Oakland/JPA releasing a feasibility study, not an EIR

The mystery, such as it was, is over. We’re getting a feasibility study on Monday. The meeting will be held at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 4 (2nd floor) from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

Coliseum JPA meeting agenda edited to focus on important part

Coliseum JPA meeting agenda edited to focus on important part

Prior to the presentation will be an open forum. Speakers should be expected after the presentation as well. One or more Raiders fan groups were asking for fans to show up to give support for Coliseum City. If the last one of these sessions at City Hall is any indication, there should be a smattering of A’s gear and plenty of folks wearing both “Oakland” teams’ colors. And maybe a Warriors fan or two.

When the feasibility study was green lighted last year, there were plenty of suggestions to include many different alternatives. This ran the gamut from the different open air/dome options we’ve discussed repeatedly to different sites and even an alternative in which no teams remained at the Coliseum. I’m curious to see what alternatives were explored, and how thoroughly the consultants considered each of them. As this is an initial presentation, there’s no expectation that any action would be taken regarding the direction of the Coliseum City project. Any kind of major decision involving scope would likely be part of the broader EIR process, and as we know, that document isn’t out yet (probably fall).

The feasibility study was written by AECOM, the huge architectural and design services firm that until last week was involved with the W’s and their Piers 30/32 arena. AECOM’s a large enough company that different groups will be working on these projects with very different scopes, though it’s possible that some of the principals shared notes. Studies like these will talk a lot about project costs, though it’s also normal for them to include rosy projections about economic impact and revenue. We’ll see how honest this one is. Naturally, I’m most interested in the costs of the different alternatives, especially the two-stadium and three-venue options.

Just as important is that this is the first large project of this type that’s being planned in the post-redevelopment era. The report should reflect that reality and identify other sources of funding for infrastructure and the like. There may also be a mention of other public funding sources, such as the $40 million lost when Measure B1 went down to defeat last November.

From a general public debate standpoint, a feasibility study is better than an EIR in some ways. EIRs are so thick and thorough that it’s easy to get bogged down in the details – and specific cost isn’t even a major consideration. With a feasibility study, we can finally start having that discussion about how much it will cost to retain the Coliseum’s tenants. The EIR has its place when it comes to identifying changes and mitigations that will need to be made to support the project. For now, this is at least a start of a real dialogue. Better late than never.

35 thoughts on “Oakland/JPA releasing a feasibility study, not an EIR

  1. Interestingly, the presentation is specifically focused on the feasibility of an NFL stadium. While its been pretty clear – at least to me – that the NFL is Oakland’s top priority in terms of managing its sports teams future statuses, is this perhaps the start of a more overt stance in that direction?

    By the way, I’ve been reading the articles and comments on this site for a good, long time but have never commented until now. The discussions here are very passionate, lively, and I’m glad to see that the issues are debated without a whole bunch of trolling: a rare thing on the internet. ‘Preciate that!

    • @Marq4000 – The feasibility study and EIR have always been geared around the Raiders as the anchor. A ballpark and arena have all been considered supplemental pieces. What’s telling is that there isn’t an EIR for Oakland’s preferred ballpark site, Howard Terminal – though that may have to do with money more than anything else.

      I’m sure the commenters appreciate the compliment! Most of them don’t act like trolls, which is refreshing. Some of the more trollish commenters were booted long ago.

  2. I’m a bit confused. Does having a feasibility study preclude an EIR?

    • @Mo Stuff – No. The JPA requested the study to understand what transformation of the Coliseum area would’ve looked like. Usually something like this is done well before the EIR, though it is not required.

  3. Oakland revealed their wishes for Coliseum City about 19 months ago, and who know how much time earlier they hired some hack to doodle up a rendering of it. Let’s just say they started kicking the can about 6 months prior to December 2011. In two years, all they have are some uninspiring pictures and a very general feasibility report? All of this on a site that’s already housed an NBA, NFL and MLB team for the past few decades? What kind of mind-boggling, stroke-inducing bullfackery is this?

    It’s complicated enough that the A’s want San Jose, a private investor (Clorox) wants Howard Terminal and Oakland wants Coliseum City– you’d at least think that Oakland would be more advanced than just a feasibility report by July 2013.

  4. @Briggs
    Actually clorox woule be intrested on aa 66th avenue new A’s ballpark. It woupd help because according to the coliseum city map. The ballpark is on the far north east corner. In real life it would be built around that aquaduct when you go to the coliseum. You also forgot that safeway ane chevron are also big east bay companies that could be intrested if they like what they see on July 15,

  5. @aaron- even JQ confirms that MLB has no interest in CC- so not quite sure why you continue to talk about CC as anything more than a home for the raiders. Second, do you have the source to support your claim that Clorox is willing to buy the naming rights in Oakland. Want to see the public record of how much DK committed and for how long.

