I headed up the Nimitz to attend the biweekly Save Oakland Sports meeting at the Red Lion Hotel on Hegenberger. The meeting ran two hours and was, despite the organization’s rather young state, quite well run. S.O.S. is really just getting started with its various activities, so I’m going to refrain from appraising their efforts. I can tell you that it looks like an eager, resourceful group and broad coalition, though they’re aware that Oakland and the greater East Bay are under pressure to deliver for the three teams without much time to do so.
If you want to know more about what S.O.S. is doing, I suggest you attend one of the meetings. Again, they’re held at the Red Lion Hotel in Oakland near the airport, though the venue could change from time to time. If you’re pro-Oakland, I urge you to attend. The group needs people as a show of strength, and they’re soliciting creative ideas to help bolster support for the teams and new venues. I’ll even go so far as to say that if you are pro-Oakland and you’re not attending, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
At the previous meeting, Mayor Jean Quan gave her thoughts on the Coliseum City plan. One notable thing I picked up was that she said that the Pier 30/32 rebuild would cost $400 million, not the roughly $100 million many had estimated previously. I don’t know where that figure comes from, but it seems inordinately high. We’re talking about removing old piles from the bay, driving new ones, and building a 13-acre concrete deck on top of it. It doesn’t matter that much if you’re building on the water or on mud next to the water because around here that mud is a huge liquefaction risk (ironically, partly due to pile driving). I’ll try to verify this in the coming days.
Now, if you’re wondering how I was treated, I’ll put it this way: When I introduced myself, I got a good amount of applause. One of the members expressed reservations about having me there because he considered me a pro-San Jose guy. Given the chance to clarify my stance, I said, “No offense to Oakland, I’m just a get-it-done-quickly guy. I’m not particular about cities.” Everyone I met was friendly and respectful, even if we had disagreements about actions and motivations. Folks, we can have a clear, reasonable dialogue on these issues without resorting to name calling, accusations, and recriminations. I don’t know how S.O.S. is going to do in the future, but I have the utmost respect for what they’re doing and how they’re going about it. Good luck, Save Oakland Sports.