On Monday March 30th, 2009, The Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, announced a new committee devoted to determining the viability of baseball in the East Bay.
In his statements at the time, Commissioner Bud Selig said that the A’s owners have exhausted their efforts in Oakland. But really, they have not. Here’s an example in this plan for a new Coliseum baseball stadium on the parking lot land of the facility.
This video was made and uploaded March 31st, 2009.
I show this because Oakland Mayor Jean Quan recently told an online publication that previous Mayors of Oakland had not come up with stadium plans for Oakland Sports Teams. Mayor Quan’s intent is obvious: to erase the history and work of other Oaklanders and replace it with her own efforts, failed or not.
That’s a flat out lie. This was done when Ron Dellums was Mayor of Oakland and for his Sports Task Force that was formed that year. I was asked to sit on it, but later quit because of the fact that Oakland Mayor Dellums talked with four Oakland “new stadium” groups, but did not have them meet with each other.
Then, as now, there were too many people who wanted to take credit, but did not want to work with others.
The plan, created by architect Frank Dobson and Retail Leasing expert Bob Leste with Oaklander Steve Lowe was first introduced in 2004 and while it was presented to the then-new ownership group and A’s Managing Partner Lew Wolff, it went largely ignored by them.
Oakland A’s Owner Lew Wolff was known to be in love with a concept called a baseball village and needed a lot of land to make that work, hence the Fremont land chase at the time.
But the idea called for hundreds of acres of land, more than the A’s organization could afford given the economy and so needing public money turned to Fremont, which turned a deaf ear to their request.
Wolff has not wanted to be in Oakland, but the Mayor’s Sports and Entertainment Task Force wants to maintain the A’s here in Oakland. To that end, it supports the plan you’re about to see in this video.
The plan needs to be upgraded and a financing plan developed. It also lacks an economic impact analysis and a job development report. But just eyeballing the plan I can say it can generate about 10,000 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs. It calls for a new stadium, a parking structure, and a retail structure at the Coliseum as well as an enlarged BART bridge. The total cost is about $440 million but we at the task force understand that was a 2004 estimate.
The video shows much of Bob Leste’s presentation to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums’ Sports Task Force last Thursday March 26th, 2009, and the discussion as well as the plan itself.