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As the A’s and Oakland fight about a lease, the Raiders plan to tear the Coliseum down

Jul 9, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

As we’ve chronicled for the past couple of weeks, the A’s and Oakland are engaged in all kinds of drama about the planned ten-year lease for the team to continue playing in the Oakland Coliseum. It’s all fraught with intrigue and strategy and bluffing and posturing. But maybe it doesn’t matter:

While the A’s are trying to negotiate a deal to stay in the O.co Coliseum for another 10 years, the Raiders are in talks to tear down the stadium next year to make way for a new home for the NFL team . . . Representatives of Coliseum City say they expect to reach a deal with the Raiders by the end of the summer that would lead to the opening of a new football stadium on the existing site by 2018.

“It will be critical to demolish the existing stadium in 2015″ if the project is to be finished on time, Coliseum City attorney (and local political powerhouse) Zachary Wasserman said in a July 2 memo to Quan and City Administrator Henry Gardner.

Which, oooohhhkay, would be rather interesting given that the A’s have the right to a two-year notice before having to vacate. And given that the Coliseum Authority still owes $180 million to pay for the 1990s renovations to the place. This was all summed up in a quote from the Coliseum chairman:

“This is either smoke and mirrors,” Miley said, “or they are on crack.”

It all does seem silly, given that the Coliseum Authority, and not developers or city officials control what happens to the place. I mean, Wal-Mart could write a memo saying they want to tear my house down, but they do sorta need my approval on the plan. At least last time I checked. I dunno, maybe my living here violates Wal-Mart, Inc.’s religious beliefs thereby giving them the rights to my home. With this Supreme Court you can never tell.

All of that said, I’d be curious to see where the A’s would play if this plan did get some traction. I mean, if there was some committee studying all of this for the past five years there would be options. But as of now, eh.

  1. coffeeblack95616 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Actually, the government–acting on behalf of Walmart–could very well take your home, pay you market value, and bulldoze your place to make room for the new store. It’s called “eminent domain”.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      And, after a very famous and controversial eminent domain case a few years back called Kelo, laws were passed everywhere prohibiting takings based on purely economic as opposed to public uses.

      I know a smart guy who wrote about that once:

      http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2007/07/09/focus9.html?page=all

      • bh192012 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        And, after a very famous and controversial eminent domain case a few years back called Kelo, laws were passed everywhere prohibiting takings based on purely economic as opposed to public uses, however in most of these laws “public uses” are so poorly defined and vague that they may not be much protection.

        I konw a smart guy who wrote about that fairly recently:

        http://www.minnesotalawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Somin_MLR.pdf

      • gbrim - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        bh192012 is absolutely correct. The supposed ‘fix’ for this problem did very little good in practice.

  2. professor30 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Maybe the A’s could play on the lot where your house is …..er use to be. How’s the septic there?

  3. rcali - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    On top of eminent domain, check out “HR 645″ Seems like a the Coliseum might be better used as a “detainment camp.” It already doesn’t have all the amentities.

    • hep3 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      Bay Area politics; what could be more entertaining.

      • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        Macondo politics. And we’ve got music to go with the show.

    • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Heck, why not get the Japanese to bomb us again. That way the US can resurrect Executive Order 9066 and turn O.co into a concentration camp.

      • lanflfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        How many different groups of people did you just offend?

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        I was being sarcastic. I actually wrote that because I’m a big fan of George Takei and want to promote awareness of that particular atrocity.

      • clydeserra - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        I got it.

      • Ayase Yano - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:35 AM

        You are a f****** moron… I won’t comment any further, you are a complete ass.

        Sarcastic or whatever… that’s wasn’t funny.

  4. ripwarrior - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    About as efficient as the braves getting new diggs. Hey, maybe the a’s can play at turner field.

  5. billybawl - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Question for Raiders fans: is there a threat of them relocating back to LA?

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Not a Raiders fan but the NFL has made it fairly clear they wouldn’t approve a move of the Raiders to LA as long as Mark Davis is the controlling owner.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:36 PM

        I’m not sure why this is getting thumbs down. This is what the NFL has said, not me.

    • lanflfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      LA does not want the Raiders. The gangbangers might, but the sane people do not. Not to mention the NFL will not place a team in the LA Coliseum, and LA has its head in its ass regarding that venue.

