By Meghan Hall
After an extended due diligence period, the Oakland Athletics have closed on a deal to buy out Alameda County’s share of the Coliseum. The long-awaited deal is just the first step in the baseball franchise’s endeavors to redevelop the property into a new, more modern complex.
The Oakland A’s paid $85 million for the remaining 50 percent share, making good on a deal that was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in December 2019. The share was formally sold to an affiliate of the A’s, known as Coliseum Way Partners (CWP), and as part of the deal, the A’s and its affiliates will assume operating costs of the complex, which comes to about $5 million annually.
“This is huge; the county has been in the sports business for over 50 years,” explained Supervisor Nate Miley at the time of the approval. “The Coliseum has been an area…that could rival downtown in its potential, in its capacity. It is in a strategic, significant location.”
Alameda County had been attempting to divest itself from the asset for a number of years. The County first acquired its share of the property, which totals nearly 155 acres and sits at 7000 Coliseum Way, in 1964. The County paid $500,000 at the time, and has since shared and operated the Coliseum jointly with the City of Oakland through the Joint Powers Authority (JPA). The County of Alameda first began looking to divest itself from the property back in 2015, and had held numerous talks with the Oakland officials over the past four years in the hopes that the City of Oakland would purchase the County’s share. In early 2019, the City ended its discussions with the County. However, at the end of 2018, notes a Staff Report, CWP presented an unsolicited offer to purchase the County’s interest in the property.
CWP is expected to pay the County of Alameda in cash over the course of multiple installments. CWP will pay $10 million per year until 2023, and between 2024 and 2026, CWP is expected to pay $15 million per year.
The Oakland A’s are slated to play at the Coliseum through the 2024 baseball season. Currently the team is pursuing a new ballpark at Howard Terminal, which would seat 35,000 fans and cost more than $500 million to build, if approved. The future of the Coliseum site remains unclear if the A’s move; at this time, no plans have been resubmitted for the redevelopment of the property.