  6. Its called faith.

  7. Actually clorox woule be intrested on aa 66th avenue new A’s ballpark. It woupd help because according to the coliseum city map. The ballpark is on the far north east corner. In real life it would be built around that aquaduct when you go to the coliseum. You also forgot that safeway ane chevron are also big east bay companies that could be intrested if they like what they see on July 15,

    …. I don’t know how to articulate the way I felt after reading this, but I’m pretty sure I’m stupider now. Thanks, man. We’re talking about a preliminary analysis of a NFL stadium feasibility report—as in this is a preliminary report of a preliminary report for a football stadium on a site that has hosted a football stadium for nearly 50 years already. The July 15th event isn’t about a baseball stadium, or an NBA arena or this fandangled aquaduct contraption you speak of. If Safeway and Chevron are interested in what they see on July 15th, it’ll pertain to an NFL stadium and the fact that they’re only presenting the “preliminary analysis of an NFL stadium feasibility report” tells you all you need to know about their progress towards getting a ballpark build for the A’s.

  8. Well briggs if Lew Wolff would take a damn look at Coliseum City and stop fighting with Quan and oakland pols then the A’s will have more imput re: their ballpark. Yes I agree its about the Raiders. If the stadium plan can make sense then that is when safeway chevron and the east bay companies could be interested in naming rights. Your mad because san jose could be stalles by my man Selig

  9. re: Lew Wolff would take a damn look at Coliseum City

    Wolff knows he has to pay for the ballpark himself. That will have to be done with corporate sponsorship, premium seating and the like, not via a generous self-less contribution from the owners. Wolff knows full well what the score is on corporate sponsorships, etc, opportunities available in Oakland, particularly at the Coliseum site.

  10. @ pjk
    You know why the coliseum ballpark is better. Its chr aper for lew wolff to build. The land is ready. You have amazing transit accses. Plus eadt bay fans wont have to go to san jose for a fuckin baseball game. Too bad lew too out of touch to do it. I also beileve that if the players vote they would choose Oakland over san jose

  11. As has been said before, MLB wants downtown and/or waterfront sites. The Coliseum complex, situated in a drab industrial area, meets neither requirement. I know there are people who expect the A’s owners to build in Oakland even if they lose Big $$ but don’t count on that happening.

  12. @standforcoliseumcity Aaron
    Hay man love your passion, and I would love the A’s, Raiders, and Warriors to remain in Oakland if it was possible, but let’s be a little practical here. The Warriors are on their way to SF and that’s probable a good thing, because it narrows things down a little for Oakland, as I have said in the past if Oakland only has to concentrate on two teams we may be able to save one, hopefully two. The A’s don’t even want to be in Oakland, and if not for TR the Giants hold, they would already be in the south bay. If the A’s ever get a new stadium in Oakland A lot of things would have to come into play for that to happen, don’t get me wrong Oakland and the east bay are a fare better places for the A’s to be then some people here seem to think, but it’s not better then SJ, just not as bad as people think and can be much better than what they think. The Raiders are the only team willing to back CC and their plan is to play 10 home games a year in it and no money toward the project, so we have a long way to go, perhaps not the pipe dream some people think, but it’s still a dream, and dreams sometimes come true.

  13. Your mad because san jose could be stalles by my man Selig

    The only thing I’m mad about is our collective failure at supporting public schools. My nephew recently “graduated” from high school. The other day he texted me asking, “Uncel, can i hav 200dollers for a gym membrship.” I called and told him I’d help him, but added that he would have to maintain whatever monthly fees were associated. He paused, as if I threw a wrench into his plan. I then asked slowly, because the rest of our conversation hinged on this question: “Do you have a way of playing for the monthly fee?” Silence. I feel like there’s some sort a parallel to be drawn between this gym situation and the ballpark funding in Oakland.

  14. @aaron,
    I’m sure there are East Bay A’s fans from Union City southward and from Tri Valley who will have no “fucken” problem going to A’s games in San Jose at gorgeous Cisco Field 😉
    As a Raiders fan, I do harbor a little hope that a new stadium will be built at the Coliseum site, but I won’t hold my breath…

  15. @Tony D.
    I for one would be one of them Tony, I would much rather see the A’s in SJ, then out of the Bay Area all together, that would be just what Giants would like to see come true? I would really love it to be in Oakland, but I am not an Oakland only person, at some point it’s about the A’s getting a new home, and not SJ or Oakland. I know being from SJ yourself you would love to see it happen down there, and I respect that, but I think what I appreciate about you and others, is that if it’s not in SJ, your still willing to come to Oakland or, Fremont, or wherever in the Bay Area. I mean we are all A’s fan’s, well most of us.

  16. FWIW, the property just south of the Tesla plant on 880, which I had thought might be big enough for a ballpark, looks like it is having some development happening to it now. Cross that one off the list.

