Oakland A’s pay $45m for Coliseum stake


Oakland Athletics update December 2023 Image: Oakland Athletics

Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s are shelling out $45 million owed to Alameda County to acquire their half of the Coliseum complex in Oakland, California (US).

Mercury News said the move comes in the latest chapter of a saga involving one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most notable plots of land.

The A’s sent a letter to Nate Miley, chair of the county’s Board of Supervisors acknowledging that they will “satisfy the obligations” that remain outstanding from the parties’ 2019 agreement to purchase the land for $85 million.

The sale entitles the A’s to 50% ownership of the Coliseum complex, which includes the ballpark, the nearby arena and the vast parking space in between, even though the 2024 season may be the team’s last there.

The terms of the deal required the A’s to pay out the rest of what they owed to the county if the team ever announced it was leaving Oakland — which it did in April, when the team first secured a land deal for a Las Vegas ballpark.

The new Las Vegas Stadium is a planned retractable roof ballpark to be built on the site of the Tropicana Las Vegas in Paradise, Nevada (US). It is planned as the new home stadium of the Oakland Athletics when the team relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas.

If the ‘A’s’ complete other required relocation steps, it would give Las Vegas its fourth major league sports franchise. The Vegas Golden Knights were the first, beginning play as a National Hockey League (NHL) expansion team in 2017.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA’s) Las Vegas Aces relocated from San Antonio (Texas) in 2018, and the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders moved from Oakland in 2020.

Mercury News further stated that the team hasn’t said what it intends to do with the 155-acre Coliseum property. A’s president Dave Kaval said at the time of purchase that the deal would help keep the team in town, but that outcome now appears off the table.

“I have not had any discussions with board members about what the A’s want to do with the property, because the A’s have never articulated them,” said Henry Gardner, the head of the Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the site on behalf of the city and county. “I haven’t seen or heard from the A’s what a redevelopment would look like.”

The other half of the property is owned by the city, which is in negotiations with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, a Black-led development group to transform the site into a large commercial hotspot with live sports, hotels and nightlife, though the project has faced difficult early hurdles.

A local soccer franchise, Oakland Roots SC, has made overtures to play in an adjacent lot or even on the ballpark grounds after the A’s lease at the Coliseum expires at the end of 2024.

Where the A’s will play after their lease at the Coliseum expires remains a mystery.

Back in June, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority president Steve Hill said the A’s could play in Reno in the interim. Since then, three other options have been presented by Kaval: staying at the Coliseum and extending the lease, playing at the A’s Triple-A home in Las Vegas or sharing Oracle Park with the San Francisco Giants.

ESPN reported in September that MLB owners would want to know the A’s plan for a temporary home before voting to approve their move to Las Vegas at the owners’ meetings in November. But the vote was unanimous in approving the relocation — without the A’s announcing their intentions.

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