Oakland Athletics Should Anchor Coliseum City

By Karl Buscheck
Josh Reddick Pieing Josh Donaldson
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders have announced that the team would like to build the smallest stadium in the entire NFL. The plans call for a 50,000-seat park (with an additional 6,000 club seats), which would be the tiniest facility in the league by a margin of 11,500 seats.

Of course, building such a stadium might just help the team avoid the dreaded TV blackouts.

Small size aside, the finances of the project sound dubious at best. The price tag would be $800 million and according to the plan, the team would chip in $300 million, $200 million would come from the NFL’s little-publicized stadium loan program, and the final $300 million would come from, well, the city of Oakland.

All of this got me thinking: what happened to Coliseum City?

The 750-acre sports and entertainment super campus would include new homes for the Raiders, MLB‘s Oakland Athletics and NBA‘s Golden State Warriors. Last spring, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan described the City as a “game changer” to ABC 7 News.

It appears as though the highly capable Ms. Quan might just be right. The project is modeled after L.A, Live, a 27-acre complex that includes the Staples Center in addition to restaurants, shopping, bars and hotels.

The project costs a cool $2.5 billion, and the expenses were split among private developers and public taxpayers.

The City, which was first floated as an idea last year, has an estimated price of $1 billion and would supposedly be funded largely by private investors. Based on the cost of L.A. Live, however, that figure looks a bit ambitious.

The Raiders aren’t exactly an ideal anchor tenant at the City because the NFL team plays just 10 home games a year between regular and preseason commitments.

However, with 81-plus home games a year, the surging Athletics would make the perfect anchor in the City. The online renderings of the City are pretty remarkable, and the club is desperately in need of a bit of stability on the stadium front with it current lease at the O.co Coliseum due to expire at season’s end.

Perhaps I’m being generous, but I would describe the area around the Coliseum as an edgy, industrial neighborhood on the rise. I kind of like the old factory buildings with the bright and rather artistic graffiti scrawled across the walls. Then again, I also like the tarps.

So, if you’re looking for any more investors for the City, Ms. Quan, please let me know.

Karl Buscheck is an Oakland Athletics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KarlBuscheck and add him to your network on Google+.


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