Oakland Ballers ask to repurpose old Raiders seats in Coliseum parking lot

(KRON) — The Oakland Ballers baseball team has submitted a letter to the Oakland City Council asking to repurpose around 5,000 disused bleacher seats currently sitting in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot. The seats were previously used by the Oakland Raiders during their tenure at the Coliseum between 1996 and 2019, according to the letter.

“Our understanding is that these seats have remained unused since 2019 and have been stored in one of the parking lots adjacent to the Coliseum,” the letter from Ballers CEO Paul Freedman states. “Furthermore, we are aware that the Commission holds jurisdiction over the disposition of these seats.”

The Ballers, an independent professional team that will play in the Pioneer League, are currently in the process of redeveloping Oakland’s Raimondi Park for use as a home field. The Ballers home opener is just a few weeks off when the team hosts the Yolo High Wheelers on June 4.

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While it’s highly unlikely that the old Raiders seats would be utilized this season, the letter states that the team hopes to repurpose the seats for future seasons. In the meantime, temporary grandstands are going up for the team’s inaugural season.

“As you know, we are currently in the process of developing infrastructure for our inaugural season at Oakland’s historic Raimondi Park. Beginning June 4 of this year, Raimondi will serve as the home field for the Oakland Ballers baseball team,” the letter states. “As we prepare for Year 1, we are at the same time looking ahead to our long-term future. We hope to continue playing at Raimondi Park after our inaugural season and are planning for what the ballpark will look like in subsequent seasons as we establish our permanent home.”

“To that end, we think there is a great opportunity to repurpose these seats for our future seasons at Raimondi Park,” the letter continues.

The Ballers have offered to purchase the seats at a rate of $45 per seat. “We are prepared to offer this amount for each functional seat, with any additional costs incurred in the removal process to be deducted accordingly,” the letter states.

Freedman also says that the team checked with the Oakland Roots Soccer Club, which plans to play home matches at the Coliseum next season, and that the Roots don’t have a use for them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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