The City of Oakland and Alameda County must reject AEG, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, from being even considered as stadium manager for the Oakland Coliseum, and for one reason: AEG does not have the best interest of the Oakland Coliseum in mind.
Why would an organization openly court the Oakland Raiders to move to Los Angeles, work to buy a portion of the team at a cut-rate price (something that Colts Owner Jim Irsay has threatened to block), and yet turn around and even think to ask to replace SMG (Spectacor Management Group) as manager of the Oakland Coliseum? A one-word-answer: power. And its that interest in power that would wreck the Oakland Coliseum for the foreseeable future.
Right now, the Oakland Coliseum, and the City of Oakland, is under a wave of negative sports industry PR not of its own making. The Oakland A’s were making noise about leaving for San Jose. The Golden State Warriors have made noise about wanting a new stadium in San Francisco. And Oakland Raiders Owner Marc Davis recently made comments pointing to a possible move to Los Angeles.
All of this points to the scenario of a sports-tenant-less Oakland Coliseum within the next 14 years, and yet the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority would even dare consider giving the keys to the stadium to one of its executioners: AEG.
And on top of that, why would the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority even consider letting a firm ran by Philip Anschutz, a man who’s considered as ultra-right-wing giver of millions to Republicans and is opposed to gay rights, and maintains a base in Denver, home of the hated Denver Broncos, rather than continue a relationship with SMG, which maintains an apolitical face? Even allowing the idea that such a scenario as AEG running the Oakland Coliseum could happen is shocking to this blogger.
But that’s a digression: the bottom line is AEG should be, and must be, booted from any talk of managing the Oakland Coliseum, and as soon as possible.