Oakland A's agree to being co-tenants with Roots, Soul soccer teams

The Oakland -Alameda County Coliseum Board unanimously approved a new proposal for the Oakland Coliseum on Friday, that did not center on baseball, but rather, a different kind of pitch. 

Two soccer teams, the men's Oakland Roots and the women's Oakland Soul soccer clubs, received clearance from the Board to negotiate a lease to play their 2025-2026 home matches at the Coliseum.

Oakland City Council member Rebecca Kaplan is chair of the Coliseum Board and announced the news Friday. 

"The Roots and Soul Soccer Team, a beacon of unity and passion, has captured the hearts of Oakland residents and soccer enthusiasts nationwide," Kaplan said in a statement. "Their commitment to community engagement, diversity, and excellence on the field aligns perfectly with the values that make Oakland a remarkable city."

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says having the Roots and Soul at the Coliseum will be a win for Oakland.

"I want to thank the JPA, the commissioners for really seeing this as not only a way to generate revenue and to activate East Oakland but also as a way to bring back that spirit of sports to the city of Oakland," Thao said. 

"The Roots and Soul radiate Oakland pride in the community and every time they step on the pitch," Thao posted on social media. "They are a model franchise and the Town’s global ambassadors to the soccer world."

The Roots and Soul, which have a partnership with KTVU, currently play at Cal State East Bay in Hayward and Merritt College facilities.

The timing of the move gives the teams a big boost, as the Oakland Soul team is preparing to become the second professional women's soccer team in the Bay Area next year, and the Bay Area prepares to host World Cup games in 2026.

"When you think about this as a world game, and you think about Oakland as one of the most diverse and inclusive communities in the world, it's a perfect fit and a perfect merger of both sport and community.," said Edreece Arghandiwal, co-founder and CMO of the Oakland Roots and Soul soccer clubs.

The vote comes just one day after the Oakland A's baseball team met with the city to negotiate a possible lease extension, as they prepare to leave the Oakland Coliseum for Las Vegas. 

The A's lease ends this year, and their new stadium is not expected to be ready until 2028.

In a statement, the A's said they'd be glad to share the space saying quote:

"We have shared with the City of Oakland and Alameda County that we are open to being co-tenants of the Coliseum with the Roots/Soul in 2025. We look forward to meeting with the Roots soon."

Community members with Save Oakland Sports say while they still hold out hope the A's might stay, they're glad to see soccer moving in. 

"I was excited, actually," said Warren Chu, a spokesperson for the group Save Oakland Sports. "First, it's really, something positive and the opportunity to play at the Oakland Coliseum is great. It's a great facility for fans." 

The Roots have been eyeing the Coliseum site since last year. 

Arghandiwal says it will be a great transition as they continue efforts to build their own soccer stadium just south of the Coliseum complex. 

On Friday, the organization submitted a formal proposal to the Coliseum Authority to request a 10-year lease to build a 10,000-seat modular stadium in a space adjacent to the Oakland Coliseum on what’s known as the Malibu Lot. The site is currently vacant and used for overflow parking. 


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