Oakland Could Drop Coliseum Lawsuit Against Alameda County
The city of Oakland "could be backing off from its lawsuit against Alameda County after a stark warning" from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred that Oakland "could lose yet another pro sports team if the A's aren't able to build" a new waterfront ballpark, according to Ali Tadayon of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. The lawsuit seeks to "block the proposed sale of Alameda County's half-ownership share" to the A's. Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan and member Larry Reid indicated that it was their "desire for the city and the county to work out a 'shared strategy' for the future of the Coliseum site outside of court, and that city staff has been directed to negotiate with the county to make that happen." Reid confirmed that the City Council will "discuss the lawsuit again in closed session Oct. 15; the council could vote to drop it then." The A's intend to "redevelop the Coliseum site in East Oakland into a mixed-use complex" while simultaneously "building a 35,000-seat ballpark at the 50-acre Howard Terminal site" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 10/9).
MOTIVE & OPPORTUNITY: A MERCURY NEWS editorial states if the A's "were interested in what's best for East Oakland, the entire city and taxpayers, they would get in line with other developers and bid on the Coliseum property when offers and proposals are solicited." But that is "not the A's real motive." The team and MLB "wouldn't care about the lawsuit between the city and the county over the Coliseum land if they weren't trying to reap a windfall from the property and taxpayers." That is "what city officials are trying to stop," and they "shouldn't back down" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 10/9).
HEDGING BETS ON VEGAS: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed that Manfred last week pinpointed Las Vegas as a possible relocation site for the A's should the new ballpark not come to fruition. Schaaf said Vegas is the "city that came out of his mouth." She added, "Obviously, he chose his city wisely as far as exposing a pain point all Oaklanders feel at losing our sports teams" (KTVU-Fox, 10/8). Manfred yesterday clarified that comment, saying, "In a recent meeting with the Mayor of Oakland, I did mention Las Vegas in the context of pointing out that the A's might have to relocate if a new stadium can't be built in Oakland. There is, however, no plan to move to Las Vegas." In Las Vegas, Mick Akers notes if it "becomes necessary to consider relocation, Manfred said not just Las Vegas would be in consideration." Manfred: "There will be a formal process that will consider all potential relocation sites" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 10/9).