the bills.

  3. It not just about the city letting the teams go. In the case of the A’s, it’s also about MLB preventing them from going anywhere else for the time being.

  4. MLB isn’t preventing the A’s from going anywhere other than existing teams’ designated territories. Montreal is wide open, as is Anchorage. (As are Livermore and Concord, if you want to get marginally more serious.)

  5. Right, but at this point it’s obvious that the only place within their existing territory that they might end up is in Oakland itself. The only other place the team has any interest in going is to San Jose, and MLB is just avoiding directly addressing that possibility and has for years (Selig admitted the Blue Ribbon Committee basically did nothing).

  6. Forgot to ask…how did this go from 800 acres and 3 sports venues to only 120 and one? I know the Warriors bolted for SF, but what happened to 680 acres? Did it get sold off or just not attainable.

  7. …“120 acres of rent-free land and property tax exemptions and one stadium,”… in the land of the loony (NorCal) this will happen, the local pol’s know their jobs are hanging by a thread if they don’t give in to big league pro sports industry threats.
    MLB isn’t “keeping” the A’z there, it’s Lew-Lew and his cheap partners who won’t open their checkbook and pay the Gi-ants.
    Simply standing up at owners meetings by previous or current ownership during the last 17+ years and opening their traps about SC co. exclusivity would have given them much better evidence to resist having to pay to move.
    But they fell into the passive/aggressive trap of seeing a situation develop (Gi-ants thriving and not renouncing SC co. as exclusive territory) and not saying anything about it until the self-imposed pressure builds up (wanting to move to increase profits) and the situation becomes a standoff. Almost every family has someone like this and all they do is create angst.

  8. Mr. deMausse,

    Have you seen Floyd Kephart’s response to this “information”? The number of people who speak as if they have knowledge of what is happening or what may happen in this matter, but in fact have very little or none is astonishing and frustrating. Many “analysts” actively seek to misrepresent Oakland and Oakland’s efforts towards new park provisions and accommodating the A’s. The people of Oakland and Oakland A’s fans are accustomed to derision and misrepresentation but it is indefensible for people who report on this story to site propagandists for relocation and individuals who are known to be activists for current A’s ownership. Please reconsider your trust in Marine Layer’s “information” and veracity.

    Respectfully,

    Oakland resident, Season Ticket holder

    ” I will try an answer some of the questions and respond to some of the comments from this morning. Yes, this is the “real” Floyd Kephart. Who would want to be me anyway:-)There cannot be a “deal” discussion until the City and County agree on a process that can result in a proposal being submitted to the City and County legislative bodies for approval. We (including the Mayor Schaaff and President of the Board of Supervisors, Haggerty) are working to put that process in place but it is not there yet.
    The Master Plan and the DEIR covers 800 acres and that has not changed. The 3 sports teams and most of the publicly owned land are contained in the approximate 200 acres that comprises Phase 1 of the development plan being considered. This has not changed nor has the land shrunk even though it is occasionally engulfed in water.
    The Transit Hub is a major reason the Coliseum district is a potentially viable project, The expansion and full utilization of BART is necessary for any investment to be made….by anyone.
    The documents submitted by us to date that are final are available and those that are being created or reviewed and still purely analytical to establish actual facts are not. We are trying to establish real facts instead of those continuing to be made up or have become anecdotal and not real so the City, County and yes, New City can make a rational decision on what can be done and under what circumstances.
    No one has submitted any proposal that details a development plan and probably won’t until there is a negotiating group on the public side with whom to submit such a plan for consideration.
    I am not sharing our considerations or decision making factors during the discussion stage with anyone that is not a principal in the transaction and that leaves you out of that distribution Marine Layer. Once we have something that can be considered by the public, it will be presented for you to analysis and report accordingly. Until then………I will continue to attempt and correct misstatements of fact although my time to review the various press reports and blogs are limited. This morning I just happened to be on line when the post went up.
    As for my PR or lack thereof, my intent is to not embarrass myself or the City of Oakland.
    Hope this helps clarify some of the situation. ” – Floyd Kephart

  9. In linked header post comments section, Kephart really rips into Marine Layer’s “bad conclusions” : “This could be right if it wasn’t so totally wrong. A lack of knowledge, facts and understanding makes for very bad conclusions as provided in this example. Stay tuned and perhaps the real facts won’t be as confusing”

  10. Floyd Kephart offers zero information. Odd that he has to troll on a blog after being pushed aside for getting nothing done, isn’t it?

