Let’s play two: OAKLAND enters ENA with A’s for Coliseum property

Weeks after the Oakland Athletics signed an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the Port of Oakland to study the feasibility of a new ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square, the team entered into a similar arrangement late Tuesday night with the City of Oakland in order to secure the site for a new stadium at the current Coliseum complex.

The Oakland City Council approved the nine-month ENA by a 5-0 vote.

There was little opposition from the council and public. A number of representatives for labor unions issued their support for the ballpark projects, whether it occurs at the Coliseum or the Port of Oakland.

“It’s really a delight to see a professional sports team really engage with us respectfully,” said Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney. In past years, city and county officials often clashed with the owners of the Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors, soon-to-be past Coliseum tenants. The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, the Warriors to San Francisco.

McElhaney praised the team for embracing a community benefits package as part of the deal. “Too often large corporations have come to Oakland with kind of an ego that says Oakland is begging and this is just not a time for that.”

As part of the agreement, the A’s pledged to study construction of a new ballpark only in Oakland, and not to engage with other cities. The ENA covers the entire 112-acre Coliseum site, which not only includes the stadium, but Oracle Arena. The ENA can also be extended an additional three-months.

The city also appears amendable to either site. As part of the ENA, the Athletics agreed to pay for Oakland city staff time and any third-party consultants involved in the study at Howard Terminal. The Athletics will also pay an costs related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEGA) for Howard Terminal, a likely expenditure due to the fact the property is near bay waters and served formerly as an industrial site.

The Athletics’ dual track for seeking a new ballpark in Oakland was set April 26 when the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners approved their own ENA with the team to study the feasibility of Howard Terminal.

The confluence of recent events have also included repeated closed sessions at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors between elected officials there and the Athletics. One such closed session meeting occurred earlier in the day. The Coliseum is jointly-owned and operated by the city and county