Category Archives: Politics
Two competing narratives define Howard Terminal at the moment. The first, proffered by Oakland ballpark boosters, insists that because of the summer move to attain “site control” over the Port locale, getting a ballpark built should be a mostly a matter of procedure that can quickly result in HT being shovel-ready. The other narrative, promoted by this site and other skeptics, argues that because of the land’s heavy industrial and maritime uses over the last several decades, it could be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to even attempt it.
Adding to the information fog surrounding Howard Terminal are suggestions that the permitting and CEQA processes for the site could somehow be streamlined. One Twitter follower even explained to me a few months ago that the site wouldn’t need rigorous environmental review because HT was somehow zoned for a convention center. That’s not true, and even if it was that’s a wholly different use and set of impacts compared to a ballpark. No, HT is zoned as heavy industrial, Port land. No commercial uses are allowed there. I’ve also heard that there’s a way to build at HT without breaching the thick contamination cap already there. That’s patently ridiculous. Now if someone wants to offer up some great technology that allows for building a code-compliant, earthquake-safe, 10-story tall permanent ballpark whose foundation doesn’t require digging out some dirt, I’m all ears. Pardon me for being cynical.
Or if you don’t want to pardon my cynicism, take it from the Port. In the aftermath of the SSA consolidation deal inked between the Port and one of its bigger operators, Port staff prepared a report for a forthcoming RFP to find bidders who could use HT in the short-term. The concern is that the Port is losing $10 million a year while Howard Terminal remains vacant post-consolidation. I’ve bolded some of the more noteworthy language, and summarized the issue below each quoted graf.
Urgency of Revenue
With the loss of about $10 million/year of revenue at Howard Terminal starting October 1, 2013, finding a new tenant that can quickly establish operations and pay rent to the Port is critical. Because the property is already generally permitted and entitled for maritime and maritime-related uses, maintaining land use consistency will help expedite occupancy. However, it should be noted that even some maritime uses may require additional entitlement work; for example, construction of extensive break bulk facilities may require some California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) analysis and permitting work. This work, however, is expected to be relatively limited as compared to non-maritime uses of the property.
Issue #1: The Port is trying to maintain maritime use so that they can get a tenant in there tout de suite. That doesn’t mean that the Port is against a ballpark, but it’s clear that a non-maritime use like a ballpark is bound to be tied up in red tape for some time to come.
BCDC Seaport Plan
Howard Terminal is included in the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (“BCDC”) Seaport Plan as a “Port Priority Use” area. This designation is based on a Bay-wide study performed by BCDC periodically to determine whether enough capacity exists across all Bay Area ports to accommodate anticipated cargo growth in the long-term future. Using Howard Terminal for non-maritime uses conflicts with this designation, and de-designation of lands from Port Priority Use requires a Seaport Plan amendment, which is a fairly lengthy and involved process. To pursue an amendment, the Port would be required to provide evidence that sufficient capacity exists within the remaining Port seaport properties, or elsewhere within the Bay Area Port priority lands, to support the long term maritime growth demands for the region. BCDC would then independently analyze that information before proceeding with an amendment.
Issue #2: In order to accept non-maritime reuse of Howard Terminal, that red tape would include a Seaport Plan amendment, proof that the consolidation properly makes up for HT’s lost cargo handling capacity. If the consolidation doesn’t prove enough, more capacity would have to be found elsewhere, even somewhere outside Oakland city limits.
Tidelands Trust Compliance
Howard Terminal is currently encumbered by the Tidelands Trust. Uses of the property are therefore generally limited to water oriented commerce, navigation, fisheries, and regional or state-wide recreational uses. Approval from the State Lands Commission would be required for any uses of the property that are not Tidelands Trust compliant. Many non-maritime activities are not considered Trust compliant uses and thus may require lengthy negotiations with the State Lands Commission, and potential legislation, before the Port could proceed with such non-Trust uses for the property.
Issue #3: This is a very similar situation to what the Warriors face with their planned arena at San Francisco’s Piers 30/32. Howard Terminal is on the water, on the bay, thus any plans there mandate special consideration of the effects of such a project. Since that process could take years to shake out, project proponents have pushed local legislators to write “streamlining” bills that can cut down review time normally associated with EIR-challenging lawsuits.
