Coliseum City infrastructure cost estimated at $344-425 million

One of the Coliseum City deliverables due in February was a public infrastructure costs report. That report is now available (report/cost tables) thanks to BANG’s Matthew Artz. Sometime ago I half-joked that the amount of infrastructure needed to build out Coliseum City is so much that it would be like adding a fourth venue in terms of cost. It’s no joke anymore, as the numbers are in. Infrastructure cost, which for some reason doesn’t even include the cost to demolish the old Coliseum, ranges from $344 million to $425 million.

Unlike the previous phasing report, which had the Raiders stadium being built for 2018 and the Athletics by 2022 or later, this report has both venues being constructed and opening in time for their 2018 seasons. Much of that total includes relocation of utilities that run through the complex, including nearly $16 million to move overhead power lines and $1.4 million to move the sewer interceptor.

Surprisingly there is no estimate for the cost of demolishing the old Coliseum. The report states that demolition of the Coliseum “will only marginally affect the costs of the new facility.” For large concrete structures like the stadium, that could easily run into the low eight figures, especially because of how massive Mount Davis is. If that’s considered marginal, it’s only because it’s about 3-5% of the total project cost.


Utilities running through the Coliseum City project area

The price escalates quickly when accounting for all the stuff that would make the City part of Coliseum City work. About $24 million would go into BART station improvements. The big addition is a side platform that would allow fans to more directly access the BART bridge without having to go down into the station, only to go up again. That would be a welcome improvement regardless of how much of Coliseum City gets built, since the station can be a huge bottleneck during high-attendance games. There are also initial plans for a streetcar, which at $25 million seems awfully low considering that it would eventually go across the Nimitz and out to Edgewater. $175 million covers all transit, traffic, and infrastructure changes, with another $45 million going towards optional enhancements. $21 million of that total would go towards a new loop road (boulevard) that would serve Coliseum City.

New side platform and access to BART pedestrian bridge

New side platform and access to BART pedestrian bridge

Another $20 million is estimated for a parking garage for the NFL stadium. Such a garage seems antithetical to Mark Davis’s fan experience with tailgating as a major feature, so I’m curious to see if he would balk at that piece. At the very end of the reports table is an estimate for NFL stadium only infrastructure, nearly $55 million. Naturally, Davis and the NFL might look at that figure with more interest than the total for the whole development. It’s also worth pointing out that a stadium built on top of the current Coliseum footprint would be even cheaper from an infrastructure standpoint, since it would probably require no utility relocation.

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The estimates provided aren’t indicators that the project will proceed. The project could be transformed again or scaled down depending on team or developer interest. The City and Alameda County will seek out TOD grants for much of the transit hub improvements package. It’s also likely that the JPA will look to create an infrastructure financing district (IFD) to fund the rest of infrastructure. If they can pool together enough funding through grants and future assessments to make it all pencil out, Coliseum City has a chance. Nevertheless, these costs have added some $400 million to the various venue construction costs. All told we’re talking about $2.5 billion and counting.

Towards the end of the report was Phase I of the Market Data Analysis, which was also expected in February. The findings go against previous studies that showed weak demand for premium seating. There seems to be an effort to show that a larger stadium with the capacity of the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium or the Vikings’ new dome in Minneapolis will be worth the escalated cost. The study also indicates that the ticket-buying fan base is far more geographically widespread than merely the East Bay, with many coming from the Central Valley, Reno, Las Vegas, and even Phoenix.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Raiders and Davis concur with these survey findings. Davis has been leading the charge for a smaller stadium with 56,000 seats instead of 68,000 that BayIG is pursuing. Obviously, BayIG wants the bigger stadium for a future Super Bowl, an event that wouldn’t be possible in a smaller stadium. BayIG is emboldened enough to want to pursue the development further. Does Davis like what he sees? Only three weeks ago Davis expressed frustration about not getting information from BayIG or the JPA. Did he receive this report after the comments he made during the NFL owners meetings, or before? If BayIG and Davis can’t get on the same page, there is no Coliseum City.

