Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval announced yesterday that the two parties have approved an exclusive negotiating agreement to explore building a new stadium at either the Howard Terminal site or the Oakland Coliseum site. This means … okay, let’s figure out exactly what this means:
- Nobody seems to be reporting how long the exclusive agreements will remain in place, but this may be yet to be worked out. (More on that in a moment.)
- Will the A’s owners be asked to pay more than their $135 million offer for the Coliseum property? “Price is part of what will be hashed out,” said Schaaf.
- Kaval says he’s hoping for a resolution by the end of this year so a stadium can open in 2023, which, sure he is, but target dates like these change all the time.
- Kaval called this “a 50- to 100-year decision for having a long-term home,” and Schaaf echoed that “we also want a 100-year plan” for a stadium, all of which is a nice thought but flies in the face of trends in planned ballpark obsolescence.
None of this is final: All Mayor Schaaf has done is proposed that the city council and Port of Oakland enter into exclusive negotiating agreements with the A’s, so presumably it’ll be up to those bodies to determine how to write the actual language. One hopes that, even if it gives the A’s some time to be the only bidders at the table (as team execs demanded earlier this week), it won’t preclude Oakland from doing due diligence on what those parcels are actually worth, since that’s going to be key to determining how much the A’s owners should be paying for them. Given that it’s a step that could end up costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars if you get it wrong, they’ll want to be sure they don’t leave it out.