The reality that the Raiders aren’t moving to Los Angeles right now does nothing to provide the A’s any clarity on their own ballpark situation.
NFL owners voted to approve the St. Louis Rams to move back to L.A. and turned away the Raiders, at least for the time being. They also gave the San Diego Chargers the option to join the Rams in a planned Inglewood stadium, while giving the Raiders an option to move there if the Chargers pass.
For now, the most likely scenario has the Raiders remaining at the Coliseum for next season, continuing to share with the A’s the only dual-sport stadium remaining in major American pro sports.
[RELATED: Raiders denied LA relocation]
So as was the case before Tuesday’s vote, the A’s ballpark future remains closely attached to the Raiders’ own fate. Should the Raiders renew their efforts to build a football stadium at the Coliseum site, it would likely steer the A’s toward sites in downtown Oakland, the idea that appeals most to city officials.
Should L.A. fall in the Raiders’ lap if the Chargers pass – which seems unlikely – the Raiders could head south and leave the Coliseum property all to the A’s. Or, the Raiders could sign a one-year lease at the Coliseum and then continue to pursue sites outside the Bay Area.
All that’s certain is that the A’s future remains murky – just as it has for years and years.
“The Oakland A’s will continue to explore our options with the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda on a new venue,” co-owner Lew Wolff said in a press release issued after the NFL’s announcement. “This announcement by the NFL regarding the Raiders does not change our immediate plans or our goal of securing a new baseball-only facility.”
The city of Oakland presented the A’s with five potential ballpark sites near downtown, according to a recent Bay Area News Group report. Two of those sites were on the campus of Laney College, another one was near the West Oakland BART station. Wolff has long stated that the team’s preference is to build on the current Coliseum land, though the A’s are showing more openness these days to moving closer to downtown if they find a suitable location for all parties involved.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said in a Tuesday night news conference that the city is working hard to keep all of its teams, though the Warriors have plans to build an arena in San Francisco.
“We are still trying to talk to the A’s about downtown, urban, walkable sites,” Schaaf said. “It’s a conversation. I don’t want to set any expectations that this has progressed beyond a conversation. But I think having a little more clarity about the Raiders’ situation will help advance those conversations as well.”
The A’s agreed to a 10-year lease extension to play at the Coliseum in the summer of 2014. But a clause in the lease allows the A’s to opt out if the Raiders strike a deal to build on that site.