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Oakland Faces Plenty Of Obstacles In Keeping Professional Sports Teams In The City

OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Golden State Warriors have plans to build a brand new arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. Ownership for the Oakland A's has long wanted to move the team to the South Bay, by building a new stadium in San Jose. And the Oakland Raiders have had talks about a joint stadium proposal in Southern California.

So the question remains, where does that leave Oakland in the mix? Scott McKibben, Executive Director of the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum County Authority, who is himself a sports enthusiast, said he hopes to keep all of the teams in the East Bay.

"I've told people and I believe this still – that this location in terms of a sports franchise might be one of the very best pieces of real estate in the United States of America. You're down the road from an airport, you're on a major freeway, you're 50 yards from one of the best mass transit centers in the country with BART, you don't have a lot of traffic congestion," McKibben said. "I think that this is just a terrific piece of real estate for a sports development, and I think it also bodes well for housing development and for entertainment districts because of the access and the ease in-and-out."

McKibben said there are certainly challenges to keeping the A's, Raiders and Warriors in the East Bay.

With the Warriors, they have already moved forward with plans in San Francisco, although McKibben said they would be more than willing to enter discussions for the team to stay in Oakland long-term if those plans fall apart.

He said the Raiders and A's situations are a bit more complicated. Both of the franchises need new venues, but are not willing to share a stadium as they currently are doing at the Coliseum. The hope is to build the Raiders a football-only stadium and do the same for the A's with a baseball-only stadium, something he said is in the hands of the elected officials in the city of Oakland and Alameda County.

McKibben said as of right now, there is no real drop-dead date for these possible new stadiums, but with the franchises exploring other ideas, time is ticking to get something done.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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