UPDATE: The A’s are offering $135 million for the whole shebang.
Matier and Ross are reporting this week that A’s brass are going to enter discussions about buying the Coliseum complex.
The 130-acre complex, which now includes peripheral lots to the south thanks to a swath of acquisitions, has the Coliseum and Arena currently residing there, both with sizable but dwindling debt (the city and county will pay both off over the next several years).
The new talks about the Coliseum come as the team discussed the Howard Terminal site with waterfront neighbor Schnitzer Steel. Schnitzer runs its recycling operation 24/7, and would likely create massive noise during night game. The logistics problem in terms of getting people to HT/Jack London Square from existing BART stations remains, and will probably remain a low priority when compared to larger regional transit problems.
The A’s are positioning this as a sort of defensive move to keep the Coliseum land away from encroaching developers, including the kinds that previously pitched a Raiders’ stadium. Now that’s gone by the wayside, some of those same devs could look at the Coliseum as a sort of land grab.
We don’t know yet what the A’s are offering, but it’s likely to be at best a slight premium above the remaining debt on the Coliseum/Arena. Oakland and Alameda County might have entertained such a deal 10 years ago, but it shouldn’t now. I worry that the A’s will run into a similar situation as San Jose, where they lowballed a land offer of the Diridon South land, only the be blown away when Google decided to buy the whole neighborhood including the ballpark site years later.
If anything, the A’s should focus on acquiring only the Coliseum South/Malibu site, which only comprises 20 of the 130 acres. Let the City/County figure out the rest.