To keep A’s, Oakland, county need Coliseum resolution – Daily Democrat

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors congratulates the Oakland A’s on a great season that showcased exciting new talent. The winning spirit the A’s displayed on the field must now be matched by local leaders in working with the team to find a way to keep the A’s in Oakland for the long haul.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan

As joint owner with the city of Oakland of the Coliseum properties where the A’s have played since 1968, Alameda County is unwavering in its strong support for keeping our team in Oakland — in a new stadium at the Coliseum site, Howard Terminal or any other workable location.

We remain convinced, however, that joint ownership of the Coliseum properties is hindering efforts to reach a deal that keeps the A’s in Oakland. We think time is of the essence for all parties — the city, the county and the A’s — to come together to maximize our chances of keeping the team.

At this critical stage, we see two paths forward: a deal in which the city buys out Alameda County’s stake in the Coliseum properties and consolidates its control of future development options for the site, or a good faith effort in which the city joins us in considering a sale of the properties directly to the A’s.

Many months ago, the county proposed selling its Coliseum share to the city as the best way to move forward — through a transaction rooted in fiscal responsibility and a development vision that benefits local taxpayers and the team.

Progress on our proposal has been slow, but Alameda County remains flexible in working toward a fair deal that accounts for the city’s financial constraints. Because Oakland ultimately controls land use decisions affecting the Coliseum site, a deal that provides sole ownership to the city is desirable. It would maximize the city’s control of future development options and its power to negotiate a great deal that keeps the A’s playing in Oakland for years to come.

A joint sale of the Coliseum properties to the A’s is an intriguing alternative option.

In March, the A’s responded to the slow progress of city-county negotiations by offering to buy the Coliseum properties from its owners. We believe the offer deserves wholehearted consideration. While several details still must be negotiated, Alameda County is interested in working with the A’s because we believe a deal is possible that is fair to the team and our community. If the city continues to decline to purchase the County’s Coliseum share, we encourage them to join us in considering a sale to the A’s under fair terms.

Oakland’s shining history as home to championship sports teams has reached a critical juncture. The Coliseum’s two other long-term tenants, the Raiders and Golden State Warriors, soon will be leaving. The future of the Coliseum — and Oakland’s status as a home to top-tier sports teams — hangs in the balance. A fair deal that keeps the A’s is our only hope that new chapters will be written in the improbable story of scrappy Oakland as home to big-league champions.

The A’s stunning success in 2018 brought our community together. Large crowds and an electric atmosphere returned to the Coliseum, while an unexpected sense of belief gripped fans whose expectations were tepid on Opening Day.

It’s time for all parties negotiating the A’s future to bring that same sense of belief — and the collective will to win typified by the Green and Gold in 2018 — to our efforts to keep the team in Oakland for many glorious seasons to come.

Wilma Chan is president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

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