Tesla, USL team owner make their own problematic bids for Oakland Coliseum land

Looks like there are other people interested in bidding on the Oakland Coliseum site after all:

One is Elon Musk’s Tesla, which has sent a letter of interest to the city about the 130-acre Coliseum parcel. Exactly what the company would build there is a closely guarded secret.

The other is a proposal that arrived at City Hall just hours after Schaaf suggested talking with the A’s alone. It came from Mark Hall, a real estate investor from Walnut Creek who has won the rights for a United Soccer League expansion franchise.

He’s pitching a plan for a 44-acre mega-sports and recreation center on the Coliseum site that would include a stadium for his team and sports fields. He would use Oracle Arena, which the Warriors are about to vacate, for concerts, pro lacrosse games and foosball competitions. (Yes, foosball*, the arcade game when little players on hand-manipulated metal rods kick a ball up and down the table.)

The rest of the property would go to the A’s for their new ballpark.

Musk isn’t saying publicly what he’d offer for the land, and anyway he may be broke before long so maybe not best to count on him. Hall is offering to pay $85 million, which is less than the A’s owners offer of $135 million, but would only be for part of the parcel, with room left for an A’s stadium.

This isn’t actually all that exciting either, because as we’ve covered many times in the past, baseball stadiums aren’t especially lucrative use of land — Hall is in essence saying, “Give me all the good bits where I can build whatever I want, and the A’s can have just enough room to spend half a billion dollars or so on a baseball stadium but nothing else.” With offers like these, exclusive negotiations with the A’s might not be so bad, though if Oakland can keep soliciting bids in the time before any exclusivity window kicks in, if only to get a sense of the market value of the Coliseum land, this could work out well after all.

*Disappointingly, probably not foosball, but rather futsal. See comments below.

14 comments on “Tesla, USL team owner make their own problematic bids for Oakland Coliseum land

  1. Are you sure he said “foosball” and not “futsal”. Futsal is basically indoor soccer played on a basketball court. It’s hugely popular in Asia, South America and Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The women’s game, in particular, is unique because of it’s popularity in countries that don’t traditionally back women’s team sports. It’s also pretty awesome to watch. Way better than the old Hockey rink indoor soccer from the 1980s. In the US, just about every YMCA around the country has Futsal as one of their major kids sports programs, and pick up games for adults.

    • I’m just quoting Matier & Ross, so any transcription errors are theirs. (I agree that futsal makes more sense than foosball, though, if barely.)

      • Maybe they are talking about giant living person foosball like:

        • YES YES YES YES YES.

          Like the chess games French aristocrats used to play with their serfs standing on a life sized board.

          It’s one of the few barriers to a truly feudal system we haven’t yet crossed in this country.

  2. Susan Slusser got the name of the third ‘sport’ wrong, it’s ‘Futsal’ (5-man areana soccer), not foozball.

    • I’d say they’re both equally pointless in terms of being good uses for a large US arena.

  3. Semi-related: Muni Metro stop for Chase has a price increase.


  4. Musk should look into that Laney College land the A’s wanted. A little industry/college synergy would be nice for all.

  5. Generally, any “other” bids for all or part of the land can only help to establish what the reasonable market value is (or is not).
    However, in a case like this I would be worried that some oddball bid coming out of the woodwork for a not-yet-existing USL team might be less than genuine.

    Put another way, if other bids are going to come in, the A’s have tremendous incentive to try and tease out bids that make their’s look good (whether this is Hall’s or another).

    I could see Oakland falling over themselves to work with Musk… even if he only wants control of the land as an asset to raise capital with/against (which he may or may not do, depending on how you feel about him in general and about the status of one of his many companies…). Tech! New Economy! Jobs! Ticks all the boxes for politicians doesn’t it? Oh, Musk doesn’t pay vig as far as I know, so maybe it will leave one important box unticked…

    The Hall bid seems more likely an effort to scoop up any ancillary revenue from A’s games than for his own non-existent soccer team in a league that might not exist very long either. If they accept his bid for part of the land, they are effectively telling the A’s they don’t want them at the Coliseum site (whether they realize it or not…)

    As Tolkien put it “Oft evil will shall evil mar”

  6. I think Musk’s secret is he’s perfected a gigantic, reusable rocket that he intends to lift the Coliseum up (with all the players), and will land it upright on the site of whatever city offers the best relocation tax package.

    Might as well bets test it on the A’s first before offering services to far more valuable and better teams later.

  7. Its not like this isn’t an obscure property that developers haven’t heard of. The Warriors and Raiders departures along with the As desire for a new ballpark have been well known for a while. Before the Raiders made their deal with Vegas assorted real estate firms made proposals involving the land. So I would think if it was worth more than $135 million someone would have already come along or would emerge fairly quickly.

    • There’s an old joke about an economist who sees a $20 bill on the sidewalk, and thinks, “It can’t be real, or somebody would have picked it up already.”