Oakland Athletics: Lew Wolff Interested in Building Temporary Stadium in Bay Area

Oakland A’s minority owner Lew Wolff is considering building a temporary baseball stadium in the Bay Area as he works to negotiate a long-term lease at the O.co Colisuem, according to a report from Greg Baumann of the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Wolff provided the specifics on the plan in an email to Baumann:

“I am hopeful of expanding our lease at the Oakland Coliseum for an extended term. If we cannot accomplish a lease extension, I hope to have an interim place to play in the Bay Area or in the area that reaches our television and radio fans — either in an existing venue or in the erection of a temporary venue that we have asked our soccer stadium architect (360 Architecture) to explore. Looking outside the Bay Area and our media market is an undesirable option to our ownership at this time.”

In November, the team and the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Authority came to terms on a two-year lease extension to keep the A’s at the O.co Coliseum in the short run. Alameda County Supervisor, Nate Miley, who is the chairman of the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, confirmed that he will continue to work on reaching a longterm-extension, explaining to Baumann that he is hoping to arrive at a “mutually beneficial” deal, which would keep the team “permanently” at the current site.

In regards to a potential temporary stadium, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is willing to help Wolff out, at least to an extent: “We have locations here where we could put up a temporary facility in San Jose. We won’t pay for it, but we’ll help them find a location and expedite permitting.”

While the idea of a temporary stadium appears outlandish at first, there’s actually a precedent for such projects succeeding within the world of professional sports. As Baumann notes, the Nussli Group built a 27,500 seat temporary stadium in Vancouver back in 2010 for the Canadian National Football League at a price tag of $14.4 million in a span of three months.

If Wolff is able to identify a site for a temporary stadium, it would provide him with significant leverage in ongoing long-term lease-extension negotiations with the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Authority.

Meanwhile, back in Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan still has her eyes trained on keeping the team right where it is, as Steve Tavares of the East Bay Citizen reports:

According to Tavares, the Howard Terminal site could be offered to potential investors in the “next month.” Tavares also added that a proposal for a new ballpark at the Coliseum site is “in the works.”