Kephart provides update on Coliseum City, AEG rumors fly

Two articles – one a blog post by Mark Purdy, the other a SFBT piece by Cory Weinberg – provide a tiny amount of news on Coliseum City. Citing confidentiality agreements, New City and Renaissance head Floyd Kephart provided few new details. He did take time to trumpet that the project’s progress, which is better than no progress, I guess. The other “big” takeaways:

  • Kephart threw Colony Capital and HayaH under the bus for getting its documentation wrong.
  • He’s optimistic, saying that New City is “probably between 60 and 70 percent there.” That last 30-40% is a major sticking point, since it involves convincing at least the Raiders to sign on and a master developer as well.
  • Wolff had a discussion with Kephart. Kephart didn’t offer details to Wolff. Wolff reiterated his “wait-and-see” stance.
  • According to Purdy, both Wolff and Mark Davis would prefer to keep surface parking instead of building garages for various reasons.
  • The financing model – and whether includes paying off the Coliseum’s existing debt – remains unknown, at least publicly.

Next week the 90-day “project” will hit its midway point. Kephart is to be commended for getting the meetings, talking to potential principals, and for ably playing catchup, cleaning up the mess left for him by Colony. That still doesn’t mean there’s a deal in place, and Kephart may have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to convince Davis to commit. Private interests would be fools to give Davis any kind of revenue guarantee – that’s how Oakland get into this mess to begin with – since it could add considerable risk for them.

Meanwhile, the LA options for Davis may be dwindling. LA sportscaster Jeanne Zelasko said yesterday that the Rose Bowl and LA Coliseum want nothing to do with the Raiders, leaving Davis with possibly Dodger Stadium in the short term and perhaps Farmers Field in the long term. AEG, which bought a piece of the Lakers when Staples Center was built, is offering a similar “Lakers deal” to a prospective NFL team. AEG was even reportedly hiring a PR person for the NFL stadium effort, which the company is denying. Of course, it was AEG that asked for and received a six month extension to attract a team to Farmers Field.

Anyone following this story knows that Davis will have to give up some percentage of the team in exchange for tenancy in a new stadium anywhere, whether it’s Oakland, LA, or even San Antonio if a new stadium is built there. Here’s how I assess the Oakland vs. LA:

  • Oakland: Steadier fanbase, limited market potential, difficult financing plan, greater civic/government support
  • Los Angeles: Less stable fanbase, greater market potential, known financing plan, less civic/government support

I honestly don’t know how to handicap that. There are no deal terms available.

As for the parking issue, if you really want to read into this it’s quite possible that the Coliseum City alternative that Wolff is putting together is a low-density development like the original Fremont Pacific Commons plan. No high-rises, few parking garages. If true, that’s a huge departure from Coliseum City, though the infrastructure buildout would project to be much less intense, and therefore less expensive for Oakland/Alameda County since the public sector is expected to fund that part. Assuming that Wolff gets a chance to pitch his plan, it’ll be up to City/County to determine whether that’s good enough.

33 thoughts on “Kephart provides update on Coliseum City, AEG rumors fly

  1. If Mark wants to complain about a parking garage, he should go to Santa Clara, its all ready for him. C’mon get this done.

    Lew just do your part and wait and see while your “venue” as you always like to call it is taken over by the raiders. Then you can complain away while, we just lost a beautiful waterfront ballpark because your to stupid to see beyond San Jose. Did you ever see the rent people are paying near At&T ballpark? What an idiot!

  2. Not that it will matter in the long run RM, but I thought Wolff ALREADY pitched his Coli “plan” to the city/county (?). And the long ride continues…

  3. AW- Lew is an idiot for not showing interest in HT- guess that means that Davis, Lacob, MLB, etc fit that bill also- ever think you might be the idiot for continuing to think it is a viable site?

  4. I always wondered what % of cars at an A’s or Raider’s game actually tailgate. If someone could figure that out, it seems like you could theoretically build a surface lot to accommodate the tailgaters and put the rest of the cars (which I suspect is the vast majority) in parking garages.

    • Hard to say. From looks of lot it’s <10% of cars actually setting up grills and such.. Then you have to figure out all the tailgater's friends' cars.

      • So even if you double that figure to account for tailgaters’ friends, it still seems like you could aim to park 75-80% of the cars in garages. I’m just not clear on why the resistance to parking garages seems so strong.

      • Don’t discredit the cost. Some estimates list the cost of garage spaces to be somewhere around 5 – 7 times the cost of surface spaces.

        Obviously there’s more land for development with garages, but there’s also a limit to how much can be developed at a specific point in time. You can always build a garage later.

      • That’s true Slacker. Surface lots in the short term don’t preclude garages in the long term.

      • 10% might be true for the A’s (although it’s probably a little higher on the weekend) but the Raiders is way north of 50%, at least in the actual Coliseum lots. For the most part, the only people not set up are people meeting their friends at a tailgate and people with suite or club parking passes. The actual lots usually close hours before kickoff, and why would you arrive that early and not tailgate?

