The Oakland A's new ballpark pursuit saga has taken an unexpected turn
The team offered to pay down $135 million in debt for the land
On Monday, the Oakland A's offered to "assume control and purchase" the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex from the City and County. The team would pay down $135 million in debt owed by the City and County against the complex.
Here is the letter the team sent out Monday:
The A's currently share the Coliseum complex with the NFL's Oakland Raiders and the NBA's Golden State Warriors. The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020 and the Warriors are moving to San Francisco for the start of the 2019-20 season, however, meaning the A's will be the complex's lone tenant within three years.
The complex includes the Oakland Coliseum (home of the Raiders and A's), the Oracle Arena (home of the Warriors), and approximately 120 acres of land. Not just any land, either. Pricey Bay Area real estate near the waterfront. For all intents and purposes, the A's want to purchase the complex for $135 million so that, once the Raiders and Warriors move out, they can build a new ballpark and develop all the high-revenue land around it, and reap the financial windfall.
Give the A's credit, assuming control of the Coliseum complex and developing it once the Raiders and Warrior leave would be a brilliant long-term business move. Needless to say, the City and the County are unlikely to be willing to part with the land, even for $135 million in debt relief. Soon the complex land will be theirs and they can develop it as they see fit.
The A's have been searching for a site for a new ballpark for years, most notably in the San Jose area. The San Francisco Giants hold territorial rights over San Jose, however, which creates some major obstacles.
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