Oakland Officials Put Up For Sale Sign On The Coliseum

The old stadium is at the end of its life cycle.

One day the saga of the city of Oakland, the county of Alameda, Charles Finley, Al Davis and a host of others will make a great case study in academic circles on what to do and what not to do in the politics of sports business. Right now, Oakland elected officials are talking to the owners of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics about funding requirements for the Athletics’ planned stadium village concept on the Oakland waterfront. But there is also a matter of the present stadium which has undergone a number of renovations and has been deemed unsuitable for Major League Baseball. The stadium was one of the 1960s cookie cutter multiple use venues that did not work well for either baseball or football. All of the 1960s cookie cutter stadiums are gone except for the one in Oakland and now Oakland is ready to get rid of the place. The Athletics ownership doesn’t want it, it’s the waterfront or nothing.

Oakland is trying to keep its Major League city status but the city has lost a National Hockey League team, the Oakland-California Golden Seals, it has twice lost the National Football League’s Raiders. The NHL team moved to Cleveland in 1976 and folded after two years there. The NFL Raiders left twice. Al Davis took the team to Los Angeles in 1982 after a court battle with the NFL as the league attempted to block the relocation. Davis moved back to Oakland in 1995 and the franchise left for Las Vegas in 2020. The National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors played in Oakland between 1971 and 2019. The team moved 11 miles away to San Francisco where the team played between 1962 and 1971. There was more money in San Francisco than Oakland. Oakland is a brilliant case study in the politics of sports business.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191  

FILE – In this Aug. 16, 2020, file photo, lightning forks over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as a storm passes over Oakland, Calif. Numerous lightning strikes sparked brush fires throughout the region. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)