Oakland: Let’s try Plan B

Not surprisingly, the City of Oakland and Coliseum Authority officials have admitted that efforts to get the land deal for Wolff’s 100-acre Coliseum North development are going nowhere. And for the first time, Wolff has become upset over the process.

So what’s Plan B? Building on the existing Coliseum parking lot, of course. As indicated in Trib reporter Paul Rosynsky’s article, there are several issues with that arrangement, starting with the elimination of parking for the other tenants (Raiders, Warriors). The kind of aggressive development strategy that Wolff is considering to finance the stadium may not be feasible with a Coliseum-based ballpark. Coliseum South appears to be available, if anyone’s interested, though it’s not nearly as large as Wolff’s plan.

Wolff has made comments to the effect that he is willing to consider other sites. If it comes down to the Coliseum parking lot being the only alternative, someone’s going to have to get extremely creative about the financing plan. Since the Raiders are able to leave cleanly after 2010, Oakland/Alameda County may find themselves in the extremely uncomfortable position of being forced to choose between the Raiders and A’s.

As for Wolff’s request for a three-year extension to the existing Coliseum lease? Don’t be surprised if it comes with a price tag – perhaps a MOU or letter of intent, something that indicates that “everyone’s on the same page.” Same goes for the Raiders.

The Fremont Argus is also backing a Fremont site should efforts in Oakland fail. Fremont has started up a stadium task force, of which I am a member.

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