Manfred Gets Involved In A's Dispute With County Over Coliseum
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred "left no doubt that the city of Oakland's lawsuit to stop Alameda County from selling its portion" of the RingCentral Coliseum site to the A's "could have repercussions," according to Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Manfred said that he and MLB owners have "supported the A's effort" to build a ballpark at the Howard Terminal site, but if Oakland "cannot cooperate, that might not continue to be the case." Manfred yesterday met with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Council President Rebecca Kaplan ahead of the Rays-A's AL Wild Card game. He said, "I made it clear that it's time for the city of Oakland to show concrete progress on the stadium effort. It's gone on too long, and things need to fall into place to get a new stadium here." Manfred added, "We can't stay in a holding pattern with no progress indefinitely. There needs to be a plan to move this franchise forward. I'm hopeful it's going to be here in Oakland." The A's do not plan to build at the Coliseum property, and instead "plan to develop the land in order to fund their preferred Howard Terminal ballpark" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/3).
OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT: In San Jose, Ali Tadayon notes days after filing a lawsuit to stop Alameda County from selling its Coliseum complex ownership shares to the A's, the city announced it will "return to the negotiating table to try to purchase the county's shares itself." Oakland has been trying to buy Alameda County's shares since '15, but County Board of Supervisors President Richard Valle said that talks "broke in February when the county presented a term sheet to city staff that would guide a potential sale and the city never responded." Meanwhile, the county "negotiated to sell its shares to the A's, drawing ire from Oakland city council members who wanted more of a say in the future of the Coliseum site." On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council "directed city staff to resume the negotiations" with Alameda County, as well as "try to resolve the lawsuit out of court and figure out a strategy for the future of the site" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 10/3).
CHIN MUSIC: A's President Dave Kaval said that the city's lawsuit to block the team's partial purchase of the Coliseum site was "like getting beaned by a fastball, one thrown by his own pitcher." He said, "We were very close. This will put a chilling effect on us being able to close the deal." Kaval added, "We always felt that any issue would be negotiated by sitting down at the table. Instead, we wind up in a courtroom just when we are hosting 50,000 fans for a wild-card playoff game. We were just totally blindsided." Kaval said that the "real shocker was that the suit was filed on the same day" that he spent 90 minutes with Oakland Deputy City Administrator of Real Estate & Major Projects Betsy Lake, the city's lead negotiator on the Howard Terminal deal. Kaval said that the meeting had been "on these very same issues, and no one said a word about a lawsuit being filed" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/3).