Other Entitlement, Environmental & Regulatory Issues
Howard Terminal is subject to a complex set of regulatory permits and deed restrictions related to the hazardous materials in the soil and groundwater underlying the property. Development of new structures that penetrate the ground surface or changes in land use will require notices to regulatory agencies, and compliance with existing health, safety and soil management plans. Non-maritime uses will likely require extensive and expensive clean-up or other protective environmental measures, precluding expeditious turn-over of the property to a new rent-paying tenant. Further, non-maritime uses will likely require numerous land use entitlements including local land use permits, an amendment to the Oakland General Plan, and CEQA review. These activities could take several years to complete.
Issue #4: The cap problem.
Remarkably, there was no mention of a ballpark anywhere in the proposal for the RFP. There was also no mention of an EIR for a ballpark or any other Howard Terminal-related project. That makes sense when the goal is simply to get a tenant in there in the next year. No chance that can be anything but a shipping concern. Staff’s recommendation is to carry forward an RFP focusing only on maritime uses. That could change if City Hall leans hard on the Port to formally open up HT for non-maritime uses. Then again, as staff pointed out, Broadening the RFP scope further would complicate the evaluation process. SSA’s transition was originally supposed to complete at the beginning of this month. Now it may slip until January, which seems more realistic considering the work involved.
When it comes to Howard Terminal, you can read this site or listen to some story that some people are selling. Or you could disregard both and read Port staff’s own words. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you do. Mayor Jean Quan has been claiming for some months that some good news would be coming by the end of the year regarding HT. Hopefully the news isn’t limited to announcing that the Port has identified a new operator at the site for negotiations. That’s what happened with the Coliseum City RFP. In February 2012. The Port of Oakland has is semi-autonomous. It has to be fiscally responsible and self-sufficient. A $10 million hit per year is a big hit no matter how long it lasts. The Port also has another project, the Oakland Army Base reuse plan, which may now be counted upon to replace the jobs lost if Howard Terminal can’t find a new tenant. All of these issues and others are why I suggested caution when Howard Terminal came into play again. Now let’s see what site proponents can do about all the obstacles in their path.
P.S. – Don’t forget, the issues identified by Port staff don’t include issues that could arise specific to the construction of a ballpark: pedestrian and vehicular bridges needed over the Embarcadero railroad tracks, and potential resistance from Oakland residents over the prospects of a tall stadium on the waterfront.
Two weeks after a potential investor group headed by Colony Capital and Rashid Al Malik’s HayaH Holdings was revealed, that same group was formally approved as part of the master developer team. With that approval comes a 12-month extension on the ENA (exclusive negotiating agreement) to figure out all most of the details, plus a 6-month administrative extension if needed.
That’s the news. Now let’s try to understand what has to happen next.
The City of Oakland has about $250,000 remaining in money it assigned towards Coliseum City studies. Bay Investment Group (BayIG), the Colony/HayaH partnership, will put in $500,000 towards a market study to determine the viability of Coliseum City. This is important since BayIG is expected to push that study to its own individual investors, who as a group will decide if/how to move forward. The forthcoming study is not to be confused with AECOM’s feasibility study, which was made available during the summer.
Over the next 12 months, the public and private sides have to make good on a set of deliverables. Some within the City, especially CM Larry Reid, wanted a shorter 6-month + 6 month extension instead of the 12 + 6 deal that was approved. Reid’s concerns, aired last week in a committee meetings, were that 12 + 6 was too long a period and didn’t show the necessary urgency to the NFL and the Raiders. Raiders owner Mark Davis has indicated that he wants a lease/stadium deal in place shortly after the NFL season ends.
Nevertheless, Coliseum City will move forward on its own timeline because BayIG asked for 12 + 6 in order to get everything in order. A short list of deliverables looks like this:
- November – Estimate on cost of remaining pre-development work
- February – Assessment of new infrastructure costs
- April – Letter(s) of intent from team(s) who choose to sign on with plan
- May – BayIG market analysis
- Summer/Fall – EIR and Specific Plan
These items, along with additional smaller ones, should lead up to preliminary project approval in whatever form it takes, plus a DDA (disposition and development agreement), the contract fine print on how Coliseum City is built, including costs, financing, and timelines. Zennie Abraham caught up with Oakland Asst. City Administrator Fred Blackwell at the meeting to summarize what’s next.
