OAKLAND (KRON) – The Alameda County Supervisors voted on Monday to sell their half of the Oakland Coliseum site to the A’s for $85-million.
Calling it a historic vote, the board unanimously agreed to get out of the sports business and sell their stake in the Coliseum parcel to the Oakland A’s.
Many of the supervisors saying a big part of their motivation is to keep the city’s last remaining major league sports team from leaving.
“Two teams have already left and we really look forward. The fanbase is very enthusiastic about it, creates jobs, creates excitement, keeps Oakland on the map,” Wilma Chan said.
The A’s want to develop the piece of property into a mixed-use development including affordable housing, parks, office, and retail space.
This would fund the team’s construction of a new waterfront stadium at Howard Terminal.
It was pointed out that the Coliseum site can also be a backup location for a new ballpark if that doesn’t work out.
There is a lot of push back on the idea from businesses at the Port of Oakland who fears it could get in the way of their operations.
There were some public comments at the special meeting worrying that the construction of a new ballpark might spur more displacement of the African American community.
“When we really think about selling public land, we need to be concerned about those individuals that are currently in the city and how it will affect them being able to remain in the city,” Pastor L.J. Jennings said.
The team’s president says the A’s are committed to Oakland and it’s residents.
“Our project can actually be a catalyst to provide really solutions because if nothing happens we know that this displacement will continue. But maybe a project of the scale with this size with all his resources can actually provide the resources to ensure those communities are protected,” Dave Kaval said.
The vote today comes after months of fighting with the city of Oakland which had filed sued against the county to try and keep them from selling their portion of the land.
A suit which was later dropped.
While Monday’s deal was called a Chrismas present for team supporters, the A’s president says his New Year’s resolution involves beginning negotiations to buy the city’s share of the site in the next few months.
He also says the team would be just as happy going forward as joint owners of the property with the city.