BANG’s Matthew Artz reports that Scott McKibben will be the next Coliseum Authority Executive Director, filling a position that had been vacant for over six years. JPA counsel Deena McClain has been the JPA’s interim executive director since 2008, when Ann Haley left. Zennie Abraham notes that the vote was unanimous.
McKibben says his goal is to “keep the A’s and Raiders in Oakland.” Having someone with sports experience not limited to negotiating leases is important for the Coliseum’s future.
Andy Dolich endorsed the hire, and McKibben apparently had several recommendations, far above and beyond the previous candidate, the controversial former Assemblyman Guy Houston.
Having McKibben in place will allow the JPA to move forward in concert with the City of Oakland and Alameda County, the partners in the JPA which have been at cross purposes throughout the Coliseum City process for the last three years. If McKibben can lead a team including McClain and the City and County working on the deal terms, they’ll have a much better chance at success. It’s a much better situation than a year ago.
More interesting is a tidbit from Steven Tavares at East Bay Citizen, referring to AlCo Supervisor Scott Haggerty:
However, Haggerty made it clear Raiders ownership does not favor an extension of the ENA. Over a lengthy lunch recently with Raiders owner Mark Davis, Haggerty said, the team lobbied for the county to vote against the extension with New City. Progress is being made, though, added Haggerty.
Why would the Raiders want to kill the ENA? They wanted to provide a competing bid at the last minute, which may indicate that they already have a developer on board for whatever they’re planning. If the Raiders (like the A’s) now want little to do with Coliseum City and New City Development, it would make sense to cut the middleman out altogether, though that would open up a lot of questions about how to steer redevelopment of the Coliseum. The EIR and Specific Plan are moving forward, and the latter piece is valuable to Oakland for planning purposes. But the feasibility studies that have been done on Coliseum City to date would be lost. New applicants like the A’s and Raiders would commission their own supporting work. It’s almost moot at this point since the ENA is set to be extended again, yet from now on it’s worth questioning the value of New City’s place in all of this if both teams would rather go it alone.
If the teams would prefer to not work with the Coliseum City team, it’ll be up to McKibben and the JPA to figure out a way to bring the teams together. In all likelihood, both teams will provide competing visions with little-to-no room for each other. How the two visions can be merged to both sides’ satisfaction along as the City/County – well, that’s not like scaling Mt. Davis. It’s more like trying to climb Mt. Everest.
P.S. – Remember those shady looking campaign contributions from Lew Wolff to Rebecca Kaplan during last year’s mayoral campaign? Turns out they were legal. Oh well.
P.P.S. – The Orange County Register reports that Mark Davis teamed up with an investment firm last September in order to buy the Hollywood Park site. That attempt failed.
P.P.P.S. – Mark Purdy has a different telling of the ENA situation.
Did Haggerty interpret the talks wrong, or is someone from the Raiders covering something up?