OAKLAND -- Unable to shower its teams with shiny new taxpayer-built stadiums, Oakland is hoping to convince them to stick around with a loving embrace that will stretch from the Black Hole all the way to the left field bleachers.
Mayor Jean Quan on Monday declared the second week of September as "Oakland Loves its Sports Teams Week" with events scheduled both for the Raiders Sept. 10 home opener and a Sept. 14 A's game.
"We want to show the world the love we have for our sports teams," Quan said during a spirited rally outside City Hall attended by about 100 fans and officials dressed either in green and gold or silver and black.
Oakland is the only city in California with major league football, baseball and basketball teams, but all three could leave within five years to proposed facilities with more revenue-generating luxury suites in more affluent corners of the Bay Area.
A's owner Lew Wolff is still seeking approval from his fellow owners to move the club to downtown San Jose, while the Warriors need no such permission to make good on their plan to pack up for a proposed waterfront arena in San Francisco.
The Raiders want to stay, but haven't disclosed how they would help finance the new stadium they want built at the Coliseum site. The team still could choose to become a tenant at the 49ers planned $1.1 billion stadium in Santa Clara.
Oakland has responded to the challenge to its sports primacy by launching a planning effort seeking private investors to transform the Coliseum site into a sports-and-entertainment complex. It also is pitching the Port of Oakland's Howard Terminal near Jack London Square as a waterfront home for the A's.
In addition to offering potentially viable stadium sites for its teams, the city is working to drum up support from fans across the East Bay by teaming up with booster groups such as Save Oakland Sports, which helped organize Monday's rally and is working on next month's slate of events.
Oakland Loves its Sports Teams week begins Monday, Sept. 10 with a tailgate party before the Raiders evening home opener at O.co Coliseum. On Wednesday, there will be a noontime free concert outside City Hall, followed on Thursday with a 7 p.m. Save Oakland Sports fundraiser at Ricky Sports Theater and Grill in San Leandro. The week ends with an effort to sell out Friday's A's fireworks night game, during which fans in one section will have pro-Oakland rally cards.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6345.