Oakland A's departure raises questions about Coliseum's future

As the Oakland A's prepare to leave the Oakland Coliseum and relocate to Sacramento, developers and the Oakland Roots soccer team continued discussions about the impact of the early departure and future access to the 120-acre complex.

The Athletics' owner, John Fisher, still has a 50% stake in the property, acquired from Alameda County, with the city of Oakland controlling the other half.

The city has openly supported a proposed development to add housing and retail to the Coliseum site, by the locally-led African American Sports and Entertainment Group.

"We just feel there is a great opportunity at this site to revitalize and to sort of restart a new chapter and a new generation for Oakland and the Coliseum site," Ray Bobbitt, a founding partner of AASEG said.

Bobbitt says the AASEG is unable to speak about the negotiations with the A's, but says the A's departure next season could help speed up any planning or application processes if they reach a deal.

"I think we can move quicker to those kinds of spots, with respect to this timeline being moved up, so that is helpful," Bobbitt said, "We need to continue to meet with the A's."

The group already has agreements to work with the city and bring the Oakland Roots and Soul soccer teams into the Coliseum site.

On Friday, however, the Roots posted a warning to their fans and the community, expressing alarm about their own future at the Coliseum.

In a letter to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the team said the county indicated it might sell the Malibu parking lot property, without granting the Roots a 10-year lease to build a pop-up soccer stadium at the site.

The letter also warned that the Alameda County Board appears prepared to pivot on a deal that would have given the Roots use of a training facility on Harbor Bay Parkway, ahead of the 2026 World Cup Games.

The letter raised a third concern, saying the county and Coliseum Authority still have not finalized an agreement for the Roots and Soul soccer teams to play at the Coliseum in 2025.

Musician Billy Joe Armstrong of the band Greenday is a part-owner of the Roots soccer team. Armstrong posted a message on Instagram Friday saying "Alameda County let's make this happen."

Some Alameda County residents say with the A's leaving, they hope the county, the city and the A's can reach an agreement that will help residents keep at least one professional sports team in Oakland.

"I don't know what their future will be, so we have to just see how it will come out," Mahesh Shah of Alameda said.

"They should hurry up and do it. Time is money. Time is precious, and I think the sad thing about it is we have a team right here," Juan Cash of Oakland said.