OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Hopes of a WNBA team coming to the city of Oakland may no longer be a pipe dream.
Friday morning, the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Joint Powers Authority agreed to bring a possible lease of the Oakland arena up for a vote next month.
The league could be Oakland-bound as soon as next year.
The African American Sports and Entertainment Group cleared a major hurdle Friday morning.
The group has made a formal proposal to the WNBA to bring a team to the Oakland arena. The Oakland-Alameda Joint Powers Authority agreed at it’s meeting to vote next month on lease terms.
This as the arena sits vacant — having the lost the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco in 2019.
“When we see our teams leave, its something that’s painful for us,” Ray Bobbitt said. “But that doesn’t mean its the end for us, because when any door closes, as we know, doors open.”
AASEG is also vying to purchase the city of Oakland’s 50-percent interest of the Oakland Coliseum Complex.
As is a separate group of investors led by Oakland native and three-time World Series champion Dave Stewart.
AASEG says though that it does not see Stewart’s group as rivals.
“With respect to Dave Stewart’s group, we have offered to work together with him and will work with him together, no matter what,” Bobbitt said.
JPA Commissioner and Oakland’s Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan says the upcoming vote on the arena lease will not impact the Oakland athletics’ plans for a new stadium at Howard terminal — or have any bearing on how the coliseum site will be redeveloped.
Those plans, which include housing, office and park space, were already approved by the city council back in 2015.
“We can have an arena lease for a WNBA team,” Kaplan said. “The A’s can propose what they’re proposing. none of these things have to be against each other.”
Kaplan says if the WNBA proposal maintains support, a team could play at the arena by next year.