Scott McKibben will be the new head of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which was established to operate the city's publicly-owned sports facilities -- O.Co Coliseum and Oracle Arena.
The Coliseum Authority has gone several years without a permanent executive director, but local leaders are considering giving the group an expanded role in an effort to keep local teams and get new stadiums built under McKibben's leadership.
"My goal is to keep the A's and the Raiders in Oakland," he said.
McKibben has strong ties to Oakland from his tenure as publisher of the former ANG Newspapers, which owned the Oakland Tribune. In 2003, while still at ANG, he led the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and participated on failed efforts to build a downtown stadium for the A's and land a Super Bowl for the Coliseum.
Having worked with Scott, I believe he was a solid choice to lead the Coliseum Authority, but only if he gets to play a central role in bringing together the city, county, and sports teams on a coherent and affordable stadium plan. He knows the city and the sports business. His ability to coalesce all of the constituencies is where he'll earn his salary. He faces a number of significant speed bumps.
The JPA (Joint Powers Authority) on behalf Oakland and Alameda County have completed negotiations with the A’s to extend their lease at O.Co Coliseum for the next 10 years. For the past seven years, A’s ownership has been focused on leaving the city that has been its home since 1968 -- first to Fremont (which didn’t happen) and then to San Jose (which hasn’t yet happened and most likely never will).
Raiders owner Mark Davis has expressed strong desire to remain in Oakland and build a new football stadium on the exact site of the current stadium. The time needed to demolish and rebuild and construction costs of a new stadium are uncertain. Davis has said the Raiders have $400 million already earmarked for the project. Conservative estimates of a new football-only stadium start at $1 billion.
The Golden State Warriors, after two-plus years pursuing a new arena on the San Francisco Embarcadero at Piers 30-32, abandoned that location in favor of a less complicated and more affordable hoop palace in Mission Bay. The Warriors will soon be renamed, relocated, relogo'd and it won’t be with a script Oakland emblazoned on their new uniforms. Oakland had two years to present a viable alternative while the Warriors were wrangling with San Francisco and couldn’t do it.
The Raiders can leave, but they may have no place to go to other than Levi’s Stadium. And that option is much less enticing than it was several years ago when the 49ers and Raiders were talking about a joint tenancy, similar to the ATM Mt. Everest that the Jets and Giants share in New Jersey.
McKibben will have a number of plates spinning once he is officially approved.
Working with the city, county, Raiders, A’s, and departing Warriors, their leagues, project developers and business leaders, he will be tasked to create levels of teamwork that have been in short supply.
Catch BizBall Insider Andy Dolich tonight at 5 and 11 p.m. on Yahoo SportsTalk Live, where he'll join Jim Kozimor to discuss Oakland sports and more