With sports teams moving toward bigger and better stadiums, it’s only fitting that the Oakland Raiders are looking to do the same. The Oakland Coliseum, or O.co Coliseum, opened its doors to fans in 1966 and hosts both baseball and football games. The outdated stadium is due for a serious upgrade and “Coliseum City” may have found some solid investors.
Bay Investment Group, LLC has the ability to fund a new Oakland Coliseum
The Bay Investment Group is comprised of Colony Capital LLC; which manages investments totaling $32 billion; and Rashid Al Malik; an investor who recently served as deputy CEO of a multibillion dollar aerospace firm founded by the uncle of Dubai’s ruling sheik. Not only does the team want to create a new Oakland Coliseum, but they are looking to turn the site into a sprawling sports and entertainment city.
With three major teams in the area – Raiders, Athletics, and the Warriors – there is a possibility that such a “Coliseum City” could host individual stadiums for each team. The idea has been proposed to ensure that the area attracts some major events to the area. Even with the Athletics and Warriors eyeing other potential areas, the Oakland Coliseum project would still be possible with just one or two stadiums. Colony CEO Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. explained the opportunity:
“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to work in partnership with the City of Oakland (and) Rashid Al Malik … to develop this unique property, which we expect will become a transformational and vital urban, residential sports and entertainment center for this city,”
What Are The Drawbacks?
A potential issue in the plans has been expressed by Raiders owner Mark Davis and a private consultant hired by the city. A new stadium at the site and the local market would likely only support 58,000 seats, making it the smallest in the NFL. Not only that, but smaller venues fail to attract big-time events, such as the Super Bowl.
Ed McFarlan, a principal of JRDV Architects, is among several firms working on the project’s master plan. Ed believes that the area is capable of supporting more:
“Our team feels that the market can support something bigger than that. If we’re going to privately finance a stadium, it needs to be a multipurpose entertainment venue.”
Oakland has put forth $3.2 million in funding for a potential Coliseum City. This offering will be used for site planning and environmental studies that will both lay out the grand vision for the project and consider fallback options should the sports facilities not materialize. The City Counsel must still approve the new investors taking part in the project. But the Bay Investment Group certainly makes the whole project look more promising.
What do you think of the plans for a new Oakland Coliseum among a “Coliseum City”?
Photo credit – oaklandmofo.com