Simply put, BayIG just bought the City of Oakland and Alameda County some time. However, it’s easy to see how the list of deliverables doesn’t exactly line up with the timeframe that Davis is trying to dictate. Moving forward, the issue is whether the dev team can show significant enough progress to get Davis to sign on and sign a separate lease at the Coliseum that would keep the Raiders in Oakland throughout the transition. Then again, that part’s a little confusing too. When Raiders uber-fan Dr. Death asked JRDV’s Ed McFarlan when the earliest groundbreaking could be he received this rather optimistic response.
He said ground breaking for coliseum city would happen in September if all goes as planned
— Dr.Death (@26DrDeath) October 14, 2013
That seems unlikely given the scope of the project and all the little details that need to figured out. Is that groundbreaking for a new stadium alongside the existing Coliseum? Certainly it couldn’t be demolishing the current Coliseum and building on the same site, since the demo itself would take months and would displace both the Raiders and A’s. While BayIG indicated that it will reach out to the A’s and Warriors to gauge their interest in Coliseum City, it’s extremely unlikely that either team will commit. Despite recent setbacks, both teams are focused on their San Jose and San Francisco plans, respectively. Plus they’d have to commit without all deliverables in place, especially that market analysis. If you think that Lew Wolff would sign a short-term lease without knowing the development’s impact on the A’s, you’re crazy.
For the next 12 months, BayIG has control over most of the process. They could press the deal if they see encouraging signs, or they could kill it if the market analysis looks bad. They’re in great shape considering that they’ve only committed $500,000 towards the project – chump change for billionaires. Just as important, they don’t have to adhere to a specific vision of Coliseum City, though they’re positioning themselves to have at least the football stadium in place. Consider last night’s report on the agenda item:
The Coliseum City Master Plan is providing the basis upon which the City is currently under a separate contract with a specialized planning consultant firm to complete a Specific Plan and CEQA/EIR analysis. The Specific Plan will also identify alternatives to the Master Plan and will consider different development scenarios that will envision zero up to three sports facilifies at the site. Pursuant to CEQA, the separate planning contract will prepare an EIR to address the potential physical environmental effects of the Coliseum City project.
There’s nothing new there, but BayIG is positioned to take advantage of it. There could be a single football stadium, a football stadium and a ballpark, even an arena. At this early stage, it looks like it’ll just be the Raiders stadium, though even that is far from a given. BayIG could find that the best thing to do is to minimize its investment in the stadium, or seek out revenue streams from the stadium or team that could help pay back their investment. The infrastructure cost, which will be borne by City/County, could also prove prohibitively high on top of the remaining debt to be carried at the Coliseum. BayIG could even go with zero venues at the Coliseum. Such a plan would probably not get approval from City since it would represent a white flag. Yet it remains a distinct possibility – if not now, within a few years.
The upside, regardless of your optimism or skepticism of Coliseum City, is that things are coming to a head. Coliseum was introduced more than 21 months ago, and has shown only the most tentative progress until a few weeks ago. Now’s the time to put up, to see what results Coliseum City can yield. No more stalling, and for that we can all be glad.
Note: The only local mainstream media coverage of yesterday’s news came from CSNBA’s Scott Bair. Seems like everyone else was preoccupied with transit strikes and some other multibillion dollar development in the South Bay which is a lot more than vapor.
UPDATE 2:07 PM – I’ve uploaded a copy of the ruling. It’s worth a read.
Additionally, San Jose Mayor Reed’s office released a statement in reaction to the ruling:
I am pleased that the judge has allowed our case to move forward. Major League Baseball’s unfair and anti-competitive actions are costing San Jose residents millions of dollars in annual tax revenues that could go towards paying for more police officers, firefighters, libraries, road repairs and other critical services.
San Jose filed this lawsuit after waiting patiently for more than four years for a decision from Commissioner Selig. The court’s decision this brings us one step closer to paving the way for San Jose to host a major league ballclub.
