More Stadium Games in Oakland
Enjoy every A's, Warriors, and Raiders game like it might be the last in the East Bay.
While sports fans adjust to the seemingly inevitable flight of the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco, city officials and business leaders have redoubled their efforts to keep the A’s and the Raiders in town since we wrote about Oakland’s struggles to retain its pro sports teams. But it won’t be easy.
A’s owner Lew Wolff has confirmed that his team is close to signing a 10-year contract to stay in Oakland. But the contract evidently contains enough escape hatches to let the team depart long before then. Wolff can break the contract if San Jose succeeds in its lawsuit against Major League Baseball, which would let the A’s move to Santa Clara County. But the A’s also can depart if Mayor Jean Quan should succeed in her efforts to build a new facility for the Oakland Raiders.
Happily, Wolff told Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News that he is open to discussing a new Oakland ballpark if stadium backers shift their focus away from the Howard Terminal site. In fact, he suggested that Oakland is now as viable as San Jose. But he doesn’t like Quan’s Coliseum City proposal because only one quarter of the site is actually owned by the city.
Meanwhile, Raiders owner Mark Davis has renewed his contract at the Oakland Coliseum. Davis announced in May that he has $400 million to put toward the construction of a new stadium. But that could be less than half of the cost. Where will the remaining investment come from? Davis has said he doesn’t care where if it comes from so long as it comes quickly. If no new stadium is built, Davis is expected to take his team elsewhere.
With taxpayers still on the hook for about $203 million in upgrades to the Coliseum and Oracle Arena, it’s quite unlikely that Oakland or Alameda County will put up any more money. And Quan has had a tough time finding private investors for her proposal.
So the situation remains uncertain. For now, East Bay sports fans still have three teams to cheer on. But fans should enjoy each local game like it could be the last one they’ll ever attend.