53 thoughts on “Coliseum City infrastructure cost estimated at $344-425 million

  1. Demolish Mt. Davis?! Talk about a huge waste. Incorporate AND upgrade Mt. Davis into a new Coliseum for the Raiders! What the hell are these folks smoking up in The O?

  2. @ML- the report also refers to parcels that need to be acquired- any idea where these are and what the cost is. Also, I would assume W’s would have to agree to anything also as construction would start before their lease is up-

  3. @ Go A’s,

    Good point about the W’s, since now they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Heck, they could be at the Coli arena past 2020.

    RM, Any particular reason I now have to re enter my name and email every time I post a new comment? Been happening since about noon today.

  4. Also keep getting a “duplicate comment detected” when I hit “post comment.”

    • @GoA’s – Focus is on the privately owned parcels between the Coliseum and the BART station, such as Western Colloid. I noticed during opening week that the used car lots on San Leandro St have been emptied out. I assume that these parcels have been sold, perhaps to the JPA?

      @Tony D. – Not sure about the comments. Most of you aren’t registered users, instead the blogging system recognizes your email and/or addresses. I don’t have much control over how those addresses are saved except for blacklisting or whitelisting.

  5. In the ‘ballpark’ of approaching half a billion for infrastructure? Maybe I am misreading the whole thing, however, isn’t this further proof there better be a mysterious middle eastern billionaire in the mix? Infrastructure and stadia and buildings and etc etc etc — the final real number should be staggering. All done at a location that most do not consider optimal/desirable location to spend time at other than the event they are going to (at least up to now)?

    I’m not an MBA so I am not in position to speak fluent dollars/cents on ROI but how in the world could private investors make money out of this?? Do banks and ultra wealthy actually spend billions on ventures that are risky in their odds of breaking even while almost certain it will never be wildly profitable??

  6. Even without the money concerns the Logistics of pulling this off are incredibly challenging- both the existing stadium and arena would remain throughout construction with all events yet there would be 2 new stadiums under construction meaning there would be almost no parking for either the Coli or the arena for the 3 year construction period. That’s a chunk of change and a logistical nightmare for the JPA1 not to mention it would give the W’s some leverage to exit their lease and avoid paying off the remaining debt on oracle that goes they 2027 I believe-

  7. This is just Oakland avoiding what looks obvious: the city cannot provide new facilities for any of its three teams – not without billions in public funds that the city doesn’t have. In other states, the state governments provide funding. Not going to happen in California.

  8. I wonder what the potential infra cost would be for the A’s to build alone on the property, big difference between on the Coliseum footprint vs. new location?

    • @Nicosan – As long as they didn’t build anything new around the stadium, infrastructure cost would be minimal. Basically it would be the cost to demo and regrade the old stadium site. Once you start building around the stadium the costs for utility relocation and other stuff add up.

  9. It is now becoming increasingly apparent that this new Coliseum City hodgepodge plan will likely lead to Oakland losing all three of its teams. If there is any chance for a CC plan to work out successfully, Oakland has to put all its effort on retaining one of its teams, and let the others move on. Since the Raiders are the only Oakland based team publicly stating its desire to remain at the Coliseum site, every effort should be made to get a new stadium deal done with the Raiders. Also, with Oakland finally admitting that they are unable to accommodate a mutually agreeable ballpark plan with the A’s, MLB will have no choice other than to finally give approval for the A’s to move to San Jose.

  10. @ nicosan,

    Wolff PRIVATELY FINANCE just a ballpark at the current Coli site? Not happening. All this talk of Wolff controlling and developing all the land (above blue) at the Coli is the only hope of getting a ballpark built there (and even that scenario is a long shot).

  11. hey what happens to the arena between 1a and 1b?

  12. ML thanks much for the clarification. I wonder, would A’s pitch in for demo cost to coliseum if by some crazy happenstance that they become last person standing?

  13. Tony D. – In what portion of my first entry did I state that Wolff/Fisher would finance a Coliseum deal and or privately? No where. What it did as is if there were a scenario where the A’s replaced the coliseum, what would be the infrastructure costs? In fact if you have read my previous posts, I have indicated, that I think the only way A’s ownership would build there is with some site control over the other property to develop for mixed use.

