More from Oakland City Council Session 3/6/12

Update 11:27 PM – Unanimous vote yes. Audience erupts in “Let’s Go Oakland” chant.

These are raw notes I’m taking as we go. Voting result will be posted at the top when it’s done.

Blackwell mentioned that because teams are in various discussions with other jurisdictions, plan should also include non-stadium alternatives.

Potential conflicts of interest with one contract provided for planning and development. Decoupling was necessary. So it’s #1 ENA for master planning, #2 for EIR

Urgency. A’s are actively pursuing San Jose. There are a number of obstacles. Giants have expressed opposition. Likely a public vote.

Raiders. They’ve expressed desire to stay with a brand new facility. They are being courted by a variety of interests in SoCal. NFL has been pushing a model with multiple teams playing in one stadium, which could be pursued in Santa Clara vis-a-vis 49ers and Raiders.

Warriors – have had discussions. Are farthest away from making a move. SF has been in discussions.

Funding agreement – funds came from Coliseum Redevelopment Area. Funds are limited to affecting Coliseum area, not available outside area. Funding includes a transfer of assets (redevelopment). Legislation (AB1X26) to eliminate redevelopment indicates that such transfers may be under review. According to City Attorney, actions with third party agreements should be protected from “clawback” (reclamation by state).

Eric Angstadt in response to question by Jane Brunner – Premature to say what will be studied, but all recommended alternatives will be studied in terms of project goals. There will be a report of which alternatives are studied and why. EIR process will study alternatives that are reasonable, including (potentially) sites outside of the city.

23 public speakers – No one against, do not see Bryan Grunwald. Mayor Quan wasn’t in the Chambers initially, now is in the back corner

Chris Dobbins – Save Oakland Sports

San Jose resident argues for Coliseum City as a Raider fan.

Keith Salminen – Not just Oakland’s problem. It’s East Bay’s problem. Future of the East Bay is at stake.

Dr. Death – Humbly ask to fund the studies. Can’t forget the past. 111 years of tradition gone forever. Devastating to the economy and pride. Will be expensive, but you have to spend money to make money. Project may be eligible for $40 million in TOD funds.

Black Hole guy from Brentwood

White guy in red A’s hat and Run-TMC Mullin jersey. If you get rid of the team you get rid of a big part of Oakland’s soul. What do you have left if there’s no soul?

One dissenter, didn’t catch his name – Doesn’t want two downtown Oaklands. Wants the ballpark to be down the street near downtown. Is he referring to 980 Park? Compares situation to Las Vegas with the old Vegas and The Strip.

Bryan Grunwald is here, is given 4 minutes. Supports resolution, argues for scope to be expanded. Ask to spend money on feasibility of 980 Park. Differs with Blackwell on limits of redevelopment funds. (If redevelopment ceases to exist, do the limits matter?) If there is a no-stadium alternative at Coliseum City, why not have the stadium downtown/uptown? To put all eggs in the Coliseum basket is ridiculous and a waste of public money.

Larry Jackson reminds Council that he proposed Coliseum City two years ago.

Jorge Leon spoke once, wanted to speak again but was told to sit down by Larry Reid.

Council members

De La Fuente – Supports resolutions. Understands passion of fans. We don’t have to bargain or beg for our teams because our site is the best. The teams are an asset, but they also want to be here. Can’t forget we are subsidizing the franchises for $10 million/year. We can do better next time. We are prepared to work hard, but it takes two to tango. It’s responsible to look at the no stadium alternative. We can’t force teams to stay. Hopefully we’re sending one more message tonight that we’re willing to work with MLB. Hopefully we’ll get the same in return.

Brooks – In the last year I think we’re making moves like we’re talking to the teams in a way they understand. Refers to opening of management of contracts for Coliseum, which she started.

Brunner – Congratulations Mr. Reid. He has been pushing the Coliseum (his district) as long as I can remember. The only reason we didn’t look at the Coliseum was that the A’s were saying they wouldn’t go there. I’m in total support of this. The reason I’m interested in (980 Park) is that there’s a chance that the A’s will still come back to us and say we’re still not interested in the Coliseum. Talking to staff offline, we need to understand the feasibility of doing it over the freeway. It’s good if we know the pros and cons.

