(KRON) — On the day the news broke that the Oakland Athletics would be leaving for Las Vegas; the Oakland Roots Soccer Club announced an official proposal to lease a lot adjacent to the Oakland Coliseum to build a stadium. The soccer team, which plays in the top division of the USL, one tier below Major League Soccer, looks set to become Oakland’s only remaining professional sports team.
The Roots, along with its women’s team the Oakland Soul, announced that it has submitted a proposal to lease the Malibu Lot, which is located just across the parking lot from the Coliseum in East Oakland.
The team currently plays home games at Laney College. However, there have been ongoing problems with playing at the college stadium including difficulties with the turf that have led to home games this season being played at CSU East Bay in Hayward.
The team also cites growing demand and growth of the club and its fanbase as reasons for seeking out a new interim stadium while it looks for a permanent home. According to a post on the club website, the sight at Malibu Lot meets many of the requirements for an interim stadium, including:
- Adequate size to accommodate the stadium, fan experience and parking
- Availability to host both men’s and women’s teams
- Accessible location by multiple modes of transit
- Potential for community impact
- Underlying land use designation already provides for sports as an allowable use
- Allows for proper North/South orientation of the field
“If accepted, the proposal to the City of Oakland and Alameda County (as co-owners) would allow the Oakland Roots and Soul to play its home matches at the Malibu site for up to 10 years, as well as host other events that are of interest to the community,” the Roots said on the team website.
“We are truly excited to see this level of commitment from Oakland Roots and Oakland Soul SC to The Town,” wrote Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao on the Roots website. “In just a few short years, the Roots have become a beloved institution in Oakland, and we are thrilled they will soon be joined by Oakland Soul. We look forward to matching their commitment by working together on this proposal and bringing more opportunities to Oakland and the fans.”
The submitting of the proposal is the beginning of a “long process,” according to the Roots. In the meantime, the team is expected to play its home games at CSU East Bay until the turf situation allows for a return to Laney College.