WNBA Team or Youth Sports: Oakland Examining Proposals for Coliseum

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Two development groups are facing off against each and vying for the city of Oakland's 50% stake of the Coliseum site.

The other half is owned by the Oakland Athletics, who said they are ready to ditch the Coliseum as soon as they build a new ballpark elsewhere.

One of the developers is the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, better known as AASEG. The group is led by East Oakland native Ray Bobbitt, who is teaming up with former WNBA star Alana Beard in hopes of wooing a professional women's basketball team to play in Oakland.

"We've done a deep dive in the market research and understand there is no better place in this moment in time to have a WNBA team in this market," Beard said in a previous interview.

Stewart Property Group is also interested in the Coliseum and is led by MLB Hall of Famer and former A's pitcher Dave Stewart and Lonnie Murray, another baseball legend.

The group wants to restore the Coliseum for youth sports.

Supporters for both groups logged onto Tuesday's city council meeting to cheer for their preferred developer.

The specifics of what each developer is proposing have not been released yet. But city leaders are looking for a number of things, including affordable housing and good-paying jobs.

Oakland's director of economic and workforce development, however, said both groups may not be ready to develop the big projects they are pursuing. The director is in charge of negotiating the agreement.

"The teams have not shown strong evidence of extensive experience with building comparable large-scale, multi-phased real estate projects similar in size, scale and cost as what is being contemplated for the Coliseum Complex," the director wrote in a letter to the city's administrator.

The Oakland City Council at its meeting Tuesday could decide between the two groups, or they can wait until January for city staff to continue evaluating the groups' finances.

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