City of Oakland drops lawsuit over Coliseum site

The Oakland City Council  agreed to drop its lawsuit against Alameda County late Wednesday.

That lawsuit would have derailed the proposed $85 million sale of the county's half ownership of the Coliseum site to the Oakland Athletics. 

The deal can now go forward and the A's can negotiate to buy and/or lease the city's half of the land and use it to build a mixed use development of homes, businesses, open space, retail and entertainment.

"We wanted to make sure we had an affirmative plan for east Oakland that was really informed by the interactions we had with the community. We thought it was really important to honor East Oakland," said A's President Dave Kaval.

The announcement came just as the city and county were about to square off in court Thusrday barring the sale under California's Surplus Lands Act. That law requires publicly owned land that is up for sale to be first offered for affordable housing.

"It's very large, very expensive and very complicated. So we will see if anyone besides the A's are interested in the opportunity. But it is a legal requirement for us to go through," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

"We are definitely going to have a robust affordable housing plan in East Oakland. And we look forward to working with the city on the rates, the percentages and everything to make it successful," said Kaval.

The A's are also working on building a new ballpark near Jack London Square.

The lawsuit drove the stakes so high Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred met with city council leaders warning them the A's could follow the Raiders and Warriors out of town if they didn't drop the suit.

"It was really helpful to have him be very clear about the consequences of misguided steps," said Schaaf.

Oakland business leaders also pressured the council to stay out of court.

"We delivered our letters to city hall asking for leadership not litigation. And I think they heard the business community," said Burt Boltuch who heads Town Business, a group supporting the A's projects.