The Oakland A’s have finalized a deal to purchase a 49-arce site off the Las Vegas Strip, across the freeway from the T-Mobile Arena and a little north of the Raider’s new Allegiant Stadium, upon which they intend to build a new billion dollar ballpark with up to 35,000 seats.

According to the A’s President, Dave Kaval, the team is aiming to make the move in 2027, abandoning their plans for redeveloping Oakland’s Howard Terminal site, leaving the City to subsequently declare that they’re “ceasing negotiations [with the A’s] and moving forward on alternatives for the redevelopment of Howard Terminal.”

At the same time, the A’s lease for the Coliseum is slated to end in 2024. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

42 thoughts on “Oakland A’s East Bay Ballpark Deal and Development Is Dead”
    1. It’s honestly a bit bizarre there were 3 sports teams IN Oakland to beging with. Much larger and more generous-with-public-money cities exist without any. Hope the people of Las Vegas enjoy the new “Rooted in Vegas” as campaign.

      1. Not at all. It’s about fan access, and there are a lot of fans in the east bay for whom Oakland is far better than schlepping down to Santa Clara or SF. It’s not about the fans though. And incompetent Oakland government certainly doesn’t help ever.

        1. It is absolutely delusional for people to think the city of Oakland should hand over a 9-to-10 figure sum (in direct spending and tax breaks) to a billionaire owner who will in turn reap all of the revenue and profit from a stadium. The city is still paying off the debt incurred from building Mt. Davis nearly 30 years later. The Giants, Warriors, and Earthquakes all have privately funded home stadiums now. The Niners got a small amount (single digit percentage) of public funding which has long since been repaid to the city. There is no honest or informed argument to be made that the A’s should get (or Raiders should have gotten) a huge public subsidy to build new stadiums when none of the region’s other teams needed it.

      2. Yeah you really have to look at the history: when the Coliseum complex was built in the early/mid 60’s the Bay Area was a large area – 4th or 5th or whatevereth in the country (depending on how you defined metro areas) – and Oakland was nearly at the center of it; construction of BART and the growth of CoCoCo and southern Alameda counties only re-enforced that. Attendance was a primary driver of team revenue – i.e. broadcast rights, public subsides, and corporate money weren’t big issues. As time has gone on, that has changed. Whether Oakland would be a good location on a level playing field – yes, this latest plan DOES seem to be dependent on public subsides – is an interesting, but increasingly academic, point.

        1. It’d be interesting to see an analysis of what cities have fewer or more professional sports teams than their population would suggest. Probably changes a lot over time.

          1. Absolutely. And it makes a big differecen how you define “city”: is Oakland 400,000 or is it the 8M of the Bay Area?? (And what happens when there are two teams in that area??) It makes a big difference – obviously – since a facility may draw from a wide area, but is only that city supposed to be responsible for it ?? That’s a big problem for teams in California: in many states there’s only one team (per sport, sometimes one team period) and the State govt steps in and spreads financing around. (Not advocating that, only pointing out the politics)

        2. You’re correct to look back at Oakland 60 years ago and imagine what developers thought of what the city would be one day. It obviously didn’t live up to the hype (for the record I live in Oakland and love it). It’s also interesting to imagine Vegas in 60 years. Is it even there or is it a dried up ghost town. At the rate Powell and Mead are drying up it’s hard to imagine a desert city like it standing a chance…

          1. It’s not a mystery, as there are lots of extant planning documents that tell us; in fact the (Oakland) Tribune in the early 60’s ran a series of articles discussing that very thing (IIRC, and ironically, they had an AL team playing in Oakland, tho an expansion franchise, not the A’s specifically). I would say that basically they took existing condition, and developing trends, and extrapolated them. The ones they liked they tried to develop policies to strengthen; the ones they didn’t like they tried to counteract. Some things they were correct about, some not so much.

            Generally they were correct that the Eastbay would grow a lot, and that Oakland would remain at the center, but what they didn’t seem to pick up on was that as the area grew ever larger, being at the center wouldn’t mean as much. For example, Capwell’s had (only) three branch stores, and they were all within ~10 miles of the flagship in DO. Twenty years later there were twice as many , and over a wider area; and then, finally, the operations were merged with the Emporium, and the whole importance of the chain disappeared. Increasingly local companies were replaced by national or global ones, and they tended to look at the Bay Area as one area with SF as the center.

            Crime, too, obviously became a huge problem, and – despite some of the comments you may read here – one that individual cities have limited control over. To the extent that they (even) anticipated it being an issue, suggested remedies were timid and completely overwhelmed.