      • pillaging4fun - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        hey u dont speak for me.. I dont mind having the Raiders back as long as there is no tax payer money involved and they get a new stadium. I bet there back here next year and will be playing in the rose bowl for the next 3 years until the stadium in Hollywood Park gets done

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        Yeah, I’m not a Raiders fan but it would be cool to have them in town. As long as there is no tax payer money involved.

      • carpi2 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        When was the last time that a new pro ballpark was built, AND at least half the bill wasn’t flipped by the taxpayers?

      • mazblast - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:58 PM

        carpi2–A T & T Park?

      • scruffmagee - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        @mazblast – Busch Stadium. AT&T is almost 15 years old. Busch III opened in 2006

    • zzalapski - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      A threat to whom?

  6. vanmorrissey - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    OMG let’s hear what would happen if the GIANTS let them play in their place, HAH! Well there’s that and maybe hell would freeze over first.

  7. sdelmonte - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Somehow this seems like typical behavior for the NFL’s Bad Boys. Clearly, they’ve looked across the bay and seen both teams get new stadiums, and somehow decided that Oakland would be glad to pay for such things. Even though I have the feeling that the city is not likely to pay for one. I wonder what lalaland Davis lives in.

    • clydeserra - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      why the NFL didn’t force them to share the new 49er stadium, I’ll never know.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        more stadiums = more money

  8. Paul Zummo - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I dunno, maybe my living here violates Wal-Mart, Inc.’s religious beliefs thereby giving them the rights to my home.

    You were actually a lawyer at one time? Well, that explains the current state of the profession.

    • ripwarrior - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      He actually seems very smart regarding litigation. He may be one of those hypocrite NIMBY liberals but he seem like an all around good guy. He could be neighbor any day.

      • Paul Zummo - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Craig does it fairly often – injecting politics in random spurs, but a lot of sports writers do that. Of course at least he hasn’t been bitten by the delusion that the world is waiting for him to be a political columnist a la Mike Lupica, so there’s that.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      It was an extremely lame attempt to inject politics in a place where it had no relevance, but he does have fairly solid legal analysis. Him and Florio both strike me as preachy liberals but they do understand litigation and do a great job explaining it to people who don’t understand it like me.

      • kalinedrive - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Injecting politics in a place where it had no relevance is what the Supreme Court has done. The politics of religion is not a solid foundation for equality under the law.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        er… the freedom of religion is protected under the Constitution and the judges used a Religious Freedom Act passed in the 1990s to support their decision… even the liberal wing of the Court. It’s not unprecedented. Look at the Volstead Act exempting communion wine. I’m about as far from being a religious person as you can be, but I respect religious freedom as long as my freedom is also respected.

      • kalinedrive - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        There is no violation of their religion. Medical coverage is not an ala carte system, and you don’t pay more or less depending upon which benefits you use. The level of indirectness between the Hobby Lobby owners and the usage of birth control is such that it cannot be argued that they are providing birth control at all, let alone being forced to provide it. There is no harm to their practice of religion.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        “let alone being forced to provide it”

        That was exactly the reason the law was struck down. If you disagree, you should let the liberal wing of the Court know, as they agreed.

      • Jason - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        asimonetti88 – Pretty sure the “liberal wing” of SCOTUS dissented in this case, as the vote was 5-4.

  9. nbjays - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Don’t let the NFL just bulldoze it… at least let the Mythbusters blow it up properly.

    • lanflfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      My favorite Mythbusters explosion is the cement truck. I would love to hear the sound that obliterating that decrepit park will make.

  10. hcf95688 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    And yet, the A’s are not allowed to move to San Jose.

    San Jose. The 10th largest city in America. The capitol of Silicon Valley, home to so many Fortune 500 companies and so many tech dollars, ready to spend on MLB. San Jose, where there is a near shovel ready downtown stadium site, perfect weather and best of all, is FORTY MILES FARTHER AWAY from San Francisco, and yet the Sna Francisco team can somehow block this no-brainer move…and even though the other two team markets (LA/NY/Chicago) are deemed “shared” territories, so this ludicrous situation could never arise in those markets.

    • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      All this in a league that has a team called the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”.

      • lanflfan - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        Don’t blame MLB for that bit of geographical idiocy (though they do allow it), that is squarely on the shoulders of Angels owner Arte Moreno. Los Angeles is, and always will be, Dodger territory.

