Not only did the Athletics back into the 2018 Major League Baseball Playoffs by virtue of the New York Yankees victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and for the first time since 2014, the organization did the City of Oakland a solid.
The Oakland A’s made an offer to buy the County of Alameda’s portion of the Coliseum Complex. If the Couty accepts the offer (which should be around $90 million, if Alameda County’s central concern is still recovering debt expense), that would release the City of Oakland, and in particular Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, from worrying about how to buyout the County’s share of the historic sports venue.
It would also save the City of Oakland from making a payment this blogger has called illogical. Oakland would wind up paying Alameda County, which would then get $90 million on top of new revenue it would make from the A’s privately financed new stadium. Oakland would do all of the work, and the County would enjoy the spoils, thanks to that buyout Libby wanted the City to pay for.
The plan for the City of Oakland to buyout the Alameda County share of the Coliseum started in 2014, and after the rather rough talks surrounding the lease extension for the Oakland Athletics. At that point, the idea of Oakland taking over the Coliseum entirely started because there were, as Councilmember Larry Reid put it after the A’s deal in 2014 “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
And some of those cooks didn’t understand the law surrounding even what the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (Coliseum JPA) was capable of. Then Oakland District Two Councilmember Pat Kernighan said the Coliseum JPA itself should not be involved in developnent discussions because it didn’t have redevelopment powers over the stadium site. A point of view that flies in the face of Section 6502 of the California Government Code (the enabiling legislation for joint powers authorties in California) which states “If authorized by their legislative or other governing bodies, two or more public agencies by agreement may jointly exercise any power common to the contracting parties, including, but not limited to, the authority to levy a fee, assessment, or tax, even though one or more of the contracting agencies may be located outside this state.” “Any power” includes economic development and land use determination.
But I digress.
The Coliseum’s split ownership has created a climate where the relationship between its owners the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda is, today, so bad that there are people on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors who don’t have the best words for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. For her part, Mayor Schaaf has only focused on trying to find a way to get the County out of her way in the matter of the current home of the A’s, Raiders, and Golden State Warriors. It’s a fair bet that her excellent relationship with Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval led to this proposed buyout.
If so, score this one for Libby.
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