Professional Sports in Oakland
by Chris Dobbins
[ Sept. 2014 ] – Thank you to all who attended the MGO meeting in June where we discussed the future of Oakland’s professional sports teams. Since that meeting, there has been a whirlwind of activity. The A’s signed a 10-year lease extension which had to pass three governmental entities: The Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, The Oakland City Council, and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Some of the highlights of the lease include approximately $20 million rent the A’s will pay over the life of the lease, a new scoreboard system (which the A’s have agreed to spend at least $10 million on the project), and flexibility to move the A’s or Raiders if either team will build a new stadium in Oakland. Also in the lease the Coliseum JPA agrees to drop an arbitration of up to $5 million concerning past parking revenue withholding that is in dispute by the A’s. Ultimately, this deal buys the East Bay more time to get long term stadiums in place whether it is at the Coliseum site or downtown at Howard Terminal.
In terms of the Raiders long-term future, we are waiting for the deal to be finalized between the Raiders and Colony Capital to secure the financing for the project. Mayor Jean Quan has said this should be completed by the end of the summer since the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Colony Capital ends in October. The Raiders do only have a lease at the Coliseum through this season and will play the Miami Dolphins in a “home game” from Wembley Stadium in London.
Overall there was much spirited debate about this lease extension and the City of Oakland added/cleaned up a few provisions so it extended the process. It goes back to the Coliseum JPA for final approval tomorrow (8/6/14), but I anticipate that it will pass. All this while the A’s have made a few stunning trades and have maintained the best record in baseball. This fall should prove very interesting in the City of Oakland with not only the many political races, but also the Green and Gold are going “all in” to win the World Series. Another great reason to be an Oaklander!