Itching Their Way To The Waterfront.
It’s 2020 and the Oakland A’s Major League Baseball team owners may finally get what the group has been seeking for a while. The right to buy Alameda County share of the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s ownership will pay Alameda County $85 million over a six-year period once a review of the sale is complete and both sides sign off on the deal. That could be done by the beginning of summer. A’s ownership may have a fallback option should a proposal to build a baseball park on the Oakland waterfront fail. Initially the city of Oakland wanted to sure Alameda County in an attempt to stop the proposed sale. Oakland owns the other 50 percent of the ballpark. A’s ownership does not intend to remain in the stadium. In April 2019, the A’s owners and Alameda County entered into a non-binding agreement to sell the county’s share of the property to the A’s owners. The waterfront property is the ownership’s stadium location preference. There are a myriad of questions concerning the waterfront proposal that need answers from the funding to the environmental impact of the arena, to traffic patterns and how to get people to the park.
The ballpark has been a problem for decades for various A’s owners. In 1977-78 Charles Finley, who took his Kansas City A’s to Oakland in 1967 and signed a 20-year lease agreement, could not complete a sale to Marvin Davis who would have moved the team to Denver. More than two decades ago, another set of owners wanted a new stadium. Lew Wolff tried to move the team to Fremont, California and San Jose. Wolff also wanted to build a stadium-village on the Coliseum property. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred turn up the heat on Oakland officials last fall saying that without a new stadium, A’s owners could move. The ballpark building process continues.