SBD/August 7, 2014/Facilities

As New A's Lease Gets Ratified, Lew Wolff Hints At Building New Ballpark in Oakland

Wolff wants a deal done without a great deal of public assistance
A's co-Owner Lew Wolff yesterday "celebrated the final ratification of a 10-year lease extension by shaking hands with local officials and revealing that he has approached an architect to work on designs for a new ballpark adjacent to Coliseum," according to Matthew Artz of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. The lease deal requires Wolff to enter "good faith" discussions about building a new ballpark in Oakland. After several years of "trying to move the team south," Wolff has indicated that he is "seriously giving Oakland a second look." After yesterday's lease vote, Wolff said that the club is "considering several design ideas but are only in the early stages of evaluating whether a project would be workable." Wolff: "What I need is a new venue that is financially feasible. And we have to do it without a great deal of public assistance. It's not a simple exercise." Wolff also "declined to say which architectural firm he has approached to work on stadium designs" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 8/7).

: In Oakland, Steven Tavares notes Wolff also "voiced a willingness" to work with the Raiders for a "stadium of their own on the same property." But he "suggested other sites for a new baseball park are still [in] play." Wolff: "As part of our arrangement here, we said, we’re going to make a serious effort to look at the feasibility of doing that as well as any other site.” When it comes to possibly sharing the Coliseum property with a new stadium for the Raiders, Wolff said, “We’re all in the same boat here. It’s not like we’re in competition.” Wolff also "disagreed with sentiment, held by some, that the A’s lease agreement represented a choice between keeping his team or the Raiders in Oakland." Wolff: “That’s a false perception. It has been accommodated in the lease. Both of us have challenges. We both need new venues for our fans. I don’t think it’s a competition. The Raiders certainly don’t want to force anyone out and vice or versa.” He added, “Getting either one done is a challenge” (EAST BAY EXPRESS, 8/7).
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