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Oakland Plays Whack-A-Mole With Stadium Subsidies

The Raiders and A’s have both indicated a desire to remain in Oakland, but the conditions each team is insisting upon will force the city to perform a delicate balancing act.

The Raiders, who are also contemplating a shared stadium in Los Angeles with the San Diego Chargers, demand $400 million in land and infrastructure subsidies to build a new stadium in Oakland, but the Athletics have indicated that they will likely find any such arrangement unpalatable, according to The Contra Costa Times(RELATED: San Diego Caves to Chargers, Agrees to Finance New Stadium)

A financing report for a proposed three-stadium complex known as “Coliseum City” was submitted Sunday by project emissary Floyd Kephart, and while advocates hope it will allow the city to retain all three of its major sports teams, the teams themselves are more circumspect.

Currently, the A’s and Raiders both play at O.co Coliseum, but A’s owner Lew Wolff told The Times that he is not interested in continuing that arrangements, and that he is skeptical the multi-stadium plan would be any more palatable.

“We have thoroughly investigated things,” Wolff said, “and there is no good way to put two brand-new venues at the Coliseum site.” (RELATED: Obama Asks Congress to End Stadium Subsidies)

“If the Raiders are going to be there, then I don’t know what will happen,” he added, saying he would have to meet with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to discuss the team’s options in that case.

The issue could turn out to be moot, however, because Raiders owner Mark Davis has indicated that the team will require $400 million in public funding, of which only about $140 million is expected to be forthcoming. (RELATED: Oakland Officials Refuse to Subsidize New Stadium)

“We’ve put $500 million on the table and we believe that we could build the stadium in Oakland that would be suitable for the Raiders and our fans for about $900 million,” Davis said in an interview with ESPN last month. “We would need the land and the infrastructure to be taken care of somehow.”

Davis explained that Kephart’s proposal is integral to the team’s plans, saying, “They are attempting to come up with that $400 million gap through some type of a real estate development deal.”

Wolff also said he is “interested in knowing what he’s come up with,” but added that, “I don’t want this fellow (Kephart) telling the A’s what to do.” Specifically, Wolff is concerned about having to “compete with the Raiders for PSLs (personal seat licenses) and sponsors,” saying, “we just don’t see that.”

“I think it’s really important from our perspective, the A’s and baseball, the city focus on the need to get something done with regards to baseball,” MLB Commissioner Manfred agreed. “Not to the detriment of football,” he clarified, “but the need to get something done with baseball.”

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