Alameda County supervisors should abandon their plans to sell half-ownership of the Oakland Coliseum to the A’s and instead return to the bargaining table with the city.
Four months ago, the county reached a non-binding agreement to sell its 50% interest in the sports facility to the baseball team. But the A’s aren’t interested in building a ballpark there; they have their sights set on the waterfront near Jack London Square. They want the Coliseum property, which the Golden State Warriors and Oakland Raiders are also abandoning, to make millions on development.
The tentative agreement between the county and the A’s, as reported here when it was first announced, would be a sweetheart deal for the A’s at county taxpayer expense. It would give the team half-ownership without having to competitively bid for it.
It would also undermine the city of Oakland, which owns the other half-interest in the Coliseum property. The city would be unable to determine the best use of the property for the benefit of residents and taxpayers because it would need the cooperation of a team with self-serving interests.