Update from the Merc’s John Woolfolk on San Jose’s antitrust lawsuit against MLB:
judge mostly rules against San Jose in antitrust lawsuit against MLB, sides with city on state tort claims
— John Woolfolk (@JohnWoolfolk1) October 11, 2013
And other tweets:
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) October 11, 2013
BREAKING: Federal judge grants MLB's motion to dismiss San Jose's lawsuit IN PART. Federal antitrust claims dismissed; state claims survive
— Wendy Thurm (@hangingsliders) October 11, 2013
During the hearing last Friday, Judge Ronald Whyte gave indications that he would back MLB based on the standing issue, while allowing San Jose to rework its case and try it in a state court. MLB had pushed for Judge Whyte to dismiss all claims, including those that could be covered by California’s more stringent antitrust laws. San Jose hoped Judge Whyte would rule that the City had standing, which would move the case forward and start a potentially damaging discovery phase for MLB.
Assuming that the tweets above are correct, baseball’s antitrust exemption remains immune to a legal challenge. Instead the case will be about tortious interference, or MLB’s stalling that has prevented San Jose and the A’s from getting a ballpark built. San Jose claimed initially that this amounted to $1.5 million per year in tax revenue, and could be awarded treble damages as a result. Over 30 years that comes to $135 million, not adjusted for inflation.
If San Jose can force discovery into the dealings of its “Blue Ribbon Commission” and other activities related to San Jose and Oakland, it could also force MLB to make a deal since they’re against any kind of opening of their books. There’s a lot more to the TI argument than standing.
A press conference may be in the offing. If it happens I’ll see if I can head out to City Hall.
For now I’ll end with this Bill Shaikin tweet:
Judge in San Jose vs. MLB writes that baseball's antitrust exemption makes no sense but that he is bound by precedent.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 11, 2013
Hooray for inertia!
The Raiders and the NFL announced yesterday that the team will one of three franchises to host “home” games next season in London’s Wembley Stadium. Jacksonville, which has done this before, and Atlanta will also be “home” teams. It’s an expansion of the NFL’s exposure in Europe. Previous seasons often had only one London fixture, this season has two. Both of this season’s games are sellouts, which likely convinced NFL brass to expand the program.
CSNBA’s Scott Bair notes that the Radiers’ current lease, which ends this season, has a requirement that the Raiders play all home games at the Coliseum. A lease extension would have to be amended to reflect the new arrangement. Of course, the Raiders and the Coliseum Authority first have to agree to basic terms of a new lease, and there are no indicators that the two sides are close to completion of that yet. Owner Mark Davis has made it clear that he wants to tie a lease to a long-term deal that produces a new stadium for his franchise.
Enter today’s Matier & Ross item, which described the NFL as not impressed in Oakland and the JPA’s efforts regarding Coliseum City.
‘The NFL came in a couple of months back to see how the city and county were coming along with their plans and basically rolled their eyes,’ said a source close to the Davis camp, who asked not to be named because of ongoing negotiations in Oakland over a possible replacement for the Coliseum.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Davis has chided the JPA about an apparent lack of urgency on their part. Last week’s news that big-pocketed investors including Colony Capital helps their cause. The structure of the deal that pushes out the JPA’s study another 12-18 months doesn’t. That’s probably why the NFL isn’t impressed. They can see right through the public officials’ moves, which are mostly stalling tactics until something drops into their lap. The NFL has not shown patience with that in the past. They want results. Plus they’re fine with Davis talking to anyone who will listen, whether that’s in LA, Concord, wherever.
Moreover, Matier & Ross bring up the idea that if Colony is asked to help subsidize the stadium, they’ll want something out of it. Maybe that means a piece of a team or even a controlling share. That’s not likely to happen on Davis’s watch, as he’s been buying out smaller ownership stakes to further strengthen his hold over the franchise. Perhaps that’s for the purposes of flipping a small minority stake in exchange for a stadium, but no more than that. As we’ve seen with the NFL’s discussions with AEG over Farmers Field, no owner nor the league has any interest in swapping a major ownership stake for stadium rights. I wrote previously that Colony will want to pay as little as possible for a stadium since it’s money pit. This is the opposite of such an arrangement. Whatever the case, Colony didn’t grow to its current size and status by giving things away. The JPA can keep studying the issue until the cows come home. The NFL will remain unimpressed.
Matier and Ross report that Raiders owner Mark Davis took a tour of the decommissioned Concord Naval Weapons Station last week, in search of a potential stadium site for the Silver and Black. Sure, Davis has stated publicly that his preference is to stay in Oakland, but he has been looking around the Bay Area and Los Angeles to see what kinds of deals he can dig up.
