Development group aims to buy Athletics' share of Coliseum

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland-based African American Sports & Entertainment Group has reached out to the Athletics and their representation with an offer to acquire what was previously Alameda County's 50% interest in the site where the Oakland Coliseum sits with the intent to develop.

AASEG Land LLC wrote to A's owner John Fisher, president Dave Kaval and their Coliseum Way Partners representatives in a letter dated Feb. 8 that was acquired and viewed by The Associated Press.

The correspondence states that AASEG initially reached out with a purchasing offer in September and the sides exchanged letters, with the A's responding they were not interested in relinquishing their share. AASEG said it is trying again given the club's plan to relocate to Las Vegas.

In 2019, the A's purchased the county's 50% share of the Coliseum site for $85 million and the team still is paying that off. The city of Oakland owns the other half of the stadium.

The development group said it decided to make a follow-up offer now following Major League Baseball's approval in November of the team's relocation to Las Vegas.

AASEG wrote it would "expect to discuss equitable buyout conditions" in the coming weeks in order to transfer contractual entitlement. The letter states "there is increasing public demand for prompt redevelopment of the site" and that AASEG has "significant community support."

The AASEG website says it was founded in 2020 "with the primary purpose of using the vehicle of sports and entertainment to create a path for enhanced economic equity for the Black community."

One stated goal is "the formation of the first majority Black owned NFL franchise" in Oakland with the Coliseum site vision as "a thriving sports, entertainment, educational and business district in East Oakland."

The A's are in the final year of their lease agreement to play in the Coliseum, and it remains unclear where they will play before a new Las Vegas ballpark opens in 2028 at the earliest. One option could be extending the current lease.

Last week, at the MLB's owner meetings, commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters he was confident the Las Vegas plan will come together in time, both in the short and longer term.

"I would be disappointed if we didn't open that stadium, Opening Day, 2028," Manfred said. "In terms of an interim home [from 2025 to 2028], I'm comfortable with where they are in the process.

"It's not like we don't know where they'll be in 2024. They're doing a good job of exploring them and find the best possible opportunity."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.