Nearly eight years after then-Commissioner Bud Selig created a committee to study the Oakland Athletics’ stadium situation, the A’s are still no closer to a new home.
The A’s new president, David Kaval, says that he might have a timeline for a timeline on a new stadium... about a year from now. No, I am not making that up:
When will you be able to announce that you’ve picked a ballpark site and can start talking about a real time-frame for the building and opening of it? Would it [be] one year from now–December 2017?
Yes, Kaval said it’s realistic to think that by this time next year, the A’s would at least be able to set down a timeline for how and when they would build in Oakland.
So it appears we’re at least a year away... from a timeline. Which would probably mean several more years until, you know, there’s an actual stadium for the A’s to play in.
Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders appear to be all set to pack up and move to Las Vegas:
In Las Vegas, state and county leaders already have signed off on $750 million in public funding for the stadium. To that, the Raiders/NFL would add $500 million and the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson would put up $650 million.
If the Raiders did move, that would make the A’s current stadium site available for a complete teardown and new baseball-only park. That’d be good! Except:
NFL officials and representatives of the Oakland Raiders' front office met with Oakland city and Alameda County officials on Monday, along with an investment group led by former NFL player Ronnie Lott and Fortress Investment Group.
Lott’s group proposes receiving an exclusive and confidential 60-day window to negotiate a development plan for the land that currently houses the Coliseum, building an estimated $1.3 billion stadium that keeps the Raiders in Oakland.
Lott’s team would contribute $400 million, with the NFL and the Raiders contributing $500 million.
The city of Oakland would contribute $200 million for infrastructure, such as storm drains and roadway parking. That money would be generated from bonds paid back from revenue created from the stadium and surrounding commercial development.
The city and county also would contribute at least 100 acres of land, valued at $150 million.
That all sounds good for the Raiders, but the A’s might get the shaft here:
There will also be 15 acres reserved for a new baseball stadium for the Athletics if they choose to stay at their current site.
15 acres is pretty small, even if you take into account that would include the parking lots the Raiders would wind up building. Here’s a look at the current stadium/arena setup:
Yes, there’s a BART transit stop near the Coliseum (upper right of map, and I’ve done that, it’s a pretty long hike from the train station to the stadium) but most people get there by car. If the Raiders do wind up leaving for Las Vegas, the Coliseum site would be ideal -- especially if the Golden State Warriors go through with their planned move to San Francisco, which would allow the Oracle Arena to be torn down and make even more land available for baseball.
If the Coliseum is torn down and a new stadium built on that site, the A’s would wind up homeless for at least a year while a new park is built. They’d probably wind up having to share AT&T Park with the Giants for that period of time, ironic since the Giants spent so many years trying to prevent the A’s from moving to San Jose, which is still probably the best site in the Bay Area for them.
But we appear to be heading toward the endgame of this stadium nightmare, and oddly enough, it’ll be the choice of a football team that will likely determine a baseball team’s destiny.