Tuesday night the fans of the Oakland A's, Raiders, and Golden State Warriors stood in front of the City Council to convince them to move forward on the proposed Coliseum City area-and the City Council overwhelmingly voted "Yes".
Getting the plans rolling for the Coliseum area are a big step in the city's attempt to keep the three Oakland based teams in their current homes. Without it, there is a good possibility all three teams could leave Oakland.
The vote on Tuesday is for the city to draw up the plans for the 750-acre area where the current O.co coliseum and Oracle arena currently sit as well as the surrounding area. These initial plans will cost the city approximately $3.5 million and would include hotels, shopping areas, and a convention center along with the three coliseums.
The addition of a hotel and conference center are big draws to the project. They would not only serve the coliseum project but their proximity to the airport would a valuable addition to the city of Oakland which makes what appears to be quite an ambitious project into a real possibility.
The BART project that will connect to the airport is already well underway and will be completed sometime next year. This connector will increase the accessibility of the stadiums which are already placed along the 880 freeway, railway, and BART train.
Don't get your hopes too high though. This is the very first step in a long process. This first leg is not expected to be complete for at least 16 months. In the meantime, the Raiders, A's, and Warriors will continue to explore their options elsewhere. Those options are the Warriors heading to San Francisco, the A's heading to San Jose, and the Raiders setting their sights on Los Angeles.
The waiting game begins for the city of Oakland and its fans now. If the teams are still in Oakland or are without commitments to leave by the time the planning process is complete, the next important step would be convincing the respective organizations that staying would be in their best interest.
If the team owners agree to staying, they will be asked to foot some of the bill for each of their respective new stadiums. That is standard practice. These stadiums will not be built solely of public funds and league funds. And if the plans yield something that looks enticing to Mark Davis et al, they could consider it a worthy investment.
Mark Davis has made it clear that he will move the team if they don't get a new stadium. But if he is to be believed, he would rather the team stay in Oakland. And with the plans moving forward, I don't see him committing to LA or anywhere else unless issues arise that threaten to derail the plans that were just approved. If and until that happens, I would suspect he is on board.
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