Last year Davis made the local political rounds in Dublin, as he had an eye on the Army’s Camp Parks facility. Like CNWS, it’s very large and is in the middle of a transition. At both Camp Parks and CNWS, there’s valuable land available remarkably close to freeway access and even public transit. In theory, it just needs to be cleaned up, planned accordingly, and redeveloped.
The military branches – in this case the Navy – are in control of the remediation (cleanup) process. They also control the price of land sales, and given the trend of military cutbacks, they’re not going to give away free land. Municipalities also have a say, because in the end they’ll need to properly integrate these massive tracts of land into their own long range plans (link worth reading if you want to understand the process).
In the map above, the gray area is devoted to different types of development. Closest to the North Concord/Martinez BART station is expected to be high-density, transit-oriented development: office and residential towers and the like. Further east and south may be office parks and lower density residential. Greenbelts wrap around the various districts. A golf course and open space preserve largely cover the area east of Mt. Diablo Creek. These 5,000 acres, dubbed the Inland Area, are the most ready to develop because they were decommissioned over a decade ago. The other part of CNWS, the 7,000-acre Tidal Area, is still in use. The Tidal Area is the portion north of Highway 4 along Suisun Bay.
Davis’s interest in CNWS seems to run counter to his stated desire for urgency at the Coliseum. It’s unlikely that anything substantial can be built at CNWS before the end of the decade, and no one’s going to make an exception just for a football stadium. That must be why Davis hired Don Perata as a consultant. Perata, the former State Senate President and Oakland mayoral candidate, who now works out of Orinda. Perata could grease the skids as a lobbyist in Sacramento, which could result in a CEQA-sidestep bill similar to the ones executed for the Sacramento and San Francisco arenas.
Besides the literal mess that needs to be cleaned up at CNWS, a stadium needs to be compatible with Concord and Contra Costa County’s growth initiatives. Preferably the stadium should be within walking distance of the BART station. That use – a big stadium with acres of parking around it – doesn’t fit with any TOD plans. The City of Concord will want some federal grant money to assist in building infrastructure for the TOD section, so they won’t allow a stadium to jeopardize that. The salmon-colored area in the map above is roughly 1/2 mile from the BART station, about as far as you’d want to walk from the station to attend a game. 100 acres of parking would have to be found somewhere in the vicinity. For environmental impact reasons, the stadium couldn’t be located adjacent to the planned preserve area. Freeway access is another matter. I can’t imagine how awful the traffic on CA-4 would be for a Monday Night game. CA-4 and I-680 are the main highways in, with CA-242 providing a shortcut from the south. Sunday afternoons shouldn’t be so bad, but if a lot of fans are coming in from eastern Contra Costa County and Stockton, it’s not going to be pretty.
Obviously, a lot of issues would need to be figured out before Davis even had a prayer of making CNWS a good relocation site. Like Coliseum City, it has a number of costs associated with it that have major funding question marks. Yet it’s also clear that Davis is not content to sit and wait for a deal to fall into his lap. If he wants to get something done somewhere, that’s the kind of proactive work ethic he’ll have to show. In that sense, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
Lost in all the postgame recriminations from Friday night is an article by the Chronicle’s Will Kane. It’s about the lease extension talks between the A’s and the Coliseum Authority, which to date haven’t yielded a new deal. When we last left off, Lew Wolff indicated that the A’s presented the JPA an offer of a 5-year extension at a higher annual payment, which would cover maintenance and some improvements at the Coliseum. The actual amounts and terms weren’t publicly disclosed. Wolff aimed for an escape clause that would be triggered by the Raiders building a new stadium that would presumably adversely impact the A’s. That was followed by Raiders owner Mark Davis pushing to demolish the old Coliseum and build a new one in its place.
Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who has been touting the potential for Coliseum City since its public unveiling, believes that the two sides are close to a 6-8 year extension. What’s a little disturbing is this message from Kaplan:
And the six- to eight-year window should give Oakland plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark and luring the A’s to stay, Kaplan said.
