Though it seems far-fetched, the City of Oakland’s pro sports situation will likely resolve itself someday — even if the city is left without a team. But with the Oakland Athletics threatening to move, pending a July 20 vote on their waterfront stadium plan near the Port of Oakland, those simpler days aren’t here just yet.
And with another local group looking to buy the city’s half of the Oakland Coliseum site and ultimately build an NFL-ready stadium, revitalizing East Oakland in the process, the city’s situation is even more unsettled.
The group looking to buy part of the Coliseum site — with half of the property already owned by the Athletics — is called the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, and it’s proposed a deal to the city. The City Council will vote on the term sheet on July 20. (Of all dates!)
Here’s more details on the group’s grand plan, courtesy of a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.
AASEG’s leadership includes former Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb and local businessman Ray Bobbitt. Bobbitt said his group is looking to partner with the A’s to create a Black business district and redevelop the Coliseum to create a viable space that would eventually entice the NFL in bringing a Black-owned football team to play in Oakland.San Francisco Chronicle/Sarah Ravani
An NFL team returning to the Bay Area also seems far-fetched, but as reported in the BASH, at least one NFL source says that Oakland is in play for potential NFL expansion or relocation.
And while AASEG’s plan sounds fantastic in general, the timing is strange. That’s simply because the Athletics’ stadium proposal is in the balance on the very day that AASEG will also command the City Council’s attention, July 20.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is quoted in Sarah Ravani’s report as well, and he said he’s surprised by the July 20 vote date. He also said the A’s would look to partner with AASEG if their purchase of half the Oakland Coliseum site is approved.
So, clearly, nothing is close to settled in Oakland. Read Ravani’s full report for more details,and watch this space for further updates.