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Oakland tries to entice sports teams to stay

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POSTED March 7, 2012 8:21 p.m.

OAKLAND (AP) — With its sports teams threatening to leave for greener pastures, the city of Oakland is attempting to entice them to stay with plans for new facilities.

The City Council on Tuesday approved spending $1.6 million to study the viability of new sports facilities for the Athletics, Raiders and Warriors.

The council allocated another $1.9 million for planning and environmental work around the arena and adjacent coliseum the teams currently call home. The plan encompasses a possible new convention center, shopping, entertainment and hotels.

The money is among the last of the city's redevelopment funds, and the study is expected to take more than a year to complete.

City Council President Larry Reid said the project would transform the city.

"When I see this actually getting built, that's when I'll get excited. But this is a great first step," Reid said.

While the city is allocating money for this initial study and planning, a new stadium would be built with private money, including contributions from the teams, official said.

Both the A's and Raiders have complained about having to share the O.co Coliseum.

The A's are currently awaiting a decision from Major League Baseball about whether they can move to San Jose, which is currently considered the territory of the San Francisco Giants.

The Warriors, meanwhile, have talked to San Francisco officials about relocating to a new arena there, next to the Giants' ballpark.

Oakland will hire a development team including HKS Architects, a Dallas firm behind the Cowboys Stadium and dozens of others.

The A's and Raiders did not comment on the city's announcement.

But Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder said the team wants to meet and discuss the new developments with city leaders. The Warriors in December said the team wanted a new arena and had been talking with San Francisco about it.

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