Schaaf – We all want all of our teams to stay, but we don’t totally control that. We have to be mindful that there are other people who control those decisions. There will be scenarios if one or more of those teams don’t stay. Resolution does not include that kind of language, so will ask Blackwell to include it. Coliseum City doesn’t adequately describe how big it is.

(Angstadt clarifies that non-stadium alternative will be specified in the professional services contract.)

Reid – Nobody’s spent more time on this than I have. I tried to get Dan Lindheim to see it, he wouldn’t. I tried to get Jerry Brown to see it and he wouldn’t. Thanks to the Mayor and to Jane Brunner for writing the letter to MLB.

Nadel – Constituents support 980 Park as part of study.

Reid – If we do nothing then we will lose every sports franchise in our city. When we first sat down with Lew Wolff and showed him our vision of Coliseum City, he took it down to San Jose (sic) and came up with the 66th-High Street. If we give MLB two options and MLB tells him, “Here are two options, take one or put the team up for sale,” Oakland would never be the same. (Referring to Coliseum City and Victory Court). I’m glad that someone caught the vision. I just hope it’s not too late.

Unanimous vote yes. Audience erupts in “Let’s Go Oakland” chant.

On the way out I introduced myself to Bryan Grunwald and held the door for Desley Brooks as she left City Hall. If there were any winners tonight, they were Brooks and Reid.

8 thoughts on “More from Oakland City Council Session 3/6/12

  1. This vote should absolutely be a slam dunk. Coliseum City needs to become a reality, the future of the city of Oakland and the East Bay region as a whole depends on it. If Coliseum City can’t keep the A’s, then it should for sure without a doubt keep the Raiders and Warriors.

    Losing all of these pro sports teams would absolutely be devastating to the East Bay Region and it’s future.

    If the cowtown of Sacramento can work and keep the Kings by building a new sports and entertainment complex, then the Oakland and Alameda County with investor and developer assistance, can spend the money to make Coliseum City a reality. If Coliseum City is built they will make a boat load of money from it when it comes to the big picture.

  2. The channel 7 News on KOFY covered this and did a freaking horrible job with facts:
    – noted that it was widely reported that San Jose won’t happen and that there was no comment from MLB or the A’s.
    – claimed the Raiders were scheduled to move into a new stadium on the Coliseum grounds in 2015.
    – claimed the study would determine if a new stadium was necessary or if there were cosmetic fixes to the existing stadium that would work.
    – no mention of the $2B price tag for the development

    They will make that 2 Billion back and then some if Coliseum City is built in no time.

  3. It’s a dream at this point. I really hope it becomes more.

  4. Hold your horses. They still haven’t paid off the money for the Raider remodel 15 years ago.

  5. As far as the Athletics, if the city gives Wolff a deal on land, shouldn’t he be able to build a stadium there at no cost to Oakland?

    I am tired of the Oakland Market is Dead talk. Communities change and Oakland could be ripe for a renaissance.

    • @Ted – Oakland is having a renaissance in some ways (restaurants, arts). It’s fading back in others (crime, retail, population). The “Oakland market is dead” talk is completely tied to whether or not there’s enough revenue to pay for a stadium in Oakland for the duration. Just as the Giants needed to secure deals to finance AT&T Park, the A’s do for Cisco Field wherever it is. In Oakland, those deals are fewer and further between.

  6. @Ted – You still have to pay for the stadium. It’s hard to get all the companies in the South Bay to commit to season tickets, box seats, suites and sponsorship to a stadium that is 35 miles to the north when, for the most part, the people that they want to advertise to are also located in the South Bay. Naming rights are one thing, and it probably doesn’t matter where the stadium is if national exposure is your main goal. However, there are also plenty of sponsorship opportunities that do not get displayed on camera and are only good if the eyes that go to the stadium are the eyes you are targeting. I think ML used Rambus as an example a while back. They don’t really make any products, they research stuff and lease patents to other companies. They don’t want to advertise to the general public per se, they want to advertise to two specific groups–potential employees and other companies who might want their patents. You are going to get more tech eyeballs at a stadium in the center of the tech industry.

  7. I don’t think Wolff and Fisher will have trouble scraping together financing for a stadium in Oakland but that is a good point about demographics for advertisers.

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