Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

What's Going on With Stadium Plans In Oakland?


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.

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Tags: John J. Fisher Lew Wolff Oakland Athletics

  • Scoobz

    Love my A’s but fuck Lou Wolff

  • Pat

    Not sure if you are reporting accurately. I know I would love a new stadium in Oakland, but the current site proposed has a lot of problems. This site has been researched and has multiple issues. You can’t disregard that fact. Easy for all of us to spend others monies..

    • jbenitez

      all of the things I said in the article I have researched. While the Howard Terminal site does need to go through environmental inspections, that doesn’t mean Wolff can’t hop on board. If ownership were on board, they would then look into those issues. The fact they don’t even want to try it out and see if it works is what is holding them back. If they tried and there were issues building a new ballpark, then at least they can say they tried, but they haven’t. I didn’t see any articles or any news about the site having multiple issues. Do you have a source? I’d love to read it. I didn’t come across anything like that and I dove in pretty deep for this article. I made sure I had sources to back up what I say. What part of the article makes you feel it’s inaccurate?

  • Carl

    Your thesis lacks one thing. Money. That’s what this and every other squabble in the world is about. Money.

    • jbenitez

      Money is there. The group that wants to build the new waterfront ballpark includes the CEO of Clorox as well as former CEO of Dreyers Ice Cream. They have financial backings. It is a matter of Lew Wolff and John J. Fisher not wanting to cooperate. They have their hearts set on a move to San Jose, which has been made clear by the MLB that it isn’t going to happen. Money did play a major role before, where many were asking where the money would come from, but there are investors willing to put their money into these projects.

  • JOSE

    well the make mark davis more frustuaded,and migth be packing his stuff and head los angeles.where the real FANS are waitting with there arms open…………. peace

    • jbenitez

      I would have to say that Oakland has true fans as well. I don’t doubt that LA has real fans, but that doesn’t mean the Oakland fans aren’t real either. In fact, Oakland fans are some of the best among sports in general. They may not be huge in numbers, but they are the best when it comes to passion. The Oakland Athletics have the most passionate fans. Just look at the guys in the right field bleachers. They spend hours on some of the signs and paintings they hang up each and every home game. There’s times where you hear “Let’s Go Oakland!” in road games hundreds of miles away, from the small group of Athletics fans that show up to those.
      The Raider fans have proven they are true fans. I’m still a fan, even though they haven’t made playoffs since 2002. two straight 4-12 seasons, but i’m still a Raider fan.
      Oakland fans are there for the good and the bad. So while LA has true fans, so does Oakland. No one does it better than Oakland fans in my opinion.