There are two California ballclubs attempting to navigate stadium issues at the moment, with each situation featuring unique background facts and aims. Here’s the latest from Oakland and Anaheim …
The situation is pressing in Oakland, where the Athletics badly want to get past the tipping point and move forward with a new ballpark. If it wasn’t complicated enough already, there’s now an open court case regarding the latest twists and turns of the long-running saga. (Click here to catch up on the latest.)
Thankfully for the A’s, it seems the team’s latest efforts at finding a workaround seem to have gained some traction. Sarah Ravani of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that, while the litigation has not yet been halted, the Oakland city council has now voted to negotiate with the team to sell its half of the Coliseum site. That doesn’t fully resolve the matter, but it does suggest that both sides see a path forward to bridge this issue — which is critical to the Athletics’ hopes for developing the existing Coliseum site as a part of the broader financial plan to construct a new ballpark in Jack London Square.
As for the Angels, there’s now a schedule in place for the team and the city of Anaheim to engage in negotiations regarding the Angel Stadium lease. There’s an end-of-the-year deadline for the club to exercise an opt-out or instead hold tight for another decade.
While the Halos have dabbled with Long Beach, it seems the strong expectation now is that things will get sorted to stay in place. As Shaikin recently explained, the recent run of developments has cast momentum firmly in the direction of continued play in Angel Stadium.
It still isn’t clear precisely how things will be worked out, but there appears to be broad agreement on developing the area around the existing stadium. Working out the financing is often the sticking point in such situations, but the lack of new ballpark construction surely makes matters simpler. And there are multiple models for the team and municipality to consider by which some manner of public financing may be employed palatably. Shaikin explains that the recent Sacramento MLS deal, which features tax rebates to fund infrastructure around the facility, could function as a model here.