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Oakland to Sell Coliseum to Black-Led Developer Group After A's Depart

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A view of the Coliseum baseball diamond from the bleachers.
A general view of the pitch thrown by Alex Wood #57 of the Oakland Athletics during their game against the Cleveland Guardians at Oakland Coliseum on March 28, 2024. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Oakland has a tentative deal to sell its share of the Coliseum site to a private developer that aims to create economic equity for the Black community.

The African American Sports & Entertainment Group will tentatively purchase Oakland’s 50% ownership share of the Coliseum for $105 million, Mayor Sheng Thao’s office announced Wednesday.

“This agreement puts us on a path towards a more equitable and resilient Oakland,” Thao said, in a statement. “We are determined to ensure that this project serves as a catalyst for positive change in historically underinvested areas.”

The Oakland City Council still needs to grant approval for the City Administrator to sign a purchase and sale agreement with the entertainment group.

The group’s plans include the development of thousands of units of affordable housing and the preservation of Oakland Arena as an entertainment venue, according to the mayor’s office.

“This project is not just about building structures; it’s about building communities and opportunities for future generations,” said Ray Bobbitt, founder and managing member of the entertainment group, in a statement.

It’s a time of transition for Oakland and the beloved Coliseum, with the Athletics’ impending departure to Sacramento for the next three baseball seasons ahead of a planned move to Las Vegas and the loss of the Oakland Raiders and Warriors. The deal for the site, which includes the Oakland Arena, also comes as Oakland faces a roughly $177 million budget shortfall.

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That budget crisis reportedly led to the early sale of the city’s share of the Coliseum, the Chronicle reported. Oakland leaders had hoped to sell the Coliseum site in partnership with the A’s, but the team is tied up in a court case over its purchase of the 50% stake held by Alameda County. The African American Sports & Entertainment Group is still negotiating a deal with the A’s, the Chronicle reported.

With the city’s budget crisis in mind, Carolyn Johnson, CEO of the Black Cultural Zone, a collaborative of residents in East Oakland, said the site’s development may lead to more jobs and spur economic growth.

“We are eager to see the positive impact it will have on our neighborhoods,” Johnson said, in a statement. “This isn’t just a win; it’s a building block for a brighter future filled with opportunity.”

This is a breaking story, and it will be updated.

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