There is much commotion even though none outside the inner city government circle and the teams have access to the proposed development plan. A big chunk of that commotion however appears to be coming from Lew Wolff who co-owns the Oakland A’s baseball team.
According to Wolff in a recent interview he claims his team has scoured the details of the plan and has reached the conclusion that this proposal offers no viable path to erecting two separate and distinct new facilities to accommodate the Raiders and the A’s respectively. He does not appear to be remotely interested in sharing any future with the Raider’s franchise and seems to be saying next steps are reliant on what the Oakland Raiders organization’s next big move is.
The development plan in play includes two completely unique event facilities designed to house the Raiders and A’s ball clubs. And these proposed venues are to be built on the same land that the Coliseum is on now. The acreage isn’t the issue as it can easily accommodate two stadiums along with an expanse of office space, retail space, parking space and housing as part of the mater plan. The property in its current state however is dismal and unappealing and a development would infuse a vibrancy found in a state of the art development long needed in Oakland’s world of sports and die hard fandom.
Based on the bits and pieces of the plan that have been shared with the public, it seems obvious to any layman that such an endeavor would be a big win for everyone. That includes big pluses for both teams, local residents, fans, city, county etc.
The increased revenue stream could be significant. Such a large all-encompassing project would certainly draw both local and tourist traffic with the addition of brand new commercial spaces that would house retail, shop and food joints to boot. A megaplex of this magnitude would draw in folks not only coming for the games but who would stay based on it being a destination that could offer additional quality activities and entertainment options. The current reality of the situation reveals that most fans and visitors quickly retreat from the area immediately following any big events. It’s just not a place where people, families or friends hang around any longer than they have to. Thus they spend their leisure time or money in more attractive place elsewhere.
Still Wolff is not sharing in the vision of the new plan amounting to a lead destination possibility. The question remains, at least for now, is Wolff’s too set in his antiquated insular ways to embrace a future plan that uplifts the masses rather than just his self-serving version of the future.
Wolff seems to be stuck on making business decisions that really have little relevant and merit. He states that he rues the idea of being under the control of Kephart and having to compete with the Oakland Raiders for licensing and sponsors. Huh? Is that the best Wolff can come up with? Sounds like a severely limiting and short sited response to say the least. Then again is it all just part of the negotiation process in which major decision makers seek leverage or grandstanding with platitudes that merely serve the ego? Its not so rare that once great businessmen sometimes lose their ability to see big picture opportunity and get set in old "grumpified" ways.
The solution is to spend your time building winning organizations first and ultimately all the good things follow. The Oakland A's haven’t exactly been the big-draw attraction so maybe focusing on growth and positive results that drive traffic is the better philosophy for someone like Wolff to use as a strategy for his organizations future.
Scott Davis writes news updates in several blogs about the Oakland Raiders