Oakland may drop lawsuit Alameda over Coliseum
OAKLAND — The city could be backing off from its lawsuit against Alameda County after a stark warning from the Major League Baseball commissioner that Oakland could lose yet another pro sports team if the A’s aren’t able to build a new waterfront stadium.
The lawsuit, filed two weeks ago at the direction of the City Council, seeks to block the proposed sale of Alameda County’s half-ownership share to the Oakland A’s, alleging the sale would be illegal. County supervisors have wanted to get out of the sports business and struck a tentative deal with the A’s earlier this year for the baseball team to buy the county’s share of the Coliseum complex.
Oakland, which owns the other half of the Coliseum, has negotiated for years to try to buy the county’s share, but the city has not been able to come up with the money.
City Council members Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid both indicated in interviews Tuesday that it was their desire for the city and the county to work out a “shared strategy” for the future of the Coliseum site outside of court, and that city staff has been directed to negotiate with the county to make that happen.
Reid said he opposes the lawsuit, and Kaplan said if the city and county can come to an agreement, “There would be no need for litigation.”
“I think ultimately the lawsuit is going to go away, but it’s going to take some effort to do that,” Reid said.
Reid confirmed that the City Council will discuss the lawsuit again in closed session Oct. 15; the council could vote to drop it then.
The lawsuit alleges that the proposed deal between the county and the A’s violates the state’s Surplus Lands Act, which requires publicly owned land that is up for sale to first be offered for affordable housing, parks or open space. The lawsuit says the county has “made no efforts” to do that while negotiating with the A’s over the past six months.