Raiders stadium developer objects to A's lease extension

Raiders stadium developer objects to A's lease extension
July 9, 2014, 12:45 pm
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In order to fulfill the Raiders’ desire to play the 2018 season in a new facility, Wasserman said it will be 'critical' to tear down the existing stadium in 2015.
Scott Bair

The 10-year lease extension between the Athletics and O.co Coliseum hasn’t yet been formally approved by the Oakland city council. The development team behind a new Raiders stadium would prefer a stamp of rejection.

Zachary Wasserman, the development team’s lead attorney, sent a letter on July 2 to Oakland mayor Jean Quan, city administrator Henry Garnder and the city council expressing such sentiment, stating that the lease extension hinders an ability to build a state-of-the-art football stadium and the surrounding developments required to make ends meet.

The letter, referenced several times in this report, was obtained Tuesday by the Bay Area News Group. The letter also states that the development team plans to submit a term sheet making a Raiders stadium an anchor of an agreed upon re-development project by the end of summer. That would fulfill requirements of an exclusive negotiating agreement with the City of Oakland that lasts through October.

Wasserman says the A’s lease extension would make it “impossible” for the development team to fulfill requirements of the ENA.

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In order to fulfill the Raiders’ desire to play the 2018 season in a new facility, Wasserman said it will be “critical” to tear down the existing stadium in 2015.The lease extension wouldn’t force the A’s to leave the Coliseum for a Raiders project until after the 2016 season.

That would adversely adjust the proposed timetable for an ambitious “Coliseum City” redevelopment project pushed by real estate giant Colony Capital.

The Raiders are the only East Bay team to support such an endeavor. The Athletics have chosen to stay out of such talks and look for their own path to a new facility. That creates real conflict, a point made clear by the Wasserman’s displeasure over the 10-year lease extension approved last week by the Oakland-Alameda Joint Powers Authority.

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The lease extension requires the JPA to give the Athletics two years notice if they are to be evicted for the development of the Raiders facility on the O.co Coliseum footprint. While a stadium could be built on other parts of the Coliseum site without notice – the parking lot, for example -- the ancillary developments required to bridge a current financial construction gap would demand that the existing stadium be taken down.

According to the Bay Area News Group, several city council members don’t consider the development team’s concerns as roadblocks to a lease extension. Citing Councilman Noel Gallo, Bay Area News Group reports that another financial analysis of the lease extension is scheduled for later this week.