      • clydeserra - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        @lanflfan

        Except when it was angels territory before the dodgers got there.

      • mazblast - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        clyde–The Dodgers moved to LA in 1958. The Angels were an expansion team that began in 1961. There was a “Los Angeles Angels” team earlier, but in the PCL.

    • jkcalhoun - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      Again with the irrelevant “FORTY MILES FARTHER AWAY”?

      • clydeserra - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        yeah. that is not a good line.

        I do think the restriction is ridiculous, but I am super happy that it keeps the beloved A’s in Oakland.

  11. bigyankeemike - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    “At least last time I checked. I dunno, maybe my living here violates Wal-Mart, Inc.’s religious beliefs thereby giving them the rights to my home. With this Supreme Court you can never tell.”

    Leave it to Craig to be a political dick about this. Perhaps you should just stick to writing about the issue rather than adding totally irrelevant political potshots for absolutely no reason other than to serve some agenda.

    And I’m an Independent.

    • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      You may be Independent, but if you thought for a second about this you’d hopefully see that his comment is accurate.

      • bigyankeemike - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I’m sure Craig is intelligent enough to come up with a non-politically motivated comparison.

        Your point about accuracy had nothing to do with what I stated. And if YOU thought about it for a second, you’d know that.

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        You’re right. Accuracy has nothing to do with what you stated. I think I was trying to say that I take issue with you saying Craig is being a “political dick”. I interpreted that as you quoting “With this Supreme Court you can never tell” as though it weren’t accurate.

        In any case, given the Hobby Lobby ruling, I’m all for taking pot shots at SCOTUS.

      • Paul Zummo - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        People have thought about this case for much more than a few seconds, and these are people with far more qualifications than you our Craig, and they wouldn’t agree that this is an accurate assessment.

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        How exactly do you know what my qualifications are?

      • Paul Zummo - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        Good point sabatimus. Why don’t you send me the link to your dissertation on the development of the constitution and the cases that shaped the 20th century, and I will reconsider that disparaging remark.

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        People with “qualifications” screw things up just as easily as people without “qualifications”. What the heck does “qualifications” even mean? SCOTUS has qualifications but it didn’t help them be moronic.

        But I have a feeling I’m going to be shot down (with terribly ineffective ordnance, admittedly) regardless of what I say. Go ahead and talk, I’ll not be listening.

    • zzalapski - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      Craig serving some agenda? Wow, it’s like he thinks this is his blog or something. What audacity!

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        You beat me to it. I suppose it’s bigyankeemike’s right, as HBT allows, to call it out for being irrelevant. It’s also my right to think him calling it out is silly.

      • Paul Zummo - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        It’s not his personal blog. It’s a group blog about baseball. But Craig isn’t content to sticking to baseball because, well, he can’t control himself I guess.

    • billybawl - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      What’s funny to me is that Craig’s somewhat regular offhand political comments inevitably inspire so many passionate comments about his perceived liberal agenda, which makes it look at first glance like there’s a lively discussion on the actual topic, which attracts more readers looking to be informed and in turn drives up the clicks and views and puts more money in Craig’s pocket. All of us wallowing in the comments have wasted our time, although for different reasons.

      You realize that right now behind the scenes, Craig is telling his more restrained colleagues, “See, this is how you get paid to blog.” If you want to hurt Craig, don’t view his posts and certainly don’t take his bait. Sheesh.

  12. thatsnuckinfuts - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Did somebody say crack?
    – Rob Ford

  13. mazblast - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    The Raiders may plan to tear the Coliseum down, but has anyone told them that it’s not theirs to tear down?

  14. APBA Guy - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    This circus is one reason I live in San Mateo County, not in Alameda. But that being said, the Mayor of Oakland said this the other day:

    “I absolutely want the City Council to sign this agreement so that we can get on to negotiating a new stadium (with the A’s).”

    Of course, dysfunction is the hallmark of recent Oakland politics, and the Raiders have maybe 4 votes on the City Council to block the A’s lease. The sticking point appears to be the 2 years’ notice clause (if the City intends to demolish or otherwise make the Mausoleum useless for the A’s). The mayor votes only if there is a deadlock among the 8 Council members.

    The Raiders-in contrast to their old way of behaving-have been publicly silent on all this. No doubt the opposition to the A’s lease and the machinations of the redevelopment front group, which Wasserman is part of, are an expression of the Raiders interests.

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