    That doesn’t mean however, that the question shouldn’t be asked.

  14. Does this mean that HT is actually cheaper? O.o

  15. Is there actually a demand for this sudden dramatic increase in the supply of commercial and/or residential real estate in the CC complex? Or is more of a “if we build it we sure hope they come” scenario?

  16. re: Also, with Oakland finally admitting that they are unable to accommodate a mutually agreeable ballpark plan with the A’s, MLB will have no choice other than to finally give approval for the A’s to move to San Jose.

    …the Giants have made it clear they don’t think the A’s situation is their problem. If Oakland admits it can’t accommodate the A’s (which it’s not going to admit, anyway), the Giants will hold on firm to San Jose.

  17. @nicosan,
    Fair enough, whatever you say…
    Exactly my friend! This has been my whole argument against those who feel Wolff will go running back to Oakland/Coli site if San Jose falls through. Hypothetical “site control” and becoming some master developer at the Coli; that’s great. But who’s gonna lease out hundreds of thousands of square feet of new commercial/real estate space in East Oakland (that’s needed to pay for the stadium(s))? Those who’ve been following the news lately know that when it comes to the current commercial/office real estate boom almost nothing is happening in the East Bay (save for Fremont), compared to the South Bay, Peninsula and SF. There’s a reason this is happening in greater Silicon Valley/SF and not Oakland, fair or not…

  18. @pjk,

    After all these years, will you please stop with the Giants are almighty crap! Giants can want to “hold firm” all they want, but eventually the ultimate decision re San Jose will be MLB’s, not the Giants. Not an opinion, but reality my friend.

  19. Tony: This has been going on for several years and what has MLB done to overrule the Giants on this? Well, absolutely nothing. MLB has opted to keep subsidizing the A’s in a sewage-spewing football stadium in Oakland rather than seize this golden opportunity to put a team in lucrative Silicon Valley. And this is because this is how the Giants want it.

  20. @ Tony D. /pjk
    Tony I think we are with you and no, the Giants are not all mighty, but as pjk points out to this point they have been all mighty up to this point, whether we like it or not and I know it burns all of us up, but the San Francisco Giants are getting their way, hopefully that changes with the San Jose lawsuit or perhaps the situation will get even worse at the coliseum and MLB will have to cave, hell even if Oakland pulled a miracle out of its collative ass it would be all good, but to this point the Giants are getting what they want even after all these years.
    Most people in the Bay Area look at it as Oakland or San Jose (naively so), the other MLB owners look at it as, “if you can’t make it work in Oakland, we are not giving you San Jose, so perhaps we should look at Portland or San Antonio”

  21. Tony, that’s not entirely true. The bay area as a whole has seen tech sprout up all over. Emeryville, Berkeley, WC and other parts of the East Bay has seen it’s share as well. Part of the issue overall is space to do it. Given the housing crunch in SF and the overall lack of space there, there’s no reason to think that if a large amount of commercial/residential space were to open up in Oakland, there wouldn’t be takers for it. Now, HOW MUCH would they spend and how quickly it’ll fill up is going to be the key. And if you don’t build anything, no one can come.

    That’s not to say it would be as easy if you were to do it in SJ & SF, it won’t be. Nor would it be as profitable, which is the biggest part of the equation. I’d bet on the side of it not working out based on the infrastructure costs being supplied, but it’s not anywhere near as cut and dry as you suggest.

  22. Just drove by the burnt-out TV station in San Jose. I think that property is part of the ballpark site. Of course, it seems doubtful that a ballpark will ever get built there. Portland, San Antonio, Vegas can, if they want, get their acts together on a ballpark for the A’s. Thanks to MLB “rules,” San Jose is prohibited from doing so. Of course, a few hundred million dollars from San Jose taxpayers might change things but that is not going to happen.

