Oakland 12/9 Press Conference
First of all, thanks to Nina Thorsen’s excellent start-to-finish coverage @KQEDNewsLive. She was tweeting like a madwoman while I was stuck in transit. Hopefully I’ll get to hear the audio soon so that I can comment more thoroughly. Bear with me, I’m at the Trappist celebrating LeAndre’s new job at Lucasfilm with him over beers (wow!).
Here’s what we know:
- The Victory Court EIR is not done. Not even started.
- The City is presenting two site options, Victory Court and the new Coliseum City. The Coliseum has an RFP out for planning and redevelopment of the Coliseum area on both sides of 880, and Coliseum City is basically the plan.
- Mayor Jean Quan and Let’s Go Oakland’s Doug Boxer emphasized the positive economic impact of either plan.
- Quan positions either site as feasible if MLB, the A’s and Warriors are willing to play ball.
- Quan has talked to the Giants. They have said they could delay San Jose for up to ten years.
- There will be renderings of Coliseum City released soon. I’ll put them up when I have a chance.
After the meeting we spoke to Let’s Go Oakland’s Doug Boxer briefly. He was very straightforward in his assessment:
- The litigation aspect is a very real threat for the A’s.
- The two Oakland sites are being pitched not only as alternatives to each other, but also as alternatives to San Jose if that plan doesn’t come to fruition.
- I asked him if he was disappointed that there was no progress on at the state of the Victory Court EIR. He said yes but also understood why – the City is only dealing with itself until MLB commits to Oakland.
- There are no innocents among the various parties (A’s, Giants, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, MLB) involved in this mess.
Honestly, this came off pretty much as I expected. The Coliseum City plan makes sense since the City is putting resources into it. A new/revamped arena and ballpark can slot in as alternatives to a Raiders stadium in the planning work, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Other than that, it’s a terribly disappointing bit of news. There has been no action on the EIR front, and virtually nothing has happened in the last 2.5 years, yet Quan is characterizing the Oakland options as doable by 2016. Oakland’s track record doesn’t back her up. It all sounds like a bunch of fronting, and everything else I’m hearing outside of Oakland indicates that the City is not going to get the chance to prove itself. I’m not sure Oakland deserves it.
Added 2:34 PM – The Trib will have a live chat today at 3:30 to cover today’s news. Participants will include reporter Angela Woodall, BANG senior editor for community involvement Martin G. Reynolds, and the ever popular Dave Newhouse.
Added 4:05 PM – Two new pics of Coliseum City.