A’s in deal to buy half of Oakland Coliseum

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Oakland Coliseum Image: ballparksofbaseball.com

The Oakland Athletics have tentatively agreed to buy Alameda County’s half of the 155-acre Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site for $85 million, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Alameda County, which will use the $85 million to pay off bond debt on Coliseum renovations needed to bring the Raiders back from Los Angeles in 1995, expects to save about $13 million a year from the sale, according to San Francisco Business Times.

The A’s would keep Oracle Arena and turn the Coliseum into a “roman ruin-like” multi-sports facility, according to the Chronicle, where there would also be parks, housing and a technology campus. Celebrity architect Bjarke Ingles of Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) is on board as the designer.

The tentative agreement to sell to the A’s is a twist that comes after Alameda County supervisors announced April 9 their plan to negotiate the sale of the county’s share of the Coliseum complex to the city of Oakland, which already owns half of it.

Alameda County and the City of Oakland have jointly owned, operated and managed the Coliseum complex for more than 50 years. The two also jointly own the Raiders training facility and headquarters in Alameda.

The Chronicle reported that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had hoped to buy out the county’s share and take full control of the site, but the city didn’t present a solid offer or the money to knot the deal.

Schaaf told the Chronicle that it is “unclear if the county has the right to sell its share of our jointly owned land.”

Earlier this month, the Business Times reported that the A’s recently hired a real estate veteran to oversee the redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum as well as the team’s plans for a stadium at Howard Terminal.

The Howard Terminal site, which the A’s have vowed to privately finance, could hold a 35,000-seat ballpark as well as up to 4,000 housing units, 2.27 million square feet of mixed-used development, a 3,500-seat performance venue and a 300- to 400-room hotel.

The A’s are also currently backing two bills in the state legislature, Senate Bill 293 and Assembly Bill 1191, which would make it easier to construct a 34,000-seat ballpark at the waterfront Howard Terminal.

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