AEG To Operate

AEG has scored a five-year contract to operate the Coliseum and next-door Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., after assuaging fears that the company would lure either of the major sports teams that play there out of town.

The deal, approved by the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority in a 7-1 vote June 18, will bring the company at least $3 million per year, according to the Contra Costa Times.

The agreement also reportedly includes provisions to keep AEG from bringing new teams within 50 miles of Oakland.
But new teams seem to be less of a concern for commissioners, who grilled AEG’s facility chief Chris Wright during a meeting over whether the company plans to poach the Athletics, Warriors or Raiders, the Times noted.

“Absolutely not,” he replied, assuring them AEG plans to improve the Coliseum so the Raiders will stay put.

AEG’s new Farmers Field football stadium in Los Angeles is without a tenant, leading to fears that the company would lure the Raiders back to L.A.

AEG also has a majority stake in the Los Angeles Kings NHL team and has extensive investments in Major League Soccer, including in the Los Angeles Galaxy team.

AEG would reportedly face penalties of at least $6 million if it poached the Raiders, Warriors or A’s from the region, although each team is known to be interested in new facilities – whether in or out of Oakland.

Last month the city of San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors announced intentions to build a waterfront basketball arena in the city. The Athletics have been trying to find a new stadium on either side of the Bay for most of the 2000s, and the Raiders are interested in a new stadium although have generally seemed to want to stay in Oakland.

The company takes over operations of the building July 1.