Oakland Athletics react to Coliseum lawsuit

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) – The Oakland A’s are one day away from their wild card game, so why was their team president in a courtroom on Tuesday?

Well, it’s about a battle between the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda over the Coliseum. 

The Oakland A’s are the last team left in the city.

They’ve so far agreed to build a new privately financed waterfront ballpark at the Howard Terminal.

They say they want to redevelop the Coliseum site as affordable housing, retail, and a park.

They just recently agreed to pay the county $85-million for their 50-percent ownership of the Coliseum property.

So, you might say they were caught off guard when the city filed a lawsuit against the county to stop the deal.

“In a playoff week, we’re going to be hosting 50,000 fans Wednesday, this is not the time to be actually in a courthouse, so we were really surprised by this action,” A’s President Dave Kaval said. 

The city says it’s doing it to protect the public interest because the “Surplus Land Act mandates that publicly-owned land, if it is sold, first be made available for affordable housing, park and recreational, or open-space purposes” – something the A’s have pledged.

“We’ve been clear from the beginning that we want a robust affordable housing plan,” Kaval said. 

The fact is that the city wants to buy the county’s share of the Coliseum.

A judge’s issuance of a temporary restraining order Tuesday, putting the county A’s deal on hold, gives the city at least a little over a month to make a deal if the county is willing.

“I do think the timing was a bit unfortunate as the A’s are going into their first playoff game tomorrow,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said.

Mayor Schaaf was also caught off guard by the lawsuit.

“It is absolutely prudent for the city to preserve their rights. I hope we can place that on pause and really focus on working together,” Schaaf said. 

As far as the county’s position, they don’t believe the Coliseum is surplus land therefore, they don’t believe the Surplus Land Act even applies in this case.

All parties will be back in court on Nov. 14.

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