OAKLAND -- East Oakland has long been the epicenter of professional sports in the Bay Area, and on Tuesday night the City Council pressed ahead with a plan to keep its teams where they've been for decades.
To the delight of several Black Hole regulars, Oakland lawmakers approved $3.5 million toward efforts to redevelop the Coliseum complex along with adjacent land west off Interstate 880.
The A's, Raiders and Warriors are all being courted away from the complex they have called home for more than four decades. The A's have for years sought to move to San Jose, the Warriors are considering a proposed arena in San Francisco, and the Raiders are potential tenants in stadiums proposed in both Santa Clara and Los Angeles.
With funds unavailable to acquire land for a waterfront baseball stadium near Jack London Square, Oakland is hoping to draw private investors interested in transforming a more 750-acre Coliseum site into a modern sports and entertainment complex.
The city is allocating $1.6 million to pay a development team led by JRDV Architects, Forest City Enterprises and HKS Sports and Entertainment to begin talks with the teams and determine the viability of new facilities. The council also is allocating $1.9 million for planning and environmental work both at the Coliseum site and on more than 700 acres to the west between I-880 and the airport, which the city is hoping to remake into a hub for technology firms.
The study is expected to take a little over a year.
While the council hopes the Coliseum plan might save Oakland's teams, during a committee meeting last week, council member Nancy Nadel offered fans some words of caution.
"I hope everybody realizes that we have no money," she said. "As much as you might love the teams when you have no money, it's a very different game."