Wolff to meet with New City’s Kephart over Coliseum City on Monday

An early reason for Thanksgiving? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. Floyd Kephart, the point man for the rejuvenated Coliseum City effort, has a meeting with Lew Wolff scheduled for Monday.

The encouraging news is that Kephart may have put together a plan to keep either the A’s and/or Raiders while paying off the outstanding Mt. Davis debt. That previously was not on the table, at least under the Raiders-centric plan.


As of this writing, there are 58 days left in the recently-extended Coliseum City ENA. Kephart has to deliver at least one team and a master developer to sign on, otherwise CC is toast.

Or is it? Is there anything stopping yet another 3 or 6 months? Presumably the Raiders will have to decide whether to make a run for LA in January or February, when the NFL’s relocation window opens. Mark Davis, Stan Kroenke, and Dean Spanos will all be tempted to be first movers, if only to stake the first claim to LA despite the lack of concrete new stadium plans. What would happen if the relocation window and the ENA both expired with no action by Davis? Davis would be forced to work on a lease extension somewhere, whether at the Coliseum, Levi’s, AT&T Park, wherever. The JPA and the City of Oakland would prefer to keep the Raiders locked into a multiyear lease, which would buy them additional time while they waited for Coliseum City to magically pencil out. Naturally, Davis would be most comfortable with a year-to-year agreement. Inevitably, it all comes down to Davis being the first domino. Little else substantive can happen without his involvement, at least if Oakland wants to keep the Raiders within city limits.

A hidden issue for all three potential relocation candidates is the need for a practice facility and headquarters. The Chargers might be able to get away with keeping theirs temporarily in San Diego. The Raiders could also keep theirs in Alameda via a lease extension while flying down to LA for games, though the JPA may choose to slam the door in Davis’s face if he brings in the moving vans. Kroenke has vast land holdings, including that Hollywood Park purchase from earlier in the year, so if he wanted to build a facility in conjunction with the move, there’s little to stop him. However, that would take at least a year to complete with no temporary facility in place, and the NFL would prefer that these teams not use a local JC or high school in the interim.

Going back to Wolff, there’s little reason to think he’ll be significantly swayed by Kephart. Wolff already has his own designs on the Coliseum complex, so a third party would add needless complication. Kephart might have a third way that suits Wolff and New City’s investors, though it’s hard to see what that is. Perhaps if Wolff gets the complex to develop, while New City takes the area between the complex and the BART station and the “Area B” west of 880, all parties may be satisfied. It was always assumed that the $500-600 million funding gap made using all 800 acres necessary. Since the A’s would probably need only a fraction of that for the ballpark, there stands to be more wiggle room for all parties. For a project as large as this it’s not unusual to have several developers handling different sections and phases. Getting them all on the same page, making their respective contributions, and not getting too greedy – that’s the hard part.


32 thoughts on “Wolff to meet with New City’s Kephart over Coliseum City on Monday

  1. Gotta be positive, a meeting prior to Thanksiving shows a sense of urgency and a willingness to get this done. One question, what was Gavin Newsom doing at the Raider game?

    • A sense of urgency? It’s just a damn meeting: nothing more, nothing less. Monday will come and go and the current landscape will remain the same, unless Oakland magically becomes some corporate behemoth overnight, complete with vast disposable incomes.

      just riding out the storm until the promised land comes into full view…

    • It definitely shows a willingness to work with Oakland that was absent a few years ago on Wolff’s part. Granted it doesn’t take much to take a meeting to hear Kephart out, but it’s something. If Wolff likes what he hears maybe he partners up with Kephart (which is something Wolff has done in the past with other developers). If it doesn’t mesh with his plans, Wolff can always wait out the ENA for another 58 days and present his competing vision for the Coliseum site in a few months while also waiting to see if the new commissioner has any input on the San Jose situation as well.

      I doubt anything comes of this meeting and that we won’t see any real traction on San Jose or Oakland until the ENA expires and Selig is officially replaced. But I’ll give Kephart one thing, he’s got Wolff to the Coliseum City table to even kick the tires, which makes me wonder what changes Kephart has in store for the Coliseum City plans. Because Wolff wasn’t interested in what they were selling previously.

  2. In fairness to Newsom, he is the LT Gov so it wouldn’t raise the eyebrows it would have caused a few years ago.

  3. Let’s hope Wolff is receptive and comes to this meeting with an open mind.

    Davis really wants to stay in Oakland as has stated that there would be no tax payer funding needed for the new stadium with the exception of help with some infrastructure improvements.

    Speaking of infrastructure and transportation improvements to the Coliseum, you can now take a flight to Oakland International Airport and for six dollars can be at any event at the Coliseum Complex. This is a direct link from the airport right to the Bart Bridge at the Coliseum. There is no other sports complex in the United States with an 8 minute seamless connection to the Airport. You could be at an A’s or Raider game, from LAX in 1hr and 15 minutes. This is faster than going to a Raider game in LA from most of LA.

    The Coliseum City area is a potential gold mine. Davis knows this. Wolff on the other hand, still has a 1998 prospective of Oakland and its economic prowess and potential.

    Let’s get something done.