  23. The more information that comes out about CC, the more likely it seems to be dead in the water (or sewage I guess).

  24. Coliseum City or not, condos are in the future for that site, which is pretty desirable because of BART, and it’s proximity to SF/Oak/airport/freeway. JPA is really putting the horse in front of the carriage with Coliseum City. If there were housing currently going up in the surrounding area, it seems like it’d help the cause because there would be an immediate demand for more retail.

  25. @pjk,

    Your last sentence in your last comment is utterly false with no facts to back it up! Yeah, on the surface it would appear that the current stalemate is because this is how the “Giants want it.” But really, we don’t know the reasons. My theory is that a decision WAS MADE BY MLB that was favorable for the A’s to get San Jose. The problem, which has been stated here before by others, is the payoff for the Giants. Rather than meet the current ransom demands of the Giants, Wolff is choosing to let the lawsuits play out, and push out the opening date of Cisco Field (2018-20?); hence him having no problem sitting tight at the Coli for 5-7 years (all while collecting fat checks from MLB). I can here Bud telling Lew right now “Look Lewie, we’re giving you the opportunity to get San Jose like I promised, but you need to pay Larry a fair amount for him loosing exclusivity to Santa Clara/San Jose. You can’t get it for free pal.”

    Fair points. I think key to what you stated is profitability. You’re not going to get San Jose or San Francisco prices for a 2-bedroom condo at the Coli. And yes, while there is tech in the East Bay (you’re totally correct), you’re not seeing large campus style developments or the needs for one. No Salesforce type SF leases or Peery Arillaga-2 million sq. ft. San Jose developments are probably going to happen in East Oakland.


  26. I have no doubt that MLB will be ready to throw the Giants under the bus, if the Raiders do get their Coliseum stadium deal done and the A’s embarrassingly become homeless. Also, MLB will be ready to throw the Giants under the bus if court actions within the lawsuit process begin to move in an unfavorable direction for the MLB side. The MLB Lodge may be reluctant to make a move with their very set ways of doing business, but they are not a bunch of fools.

  27. Briggs, the irony is that without large stadium/arena footprints it would much easier for the city/county/developer to absorb the costs of all that infrastructure it would require.

  28. @Tony,
    As far as I can tell, it isn’t that the A’s/MLB won’t meet the Giants’ ransom demands; rather, the Giants will not entertain any offers at all from the A’s. Remember, they are trying to get the A’s out of the Bay area, or at least keep them stuck at the current stadium and crippled.

  29. @jpdd,

    To quote the great blog author who has a direct link to real sources, “it’s all about the payoff.” And again, the Giants do not (I repeat, DO NOT) have that kind of power within MLB; no team does! The best interest of ALL of baseball, not just one club. That is all…

  30. The Giants will not negotiate San Jose period even in light of the lawsuit MLB is essentially fighting on their behalf. The fact MLB will litigate this to the 9th Circuit tells you something very distinct. There is mass collusion to lock SJ out.

    Not from the owners but from MLB itself (Selig, Manfred, BRC etc…).

    The BRC will not issue a report because it would by “Rule of Reason” San Jose is the only economically and physically feasible site. That SJ would hold in court against MLB big time.

    Also if the owners vote against San Jose, then their “Rule of Reason” would have to be explained in court as well.

    MLB is keeping everyone in the dark, the courts need to open it to discovery and blow this thing wide open.

    There is no payoff, San Jose has to win the lawsuit and the A’s will move to San Jose with the Giants getting zero….It is the only way.

    As for the Coliseum infrastructure costs- all 3 teams need to stay and invest each 500M-600M and this thing gets done.

    Problem is who gets the lion share of the development revenue when each team plays more or less games than the other?

    Too many moving parts….

  31. Since ATT Park opened in 2000.

    A’s- 7 playoff appearances
    Giants- 5 playoff appearances (2 WS titles)

    Save the titles, you can see why the Giants do not want the A’s on equal footing…

  32. @ Tony,

    Sure they have that kind of power, even if it’s only because MLB does not want to fight them.