  17. @Aaron…I’m in Morgan Hill and have no problem making it to Oakland for a “fuckin baseball game”. I think eastbay fans will be ok. I also have “faith” Aaron.. I have faith that one day ill own a big bright yellow lambo! But guess what, sitting on my ass and keeping “faith” won’t get me that lambo.. Working my ass off will.. That’s the way it works bruh bruh..big bank takes little bank..

  18. @Larry E
    Big bank takes little bank, man I love for that one….

  19. @ML–A deep water port has more long term potential for jobs and revenue than a baseball park. It would be stupid for the Port to give up Howard Terminal as a marine terminal given all the money spend in shore electricity, dredging and rail upgrades. How can you compare an ILWU worker with a baseball hot dog salesman?

  20. @Bryan Grunwald – The nice thing about Port/Union relations is that they are generally subject to arbitration when things like this arise. Therefore they can get a fairly quick and agreeable resolution for both sides. So if the ILWU does have a case about lost jobs – which is not entirely clear based on the performance of the Port as currently configured – those jobs can be regained or shifted as needed.

    With the SSA & potential PAOHT lawsuits, no such avenue exists. It just keeps going and going, and the only ones who benefit in the end are big money (Goldman Sachs, hedge funds), big developers, and big law firms. So the Port (and City) have a choice: they can either stick to long range plans that show some real vision for how they want to transform the port, or they can keep shifting every few years based on reactions to lawsuits. One of those strategies is sound, and the other one is plain nuts.

    Honestly, if you and Tony think I’m willfully conflating the ILWU and Port operator lawsuits, you’re silly.

  21. @lakeshore,
    You da man brah! Been following the OAKLAND A’s since I was a teen (still remember kicking over our kitchen garbage can when Gibson hit that home run in the 88 WS), and would continue to follow them in Oakland, Fremont or (of course) San Jose. But I won’t lie; want them in downtown SJ badly!
    @pjk,
    Ahh, but the 100 acres north of Tesla near the future Warm Springs BART station is way available; the perfect “in case of emergency, break glass” site if San Jose can’t happen.

  22. Sounds like a plan, Tony, but the Fremont NIMBYs already have spoken: No ballpark. Putting a ballpark right next to a brand new, major transit station also is a problem – it just makes too much sense, therefore it can’t happen.

  23. To be fair to those NIMBY’s north of Tesla, they have a point. That’s a quiet upper middle class single family home suburban neighborhood just across 680 and north of the site. It’s not a good location for a ballpark despite it making sense from a transit perspective. I’m sure those folks would have banned BART if they could as well.

  24. @Dan,
    Yet its a perfect location for an automobile plant and major rail yard (which was going to be built)? The area is industrial and is going to be developed mixed-use whether residents like it or not; why not plan a ballpark if SJ falls through? Besides, the housing tracts are nearly a mile away and will face more noise, pollution from 680-880 than a hypothetical WS ballpark. My former tax guy lives in Mission San Jose and supported a ballpark there; could not understand at the time what all the fuss and crying was about.
    Any how, hope a reality of a downtown SJ ballpark makes this WS talk a moot point..

    • I’ve been told that Wolff/Fisher are in the process of selling off the Pacific Commons-area land they purchased before the recession. They should be getting just about all of their money back. If you want a sign for what they think of Fremont as a ballpark site, there it is.

  25. Yes, they spent more than two years trying and were greeted with roadblock after roadblock in Fremont. That ship looks to have sailed.

  26. Good, because if they were going to build in that area, they might as well build at the Coliseum. Both equally suck. They need to be downtown, not in some light industrial wasteland.

  27. Wolff/Fisher selling off Pac Commons; the more equity/cash in hand, the better… 😉

  28. Tony, it’s never been the noise… it’s been the people in the area.

  29. So after all the magic that you have, I have and everyone has happen at the Coliseum, you fellas really think a “Coliseum Ballpark” would be a horrible ballpark????. Im sure if Wolff and Quan work together this ” Coliseum Ballpark” could be one of the best ballparks kinda like la angels park. I mean how much would it cost ro build 300-400???? Comparee to 600-700’mil. Coco crisp, donaldson and other players will stay in Oakland and we could arract free agents , hell maybe even get Ryan Braun and A-Rod to bolster …

    Say no to san jose pjk.

    • @Aaron – It’d cost $500 million plus whatever remaining Mt. Davis debt remains to be picked up. That’s another $50-100 million.

  30. standfor: How much public funding will Oakland provide for ballpark construction in the Coliseum lot to compensate for the private dollars that won’t be available in Oakland? $0.00, of course.

  31. I think it’s good the the raiders will be the priority in Monday’s meeting. Oakland needs to forget coliseum city and focus on a ballpark at Howard terminal and a stadium at the coliseum site. The retail shit can come later, but let’s just get rolling with the stadia.

    On another note. I did hear an unfortunate rumor that Mark Davis will not extend the coliseum lease, but I’m not gonna believe it til it’s set in stone. Hopefully we’ll know more after Monday’s meeting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s