Hold a sec. Plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark? You’ve got to be kidding me with that. I’m sure that Kaplan was merely referring to the idea of shoe-horning a ballpark into the A lot, a secondary item within the overall plan. It’s the tone that’s disturbing. It places doubt on the idea that Victory Court was serious, and it certainly raises questions on the seriousness of inclusion for the A’s in Coliseum City. Just as the A’s aren’t winning back burned fans by talking about leaving, Oakland isn’t going to win the A’s over by considering them an add-on or second/third phase. Plus the idea of 6-8 years should give anyone pause. For all the talk by Kaplan and Mayor Jean Quan about how projects could be fast tracked or don’t need extensive environmental review, 6-8 years is an awful long time to effect change. Especially if both Coliseum City and Howard Terminal are under site control, Oakland’s favorite new catch phrase. Mark Davis lightly admonished Oakland about showing urgency last month. A move like this shows more of the same lack of urgency from Oakland. How are any of the teams supposed to take Oakland pols seriously if the general feel is that they’re making moves to make it look like they’re making moves?
While Kaplan was quick to say that a deal was close, A’s President Michael Crowley doesn’t see it that way.
“We’ve had some discussions, but we still remain far apart,” Crowley said of the lease talks. “I really don’t want to negotiate in the press. We certainly hope to be playing here in 2014.”
We certainly hope to be playing here in 2014? That’s also a pretty bad tell. Wolff has been careful to talk about playing at the Coliseum for years to come, even talking to a fan about it in Anaheim during the last regular season road trip. But this is not a certainty. And if your argument for the A’s staying is simply, They have nowhere to go, think again. Of course they have somewhere else to go. It’s really a question of how much money they’re willing to pay to make it happen – short and long-term.
Consider this game of musical chairs.
- The A’s Coliseum lease ends at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
- Same goes for the San Jose Giants at San Jose Municipal Stadium. Obviously the A’s aren’t going to play at Muni, it’s much too small and is older and more dilapidated than the Coliseum.
- Raley Field is not old and dilapidated. It has 11,093 seats, plus berm seating up to 14,000. I did some measurements of the berm in RF and some of the other areas, and have concluded that if bleachers were installed atop those areas, the capacity could reach 20,000. Without standing room admissions. The A’s would sell that capacity out for 2-3 years straight, the transition time needed to build in San Jose. That capacity isn’t necessarily too small for MLB since there would be a clear transition path, and the A’s have been playing to an average of 20,000 per game for the last three years anyway.
- What about the River Cats? Well, Lew Wolff would have to call in a favor. The team is owned by Susan Savage, widow of Art Savage. Art Savage was an executive with the Sharks almost 20 years ago, and Wolff called him and his family good friends. Wolff would have to work with the family, who runs the stadium, to compensate them properly and plan Raley’s temporary expansion. The River Cats could continue to play select games there, or…
- Move temporarily to San Jose, where city leaders would be happy to kick the intransigent High-A Giants to the curb in favor of a AAA team while waiting for the MLB A’s to arrive. As of two weeks ago, there is no movement on a lease extension for the SJ Giants. Sound familiar?
- That leaves the SJ Giants without a lease, without a home. That will not go over well with long-time SJ Giants fans, some of whom are part of the Stand For San Jose lawsuit. Sucks for them, I guess. If the Giants started looking for a home somewhere else in the Bay Area or NorCal, trust me, there will be no shortage of smaller cities ready to roll out the red carpet for them.
- When the temporary arrangement ends in 2016 or thereabouts, Raley Field can be restored back to its previous glory. While there would be a big grassroots effort in Sacramento to attract the A’s full time, much of the available political capital has already been spent on the downtown Sacramento Kings’ arena. We already know that, when Raley was under construction, changes had to be made that dropped the possibility of easy vertical expansion. That makes it difficult to envision Raley as anything larger that 20,000 seats, unless someone’s willing to pay to gut it and rebuild the suites and a new upper deck. Besides, after 2-3 years it’ll become readily apparent how much better Raley is suited to being a AAA park than a MLB park. It’s akin to what happened when Bud Adams moved the Oilers out of Houston, Absent a modern stadium, Adams had his team play in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis for a year, followed one season at Vanderbilt Stadium. Adequate, and definitely not permanent.
Is any of this based on inside information? I assure you, it is not. Rather, it’s an example of a well-conceived Plan B, just in case the A’s can’t work out a Coliseum lease extension. It gives the A’s a decent place to play while they wait out the legal drama, while not infringing on T-rights. The way T-rights are written, Santa Clara County can accept any team it wants provided it’s not a MLB franchise. That’s how Wolff, Davis, and Crowley should be thinking. If they aren’t, then they’re not doing their respective jobs.