Drop the lawsuit, and let’s make a deal. That's the message the Oakland A’s are sending to the city of Oakland.
The city filed a lawsuit against Alameda County, blocking the A’s from buying the county’s share of the Coliseum. Now, the team is sweetening the deal to the tune of $85 million plus community benefits for half of the Coliseum property.
The city, county and team have to decide what is the best way to develop the 200 acres of land if the A’s leave. One thing is clear: the lawsuit is pushing the A’s to offer the city a lot more incentives.
A’s team President Dave Kaval pitched the deal, emphasizing the community benefits part.
"That’s the top of the list. Affordable housing," Kaval said. "But we also have things like union agreements, ensuring that we have anti-displacement measures for people living in the community right now."
In exchange, the team wants the city to drop the lawsuit against the county. A judge issued a temporary restraining order early this month, stopping the county from selling its half of the Coliseum property to the A’s.
Oakland Councilman Noel Gallo says it’s a better deal for taxpayers if the A’s lease the land, not own it.
"I need to protect the interests of Oakland; that’s the bottom line," Gallo said. "If I sell it to the A’s, now the A’s will own the land, and then they can still leave Oakland!"
The latest developments come on the heels of Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s visit to Oakland City Hall, where he reportedly told Mayor Libby Schaaf to drop the lawsuit, or the A’s could follow the Raiders to Las Vegas.
"The commissioner is waiting back to hear what happens, and obviously I’ll be taking an update on where things are," Kaval said.
Gallo added: "We’re willing to work together and be able to work with the A’s to get the best package that benefits the city of Oakland and not just a group of individuals."
Oakland's city attorney has not pulled the lawsuit against the county. Gallo says he plans to have a rough draft for a sale or lease agreement of the Coliseum site within a month or two.