    Remember, the Giants have signaled that they would sue MLB if their territory is infringed upon (actually, they already have lawsuits through front groups). That they can’t sue under the MLB club agreement (Constitution) does not mean that they won’t sue, remember. The Giants could be a bigger threat to the ATE than SJ, and the GIants are essentially holding MLB hostage. Add to that the fact that Selig’s MO is in having all owners agree to such issues, and yes, the Giants have stopped the move to SJ to this point.

  33. It has been years now and this mess has still not been sorted out.. The people here thinking that every little misfortune that happens to the A’s in Oakland means there moving to San Jose need to wake up. I’ve been hearing this same reasoning and reaction for years.. I truly do not believe they will move to San Jose. Not in the near future.

  34. Joel: Meanwhile, after two decades of searching, there is still no solution in Oakland. Perhaps Portland, Vegas, Sacto or San Antonio will provide a ballpark solution for the A’s soon if San Jose is not permitted to do so.

  35. pjk, Joel saying they won’t move to SJ in the near future isn’t suggesting they’ll be moving into a new stadium anywhere. I’ll be surprised if they even break ground ANYWHERE in this decade. Oakland will continue to drag their feet while being financially impotent. SJ will continue their legal course while being stonewalled by MLB. And currently there are no other areas viable and Wolff isn’t listening even if there were. I don’t think he’ll get his long term lease at the Coliseum either, but he likely doesn’t get kicked out. All this back and forth arguing over every little new detail continuously snapping off the same tired talking points is a waste of time, each detail hasn’t changed the puzzle in any way.

  36. @Sid,
    You’re one funny guy! That’s all I’ll say about your nonse…I MEAN comment at 9:41. There is no payoff?! So you’re basically calling out someone as a liar on this blog? Damn! It’s your world I guess…
    What did MLB reject last June? They rejected the A’s relocation proposal presented for San Jose; rejected on financial grounds. It wasn’t rejected because the Giants threatened a lawsuit or because SJ was eternally barred from Lew Wolff/A’s. That’s reality! You know what else is reality: none of us know why the this #%&@! saga is taking so long to play out. NONE OF US! So please stop ranting with the Gians are almighty, Giants will sue, there’s no payoff, etc crap like it’s fact…it isn’t! Thank you.

  37. @Tony- I am not calling anyone a liar. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    The reason why there is no “payoff” is because Selig cannot ask the A’s to pay the Giants and privately finance Cisco Field in San Jose.

    That means a ballpark in SJ with the “payoff” would equal that of Howard Terminal or even CC.

    Another reason is why the A’s do not believe they owe the Giants a single dime to move to a city that is 35 miles away and further away from SF than Oakland, when the whole area can watch A’s games on TV.

    You see the problems now? This is why this whole thing is at a stalemate.

    We know MLB from the lawsuit rejected San Jose because they don’t believe the land is enough and SJ has not offered to pay for construction, this came out in the WSJ article just recently.

    In the end, if San Jose wins their lawsuit that will pave the road. That was my solution 3 years ago and I still believe it will prevail because what has happened is “wrong”….Flat out

  38. Also the Giants have told Selig if the A’s are let into San Jose it cripple their franchise and you would have 2 revenue sharing losers in what is the wealthiest market in the USA…..That is some logic right there.

  39. @ Tony,

    MLB likely rejected the SJ proposal due to the lawsuit. They quickly sent the rejection in the 4 or 5 days between the day it was leaked that SJ was about to sue and before SJ was about to sue. I believe that they did so to try to strengthen their argument on the lawsuit (re damages in the option contract).

  40. MLB likely rejected the SJ proposal due to the lawsuit? (What lawsuit?! please cite facts). Oh brother! At least on this thread, I give up. Until the next one…

  41. Sid:
    That is what the Giants have told Selig….. about their revenues getting crippled if the A’ move to San Jose-I don’t believe it.

    When this current (SJ v. MLB) lawsuit proceeds through the justice system, we’ll see if the Giants open up their “books” and prove in a public forum that indeed a move by the A’s would kill their revenue streams.

    The only thing an A’s move to San Jose would affect is the Giants’ greed stream.

    Stay tuned folks the next hearing regarding the lawsuit is in May in a Los Angeles court room. If this case goes to discovery and teams are forced to open their “books” the Giants and MLB will fold and make a deal. It happened with Seattle in the 1970’s and recently with the Washington Nationals.