    • It’s more like 2.5 hours than 1hr 15mins…trust me I know, I fly to LAX or BUR at least twice per month from Oakland. The flight time alone is 1hr 15mins. You need to factor in drive, parking, & TSA times. 2.5hrs is actually pretty conservative.

      I hope we can keep both teams but also realistic too, that said, now that BART connects to the airport, Oakland Raiders fans can get to LA much easier! It works both ways…

      • Elmano doesn’t deal in realism.

      • Elmano is thus the Dali of the A’s ballpark saga. Every pro-Oakland rant is a melting clock.

      • I know it takes longer since you have to arrive at the Airport earlier. I was just trying to highlight the seamless easy connection to the Coliseum City project.

        If Raider fans were to go see the Raiders in LA, it would take a lot longer to get to the stadium and a lot longer to get back to LAX. In Oakland it’s now a piece of cake to come from another city via the airport and head to the sports facilities.

    • Elmano: Yes, Davis wants to stay in Oakland. Provided somebody pays for a stadium for him. Otherwise, the Raiders are gone.The A’s have the means and the real estate development know-how to get a ballpark built without pleading that they “need help.” Just give them the property and it’ll get done.

      • Davis has stated that he only needs some help with the infrastructure. The stadium itself would be privately financed.

      • Bullshit. Davis expressly claimed that he had $400 million to contribute ($200 million of which is assumed G-4 matching which is in no way guaranteed). That’s less than half of what is needed just to build the stadium itself.

      • The above was meant for Nav btw.

    • What makes you so sure Davis “wants to stay in Oakland”? Is it his meetings with San Antonio’s leaders and LA interests that leads you to this conclusion? Or was it that he stated the Raiders would be well received in LA?

  4. I’ve said it before — give Lew what land he needs for a ballpark and some supporting commercial or mixed use development near the BART station and there will still be plenty of acreage left for whatever the CC developers want. The City should fund at least part of the necessary infrastructure improvements. An improved pedestrian bridge/access from BART to the site is needed. If Davis wants in, then he needs to fund the football stadium, just as the A’s are funding the baseball park, and no more of this BS that the location of the Raiders stadium would preclude an A’s ballpark. There’s 800 acres there! Libby’s right — this time the A’s get priority, and if the Raiders can’t handle that, they can find another place to play — they did once before!

  5. @jerry- how much of the 800 acres does oakland, AC or JPA actually own? Not a lot-

    • 535 acres or so, some of the parcels are not consistent and we are not sure (perhaps 265-270), how many of those acres can be built on in an economic viable way.
      With a possible project this large the city and county can continue to accumulate needed parcels over time, but there should be enough room. Oakland may have a lot of issues, and this is far from happening (yet ), but provided the A’s and (or), Raiders want to get it done, I don’t think space is an issue, I’m sure it will be one of the reasons the teams will give, if one or both are not truly willing to build at the suite.

      • I should say about 535 acres owned and (or),controlled.

      • The most critical acreage is that in the area of the Coliseum. From 880 to the BART station framed by Hegenberger and 66th.

        Most of that is JPA or City owned. This is the area where there can be development in the near future with Infra work a prerequisite.

        I think that area is about 150 acres?

      • Near future= 4-5 years

  6. Any word yet on how the meeting went?

    • @pjk
      If it did go well, we probably would not know for another 6 moths to a year, perhaps even longer than that, If Wolff dose have positive meetings with Kephart, he is not going to let it be known, to Oakland politicians, as he would still want to negotiate with the leverage of San Jose (who knows how much leverage that truly is), in his back pocket, furthermore it’s not like Wolff is going to give up on either San Jose or Oakland (if he hasn’t secretly given up Oakland already), until he knows he has an iron clad deal in either place.
      If the meeting goes wildly successful (that’s funny), were likely to hear something like
      “The meetings were positive”, or “the meetings were constructive”,
      Honestly with the way things have gone with Wolff and Oakland, anything that doesn’t involve Wolff getting up and walking out, with an editorial in the next addition of the San Jose Mercury, would be considered good news to me…

  7. Please! Someone explain to 4Libertee up top how corporate support works in the private financing of a Major League ballpark (suite sales, club seats, sponsorships, paying off debts, etc.). I’m to tired to bother… (Thanks)

  8. A bit off topic but the Sharks game on CSN (Comcast Sports Net) tonight has been running a bulletin all night over and over pleading with viewers to call Dish Network and protest plans to drop the channel. I’ll bet what is happening is: Comcast (the arch enemy of Dish Network) wants more money for the the channel but Dish is looking at the programming (Sharks, A’s and Sacto Kings games) and figures it can drop the channel without upsetting too many people, since TV ratings for those teams are weak. Sharks hockey? A’s games? Not much traction there with viewers anyway.

    • It’s actually 4 regional Comcast Sports Net channels that will potentially be dropped, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, Bay Area and California.

      For the Bay Area this will impact the Warriors and Giants as well.

      You’re totally right though about Comcast probably using this as a power play in these markets to hurt Dish.

    • “Luster” doesn’t pay for multi-million dollar stadiums, nor does it buy the suites, club seats, PSL’S or pay down the debts of said stadia. But I digress: good to see The O getting some retail life going in downtown/Uptown! Spunky vibe is a good thing. Happy Thanksgiving all!

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