Oak­land may drop law­suit Alameda over Coli­seum

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Ali Ta­dayon

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.

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