  42. Sid might have the right read about the standoff. There may be more franchises (located at large metropolitan fanbases, and seek to avoid competiting franchises moving into their territories – that disapprove the A’s move. Even though Selig suggests that the giants are solely responsible for blocking the A’s move – Wolff might be more accurate by suggesting that other franchises are involved. What is curious is why Selig has avoided voting about the move yet (is that because Selig is pro San Jose and does not want a vote against the move on record (Selig will order a vote only if he knows he has enough votes to win his objective) – or do the A’s have the 3/4 majority required to ok the move and Selig seeks to avoid that.

  43. Damnit Duffer! Why did you have to drag me back in?! Your starting to sound like Maury Brown with your last comment. What you imply completely ignores the reality if the Bay Area market; two teams in the same market since 1968, with one wanting to relocate 35 miles further from the other franchise. This isn’t a team wanting to move to San Jose from (say) Calgary! What’s happening here would be more akin to franchise movements within the other two-team markets; I.e. the Angels hypothetically relocating to San Bernardino County, or the Mets to Brooklyn. That’s why it’s utterly ridiculous to throw out scenarios of an A’s move to San Jose opening a Pandora’s box of franchise movements. Rays to NJ not the same…not even close! Will the Pirates all of a sudden abandon beautiful PNC Park for Philly if the A’s get San Jose? See how ridiculous that logic is now?

    For the record: big metro owner Jerry Rheinsdorf is all for an A’s move to SJ, and the Giants have exclusive rights to SJ/SCCo for one reason and one reason only. Food for thought…now I’m done here!

  44. The SJ v. MLB lawsuit. It was leaked that it was coming at the end of the week, and MLB apparently sent the rejection to the A’s right before the suit was filed (right after the leak).

    It’s certainly possible that they did it to bolster there argument re: lack of standing by SJ if they needed it. I suspect that they would have been perfectly happy to give the A’s no official answer at all otherwise.

  45. re: What you imply completely ignores the reality if the Bay Area market; two teams in the same market since 1968, with one wanting to relocate 35 miles further from the other franchise.

    …By dividing the Bay Area up into separate, highly unequal “territories,” unlike other markets that have two teams, the A’s might as be trying to move to San Jose from Mars. It doesn’t really matter that the team is currently closer to downtown San Jose than the Giants.

  46. These threads are getting harder to read with each passing day.

  47. @Tony D – One problem with your idea – you are applying logic to a situation where none exists. How some MLB owners could believe that the A’s are a threat by moving 35 miles further away from phone booth park is a threat to their territorial rights privilege is ridiculous – some MLB owners – the giants owners – for sure, believe it is.

  48. duffer nails it. 2+2 doesn’t necessarily = 4 in this situation. MLB owners could decide it equals 6. Fighting tooth and nail to keep a team OUT of San Jose does not make a whole lot of sense but that’s where we are…

  49. I believe that MLB has a perceived obligation to the Giants, thus backing the Giants on their ridiculous territorial claims to the South Bay. This goes back over many years. It started with what Selig has publicly stated about the mistake MLB had made for approving the A’s to move to the Bay Area, and to thus share the market with the Giants. In addition, MLB had previously blocked the sale of the Giants twice to out of town interests, thus forcing the Giants to remain in a difficult two team market. I believe that in order to make the Giants competitively stronger in their current two team market with the A’s, MlB granted the Giants territorial exclusivity to the South Bay. In doing so, MLB encouraged the Giants to remain and build their new Bay Area ballpark rather than seeking to move to another market. For this reason, I believe there is a significant block of MLB Lodge members who are standing steadfastly with the Giants.

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  51. @llpec In 2013, ESPN reported that Selig was working MLB owners for a yes vote for the A’s move and was having success. Wolff has also claimed that a majority of owners favor the move, also Wolff has requested that a vote be taken for the move, so it appears that the A’s at least have a majority of owners favoring the move. It’s possible there is faction against the move – at least enough to block it at this point though.

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