SBD/July 9, 2014/Facilities

Raiders In Talks To Tear Down Coliseum Despite A's 10-Year Lease Extension

Raiders officials hope to open a new stadium on the current site by '18
The Raiders are in talks to tear down Coliseum "next year to make way for a new home" despite the fact the A's are "trying to negotiate a deal to stay" at the facility for another 10 years, according to a front-page piece by Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The talks, revealed in a memo to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan from planners of the city-backed Coliseum City sports-retail project, "stunned officials of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority." Coliseum City reps said that they "expect to reach a deal with the Raiders by the end of the summer that would lead to the opening of a new football stadium on the existing site" by '18. Coliseum City attorney Zach Wasserman in the memo wrote the Raiders are "making arrangements to play elsewhere." But Wasserman "doesn't say ... where that might be." Matier & Ross report where the A's would play under this scenario "isn't clear, either." If the City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors "ratify the deal reached between the A's and the Coliseum Authority, the baseball team would get two years' notice before any construction that would force them out of the ballpark." That would "keep them in the Coliseum" through at least the '16 season. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who serves as the Coliseum Authority Chair, called the idea of tearing down the Coliseum "totally preposterous." Oakland City Council member and Coliseum Authority Board member Larry Reid "called the teardown idea 'crazy, absolutely insane'" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/9). In Oakland, Matthew Artz in a front-page piece reports while Oakland City Council members and the Coliseum City development team both indicated that they "want to keep both the A's and Raiders in Oakland, Wasserman's letter underscores the challenge in satisfying both teams." The Raiders have "pinned their hopes to building a new stadium by partnering with developers on the Coliseum City project." But A's co-Owner Lew Wolff has said that if his team "decides to build a ballpark at the site, it would want to be in charge of the development" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/9).
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