The city of Oakland has been in limbo for a long time. They have 3 professional sports teams, all with the risk of leaving the East Bay. The Golden State Warriors are trying to leave for the other side of the bay, wanting to play in San Francisco. The two teams that share the O.co Coliseum right next to the Oracle Arena, the Athletics and the Raiders, are at odds with each other over plans for the future. It’s like a bad soap opera, here’s how it all plays out.
The Oakland Raiders want to stay in Oakland. Mark Davis, the owner, has stated that he wishes for the team to stay. What they want, however, is to build a new stadium over the existing site. That conflicts with what the Athletics are planning, seeing as how owner Lew Wolff has requested a 10-year lease extension. Instead of working together to come up with new sites, the two organizations are clashing, making for an awkward relationship between the co-tenants.
The Athletics have the choice of building a waterfront ballpark, they have the financial backings to do so as well as the political support from the city. All that’s missing is for Lew Wolff and the rest of ownership to agree to it. The city has decided to go forward with that plan, which you can read about here. Lew Wolff, however, complains that the site is no where near a BART Station, and would hurt attendance. They could very easily set up shuttles and Buses to take fans from BART Stations to the new ballpark, just like San Francisco. They have transportation to AT&T Park right off the BART Station. So Wolff’s excuse is not a good one, and he is showing his disconnection with A’s fans by having his heart set on moving the team to San Jose. It’s not gonna happen, give it up Oakland A’s ownership!
So so far, what we have is the ownership of the Oakland Athletics refusing to cooperate with the city and financial sources to get the A’s into a new ballpark. A ballpark that would place it right in the middle of Oakland business, meaning higher ticket sales. Instead they are deciding to try and keep the team in limbo for another 10 years while they continue to beat a dead horse by trying to move to San Jose.
Then we have the Oakland Raiders, where we have the exact opposite. Ownership wants to stay in Oakland, but they aren’t getting much support anywhere else. They have the most passionate fans in the NFL, who have made petitions and attended city hall meetings and everything else they could possibly do to keep the team in Oakland. There was great news when we heard that the city unanimously voted to go forward the Coliseum City plan that would keep all three teams in Oakland. The Athletics aren’t giving much help there, where Wolff hasn’t really gotten on board with the project. The Raiders were on board, but are now frustrated because of the lack of progress being made.
So there’s our bad Soap Opera. The Oakland A’s have a very possible site to go to, but Wolff won’t budge. The Raiders are getting frustrated and might end up moving to L.A. It wouldn’t be this complicated if it weren’t for Oakland Athletics ownership. Lew Wolff isn’t the full owner of the Oakland Athletics, John J. Fisher is the majority owner. Wolff merely does all the public appearances and such. Both are to blame however. Both can have the Athletics playing in a brand spankin’ new ballpark allowing the Oakland Raiders to build a football stadium where the Coliseum currently resides. That would solve everything. The financial backings and political support is there for the A’s to play in a new waterfront ballpark, but they are not budging, and the people of Oakland as well any Athletics and Raiders fans out there should be calling for their heads. I know I am. Out with Fisher and Wolff. In with new ownership that will keep both teams in Oakland.