  5. Raiders aren’t going anywhere now. JUST WIN BABY! YEAH!!!

  6. Personally I would never park in a parking garage- talk about a nightmare trying to empty five levels of a garage at the same time-

    • A properly design garage with traffic cops directing actually empties really fast.

    • Definitely – are multi level parking facilities even used much for large sports stadiums? the problems with that type of parking would be very clear at sporting events with large crowds.

      • St. Louis and Cincinnati have parking garages at both their old and new stadiums (at Riverfront it was actually under the stadium). I haven’t heard any particular complaints, but I haven’t been there either.

      • There is a several story parking garage directly across the street from Levi’s.

  7. If Mr Venue is a good developer he would see the value in duplicating one of the greatest developments of all time, AT&T. This development has transformed China Basin into an area people around the world want to visit.

    Have you ever drove by Mr Venue’s crown jewel in San Jose? It looks like a double barbaquer! This is good?
    Oh and it’s right across the street from the airport, real smart!

  8. OT- Another S4SJ lawsuit- makes me think the gints are afraid of the Raiders winning the stay in Oakland derby-

  9. And the Rays get what they want. They’ll have a site identified in Tampa pretty damned fast and will probably be in a new stadium before the end of the decade at this rate (and their current stadium is only 25 years old)… Meanwhile in Oakland.

  10. GoA’s
    If the Raiders truly want to stay in Oakland, I’m not sure they would be wining the “stay in Oakland derby”, it’s only a derby if you, have more than one party that desires the prize (Oakland), we have yet to actually know if Wolff wants the coliseum site, thereby making it a derby, or it simply is a smoke screen, to try to get San Jose.
    There is this prevailing idea that the A’s and Raiders are competing for the coliseum site (Oakland must chose), perhaps it just looks as they are competing, both need to show their perspective leagues that they have given the old “good faith effort”, in hopes of getting San Jose, or LA, we won’t know until one of them actually commits to a project at the site if either is really serious about building there.
    At the moment, it’s looking like it may actually be the Raiders, but who really knows?

  11. It’s time Oakland officials clear out the Lew Wolff stumbling block and deal with the Raiders who really want to stay in Oakland.

    Wolff and Beane are once again sabotaging the franchise and are giving Oakland A’s fans the middle finger as they dismantle the team. It’s time to give this low character ownership the boot and proceed with a beautiful new state-of-the-art stadium that Oakland and the East Bay can be proud of.

    Wolff doesn’t want to be in Oakland and is only here as a stumbling block as well as to play the evicted victim who is then forced to relocate to San Jose. Let’s stop this charade and proceed with a franchise who values being in Oakland and appreciates the passion of Oakland and East Bay fans.

    Wolff’s fake watered down plan for the Coliseum area is also an insult to the potential of that area. Wolff needs to get out of the way and take the misguided maglomaniac “Billy Boy” with him to San Jose or to Timbuktu for all I care.

    • Prove that the NFL will give a G-4 loan to help build an Oakland stadium.

    • So I take it that meeting with officials from San Antonio and discussing the idea of moving to LA are all just a way for the Raiders to show that they really want to stay in Oakland?

      Also, making the playoffs in 8 out of the past 17 years is giving the middle finger to A’s fans, but not posting a winning record in over 10 years, that’s OK?

  12. Wolff doesn’t want Oakland. It’s as simple as that. Why waste your time with an ownership that doesn’t want to be in Oakland?

    You also have to calculate what a Lew Wolff/Billy Beane/John Fisher franchise with an out of downtown ballpark, really brings to Oakland in the long run. This is an ownership who will tear apart a team in a heart beat and leave the fans and the city holding the pieces.

    Also, even if Wolff and Fisher really wanted to stay, their proposel based on what Marine Layer laid out, is a much smaller development which wouldn’t do much for that part of Oakland and would only generate enough revenue to help pay for the ballpark.

    On the other hand, we have the Oakland Raiders expressing interest in staying in Oakland with a much more valuable and prestigious NFL franchise. Oakland has to do its best for those who believe in the city, are proud to be in the city, and want to contribute to its growth.

    If Oakland has the opportunity to secure an NFL franchise along with a world class venue which could also be used for a future soccer franchise and other events, then Oakland should go for it and stop waiting for those who don’t believe in the city to show up at the party.

    Wolff and Fisher have never shown any interrelated in Oakland and are now plaing hard to get. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Let’s go with the Oakland Raiders and a great development at Coliseum City.

    Let San Jose deal with this dishonest, arrogant, and disrespectful ownership. The location may change but the tune will stay the same but with more expensive tickets and less passionate fans. It’ll be Levi Stadium 2.0.

  13. A friend of mine who’s a longtime Raiders fan tried to renew his season tickets. The Raiders told him they are not renewing season tickets for next year. Are the Raiders taking a wait and see approach on the stadium issue in Oakland or are they on their way out Of Oakland.

    • They don’t have a lease beyond this year and don’t want to sell season tickets as a result. They could still very well be moving too.

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