            As regards to the A’s current situation, they seem to need what they found in 1980: a local person with vision and money. What they have, instead is someone with no heart, no brain, no courage…and no Wizard in sight.

  1. Am I disappointed the A’s are leaving Oakland? Yes. But I’ve never been able to support any of the A’s proposals in Oakland. Both proposals (Laney and the Port) were predicated on public institutions giving up public land. Rather, if the A’s had acquired privately held parcels, rather than ask for what is in effect a public hand-out, I would have gotten behind them 100%.

    1. Agree – seems like this was always a tactic to get a better deal in Vegas. Would love to see a new WNBA team in Oakland work with the city on redeveloping Howard Terminal or another site near downtown.

    2. The A’s own half of the Coliseum site (all of that land surrounding the actual stadium) which they purchased from Alameda County. The City of Oakland owns the other half. The land is also already entitled from stadium construction. If Fisher and his pet weasel Kaval ever had any interest in remaining in Oakland, they would have made an effort to purchase the other half of the site from the city, building a new stadium on the north lot, and redevelop the rest into a mixed use district to recoup the cost of a new stadium and make a profit beyond that. The Giants are successfully building the Mission Rock development next to Oracle Park as we speak, so we know even within the region it’s very doable.

  2. Fremont.
    San Jose (Cisco)
    Wonder if this will be “Third time’s the charm.” Candidly it’s hard to really imagine Fisher accomplishing anything himself.

    1. Definitely more than 3 plans have been suggested. There was (at least) the Laney College site suggestion (more than once I believe), Victory Court, Coliseum City, Cisco Field (Fremont), downtown San Jose next to Diridon Station, and Howard Terminal.

      1. There were only three that made it to the point of proclamations of “this is it….problem solved”
        The others were study ideas that never went anywhere.

      2. Or let me clarify: there’ve only been two that have made it that far. If this advances it replaces HT as the third. But if you read the interview with Kaval in the EBT, he’s careful not to promise anything.

  3. This is really sad. Who would want to live and play out of Los Vegas? It is somewhere to visit but not live in my opinion. Getting to live in the Bay Area is one of the perks of playing for a Bay Area team.

    1. I wouldn’t want to live there either but there are plenty of people who love living in Nevada. To each their own.

  4. I’ll be honest, as much as I support this redevelopment I don’t know a single person under 40 who cares about baseball. Most of us just want a cool new urban space with more housing. Maybe Oakland can rally around a new project with public housing or something to redevelop this part of the waterfront.

    1. Well within the adult lifetimes of the folks reading this post who are (slightly older than) forty, U.S. public schools began effectively forcing European Football — or ‘Soccer’ — on their students and this initiated the decline of baseball as those students took their familiarity with that sport on to college and afterwards. I guess as a bow to the irresistible forces of globalization or perhaps out of gender equity concerns. It just happened.

      Of course, without a new revenue source, Oakland residents aren’t going to get any new public housing in the foreseeable future. A “cool new urban space” is the best they can hope for, at the cost of more gentrification because the development will have to pay for itself.

      1. What “new revenue source”?? The development was going to subsidie the ballpark, not the other way around… What do you think was holding things up ??
        Granted, one can make a reasonable argument the “affordable housing” component is a Bay Area only man-bites-dog kind of reverse-pulic-subsify, but this Leviathan was making up for that with the infrastructure demands. And while it’s reasonable to say “building roads is a public responsibility”, if the only reason for the road is your project, it’s a harder argument to make.
        It’s unfortunate th A’s ****ed around for so long – literally decades – that the costs balooned to absurd levels. Still I don’t blame owenership completely, only 99 48/100th%.

      2. I have never heard this theory, that U.S. public schools forced kids to play ‘Soccer’ (you know, you don’t need to capitalize it or put it in quotes–it’s just soccer) due to globalization or gender equity.

        Please, though, tell us more!

      3. What? That is an out there theory and not true of my public school experience. We had football and basketball as the school sports in elementary, and then added track and wrestling for middle school. For both soccer and baseball you went out and found a team out of school.

      4. It’s not a theory; it’s a hypothesis at best. I admit it’s half-baked, I have no data to back it up and I can’t point even to any journalism that talks about it. I am not calling it a conspiracy.

        I am guessing gender equity because once you have a field and equipment and staffing for soccer, you can support both male and female teams with no more budget, which might help out with Title IX. But I haven’t read anything that points to that specifically.

        I do know that soccer wasn’t a school-supported sport at one point, and now kids learn to play it in Phys Ed at every school in The Bay Area and every school has a soccer team up to and including colleges and universities.

        1. I don’t think SF middle schools have sports programs, and the middle schools and high schools have baseball (as welll as soccer). So I don’t think that part of your hypothesis is good either.