  11. If you read Kephart’s reply, he doesn’t actually refute any of my contentions. He simply says it’s too soon in the process to go from 800 acres to 200 to 120, despite various reports in which he and Oakland officials both reference smaller land development plans. The EIR and Specific Plan, for those who are familiar with the process, isn’t going to be derailed by this phase of trying to work out feasibility for various partners. City’s goal is to lay out development paths. Kephart’s goal is to get teams, developers, and financiers to sign on – and so far that hasn’t happened. That’s why we’re getting yet another extension and competitive bidding involved, potentially pitting Kephart against the very teams he’s trying to commit to Coliseum City.

  12. Marine Layer, Kephart elected not to refute your contentions, because as he simply said, he wasn’t going to share insider information unless they were a principal directly involved in the process. “I am not sharing our considerations or decision making factors during the discussion stage with anyone that is not a principal in the transaction and that leaves you out of that distribution Marine Layer. Once we have something that can be considered by the public, it will be presented for you to analysis and report accordingly. Until then………I will continue to attempt and correct misstatements of fact although my time to review the various press reports and blogs are limited.”
    Sounds like there are people with money involved, “a principal in the transaction”, so financiers are very possibly ready to “sign on”, but they need Oakland & Alameda County to establish the “process” by which deals can come into place. With big pockets, comes big ideas, so once politicos finally finalize a negotiating team, the pace of facts should pick up.

  13. Ken:
    Kephart shouldn’t expect anyone to believe that until he provides proof. We’ve heard from multiple people on multiple different occasions throughout the years that financial backers were on board and ready to cut a check and it still has yet to happen. And now he has to compete with each team’s own plan. The Raiders have called for the extension of the ENA (exclusive negotiating agreement) with Kephart’s group to be rejected. The A’s are coming in with Lew Wolff who made his fortune as a professional property developer. Kephart’s task has gotten more difficult, not less.

  14. “Kephart shouldn’t expect anyone to believe that until he provides proof”. Maybe following a speculating outsider works for you “anonymous”, but for me, Kephart is on the inside & everything he was kind enough to share makes sense. All the speculation would only get worse if the incomplete negotiations were being shared in the public. As for, “The Raiders have called for the extension of the ENA (exclusive negotiating agreement) with Kephart’s group to be rejected”, when did this happen? I’ve been keeping my eye on this process & have only heard Mark Davis & Lew Wolff say positive things about Kephart’s group & the new Oakland mayor. Kephart has a track record of success & Mayor Schaaf doesn’t appear to be the bumbler Mayor Quan was. I think the process is looking up for Oakland of retaining both teams. The mass transit availability & amount of land, mean there is plenty of room to make a plan that leads to a deal that involves new stadiums for the A’s & Raiders in Oakland. This upcoming year, promises to be an interesting one :)

  15. “I think the process is looking up for Oakland of retaining both teams.”

    There is zero hard evidence to support that. Financing did not solidify for 2 stadiums when the project area was much larger. Why would it do so now that the area is much smaller? You seem to have a surplus of hope (which is fine) and a deficit of realism (which is not).

  16. Another word for “insider” in this case is “interested party.” I’m not saying it’s impossible that Kephart is right, but “I have proof, but I’m not going to show it to you” is never all that convincing.

  17. I realize that the hardcore followers of Marine Layer’s blog, are San Jose boosters, so it’s maybe tough to see it happening in Oakland, the long time home of the A’s & Raiders. Clearly, Oakland has plenty of acreage to build a stadium for both teams, supported by commercial/residential development. A measure just passed by local voters this past November, will add another 30 million to expand the already established centrally located transportation infrastructure located there. The A’s & Raiders, don’t have many better options, SJ is blocked for the A’s (the Supreme Court is a long shot to take their case, let alone overturn a long held precedent) & LA for the Raiders, will largely depend on the Coliseum idea dying ,the Rams financing a new stadium IF they possibly move back to LA and finally, Rams ownership being okay with paving the way to share the market with a 2nd team (Raiders).
    Kephart’s company, has a lot of financial resources invested in this possible project & I honestly don’t find it very surprising that any potential deep pocketed investors, don’t want their intentions & negotiations, played out within the media or blogs. Being a professional, Kephart isn’t going to betray his clients, yet I find it cool that he reached out in an effort to keep people from being led astray.

