As detailed financing plans get delivered today on a massive Oakland project that includes potential new homes for the city’s three professional sports teams, it looks like Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff wants no part of any plan in which the A’s remain neighbors of the Raiders.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Coliseum City point man Floyd Kephart’s plan suggests the possibility of three sports venues plus housing, retail and office space on the same but expanded site, but the A’s don’t see that.
The club is investigating building a facility on the Coliseum site, but Wolff told the Mercury News his plans means the A’s being the only tenant. Even if Kephart’s report says the plan is doable and the Raiders decide to spurn Southern California to build a stadium at the Coliseum site, Wolff indicated the A’s will be back to square one looking for a new home.
“We have thoroughly investigated things,” Wolff told the Mercury News. “And there is no good way to put two brand-new venues at the Coliseum site. If the Raiders are going to be there, then I don’t know what will happen. We’ll have to sit down with (baseball commissioner) Rob (Manfred) and see what to do.”
According to two league sources, Wolff’s move is not unexpected. The belief for sometime is the A’s want to push the Raiders out to create leverage from which they can negotiate an exclusive deal.
Wolff told the Mercury News he does not believe the Coliseum City plan is good business for his franchise.
“I don’t want this fellow (Kephart) telling the A’s what to do,” Wolff said. “We have no desire to compete with the Raiders for PSLs (personal seat licenses) and sponsors. We just don’t see that. The timetable is for something to be known by June 21. That’s today. I’m very interested in knowing what he’s come up with.”
Meanwhile, according to the San Francisco Business Times, some of the Coliseum City details are beginning to trickle out
The New City proposal would include selling a chunk of land on the Coliseum complex to the Raiders — but ask the city and county to bankroll up to $140 million in infrastructure improvements, according to San Francisco Chronicle columnists Matier & Ross.
The Raiders have $500 million to put to the new stadium, including $200 million from the NFL sponsored G-4 loan program. Figuring out a way to close the $400 million gap has long been the challenge.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have teamed with the San Diego Chargers to build a stadium in Carson as a fall-back plan to stadium efforts in Oakland and San Diego.
The Carson plan is one of two Los Angeles area stadium proposals along with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood project.
The NFL hopes to decide by the end of 2005 – or early 2016 – what team or teams will relocate to Los Angeles and where they will play.