          Better working theory; soccer is more fun and a better sport than baseball that is why it is gaining in popularity and/or parent put kids in soccer when they are young for exercise which baseball doesn’t offer.

          1. When I lived in Durham, NH in the early 70’s, Oyster River HS had soccer, but not football. I think it’s pretty regional.

        2. Maybe it’s a big conspiracy by American public schools as a part of their globalist and gender equality agenda, or maybe soccer is really fun to play and watch, which is why it’s the most popular sport in the world.

      5. Soccer’s popularity took off because of the 1994 World Cup hosted by the US, the introduction of a domestic professional league, and easier access to top flight foreign leagues, and the overall appreciation of the game with an increasingly sophistication of the American sport consumer. It was not because of some grand conspiracy to force “gender equity” on school kids. If anything, soccer’s mass adoption in the US was in spite of traditional primary and secondary education systems, not because of them.

        1. Thanks, that confirms my recollections, the tertiary one being that very few Americans watched The World Cup before the mid-nineties. I still think, and this goes to the original point made by Tony, that since that point in time we’ve been treading a path that is leading inexorably to soccer replacing baseball among America’s most favorite sports.

          SFRealist cranks up the sarcasm in response to my guess about globalization, but then mentions that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, which…well…if you don’t think that having a sport popular in the rest of world — the best players for which are neither American nor play for American teams —, but not popular in the U.S. replace a U.S.-native sport played mostly by American players in a single generation isn’t a bow to globalization, then it’s difficult to think of anything that would be.

          Maybe Oakland can lure an MLS team to play in the The Coliseum.

          1. You are aware – or maybe you aren’t – that the same clueless owner who own the A’s also owns the (SJ) Earthquakes ?? And if you don’t know, then the fact that he actually managed a new stadium for them (!!) and yet it has apparently made zero impression gives an indication of the level of interest MLS has in the Bay Area. Which is to say a major sport…almost.

          2. No, I was not aware that the A’s and the Earthquakes shared an owner. Thanks for the info!

            I also wasn’t aware that Avaya Stadium, where The Earthquakes (used to) play, had been renamed.

          3. Many things are a due to globalization. Car manufacturing, international trade, money exchanges, real estat in Dubai, airlines, etc.

            Soccer (or actual football, if you prefer) is popular because it’s fun to play and watch. It’s growing organically in this country because it’s fun. (Baseball is fun too. Nothing against baseball, which is arguably the second most popular sport globally.)

  5. There had been talk of moving the team to San Jose or Fremont but IIRC the Giants did not support such a move.

    Beyond that, this is a sign of the Bay Area relative decline as a population and jobs center to cities like Vegas and a number of others. At one time the BA was the 4/5th biggest metro in the country. Now it is likely to see an absolute population drop in the coming decade – which SF has already experienced.

    1. The Giant’s had no say about Fremont: unfortunately – or maybe fortunately, depending on who you are – the economy had the final say…and the Great Recession voted “No”.

    2. Vegas would be the smallest media market in MLB, with much lower median income, a much higher % of people working nights and weekends, and a vastly smaller corporate base. Any Vegas regional sport network contract is worth a fraction of what the Northern California regional sports networks bring in for teams (even for the A’s who very much play second fiddle to the Giants in viewership) — and that’s before considering the very bad position regional sports networks are going to be in in the very near future. Moving to Vegas represents a massive revenue downgrade for the A’s because the vast majority of revenue is not made from game attendance anyway.

      1. …Which is likely why I hear the ballpark there would have just 35,000 seats. Compare that to Oracle Park’s capacity of ~42k. There will probably be a similar arrangement to the Raiders; parking will be partly borne by neighboring casinos, which will encourage people to stop by the slots to and from games. A decent percentage of tickets will be purchased by the same casinos, ensuring “sell outs” for most games.

      2. Massive reenue downgrade? Well, then it’s sure nice of the A’s to lose all that money to help poor struggling Las Vegas. They sure must be nice community-minded folk.

  6. And all of the players, employees, etc will get a raise (No CA income tax). Also, I would venture to say that the ‘modern’ player would prefer to live in LV vs. Bay Area. Oakland is a train wreck that does not deserve pro sports….as their elected leaders have run ’em all out of town. I’m not a fan of public funds for owners but Oakland has land, etc that it could have parted with. Kaval drove a hard deal but it was a loser from day 1.

    Thank you Libby!

  7. It sucks losing a sports team. I basically stopped following the NBA after the Sonics left Seattle. That said, Fisher is a crap owner and the Howard Terminal plan deserves to die.

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