  18. @Ken thanks for the enthusiasm and hope for Oakland. But we been down this road many times, at least with the “we have deep pocket people in the background about to go all in and make this project happen, but we can’t say who, what, when, where or how”

    How many times have we heard that? and nothing ever happens.

    When someone who is trying to get a massive project like this off the ground, has time to argue with bloggers who don’t even live in Oakland, well makes me think…this project is in trouble.

    I guess Oakland getting bent over by one team vs two teams is a win right?;)

  19. Then show us the money Ken. Just kidding: you can’t because it isn’t in place and never has been. Your refusal to address the fact that financial backers have repeatedly pulled out of the project, even when the development area was several times larger, is telling.

  20. Yes Ken, we’ve been hearing about all this money and the financiers being oh so close to getting the deal done, only to come up short time and time again. I really don’t care about Kephart’s words, only his (and the JPA’s) actions. He admitted from the start that the goal is to keep at least one team, probably the Raiders. He was more than happy to throw the BayIG group under the bus when he took over, but he somehow has the magic beans to grow Coliseum City? Sure.

  21. If the Rams did make it to LA & built their own stadium, what are the odds of them sharing it with another NFL team? It can’t be very high. Or is that part of the plan?

  22. @mp34
    I would absolutely bet on sharing of a stadium being part of the terms for a Rams to LA move. One of the main reasons Al Davis’ Hollywood Park stadium plan suddenly collapsed in the mid 90s is because he wasn’t willing to share the stadium.

  23. I don’t know if it’s true or not or even how to look it up, but I once read that the Bay Area is the wealthiest large metro-area in the country. I must be. I don’t understand why they need two baseball teams and two football teams. I’m just a simple-minded guy I guess, but the Raiders seem like the best candidate to move to Los Angeles to me. It seems like a no-brainer. The Chargers and Raiders play in dumps that were built in the 60s. The Rams play in a dump, but at least it was built in the modern age of stadium building. Kroenke is a real ass if he goes through with this. He’s a freaking Missouri guy, and used that to build trust in the city. You can trust me, I’m from here….*buzzer*

  24. Well Marine Layer, other than bumbling former mayor Jean Quan, I haven’t heard much about deals ready to close, are there links from reputable sources to document this continued banter by a few commenters? Mayor Libby Schaaf, has so far taken a much more hands on, open the communication lines to all parties (county/city/Raiders/A’s) & promised infrastructure. Kephart only came on board recently, has a very impressive resume & 30 million dollars were just approved in November by local voters for further Coliseum area transportation improvements. Both Schaaf & Kephart, have been spoken highly of by Wolff & Davis, when did that ever happen before? Under Colony Capital? About Jean Quan? The landscape has changed, the narrative of a year ago, no longer applies. Sure, Kephart’s goal is to get at least one time, but he had made it clear that he thinks it can get done for both franchises. Lew Wolff & his personal boosters, have spoken often of his “plan for the Coliseum”, well he better start making whatever it is, look real. Once the county & city get their negotiating team opened up for proposals, the facts should come out & we’ll know if Lew is indeed serious or just posturing for time in an effort to hold Oakland hostage, while clinging to a pipe dream in San Jose.

  25. A perfect example of how how easy it is to get confused taking a bit of news, making conclusions & then having a reputable reporter, state that piece of news was false. Yesterday, An anonymous poster told me:
    Anonymous on January 30, 2015 at 10:22 pm said:
    Ken:
    Kephart shouldn’t expect anyone to believe that until he provides proof. We’ve heard from multiple people on multiple different occasions throughout the years that financial backers were on board and ready to cut a check and it still has yet to happen. And now he has to compete with each team’s own plan. The Raiders have called for the extension of the ENA (exclusive negotiating agreement) with Kephart’s group to be rejected. The A’s are coming in with Lew Wolff who made his fortune as a professional property developer. Kephart’s task has gotten more difficult, not less.

    Today, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury, tweeted that the Raiders wanting the ENA rejected is “not true”. Best to keep the focus on Kephart, the man is in the middle of this & knows what is going on.

  26. Still waiting on you to show us the money, Ken. Until financing is solidified, you’ve got nothing to stand on. Then again, you’ve already got nothing to stand on since you’re more than willing to rip Wolff and not Davis, despite the fact that Davis has actively pursued multiple options outside the Bay Area, including trying (and failing) to buy the land at Hollywood Park that Kroenke ended up getting.