September 23, 2022

Colosseum workers eagerly await decision on A’s Howard Terminal stadium plan

OAKLAND — Caught in the midst of the final decision in favor of the A’s new stadium plan, Coliseum employees will feel the impact of whether the A’s stay in Oakland or move to Las Vegas.

Thursday, an Alameda County Superior Court judge has dismissed legal challenges to the team’s quest for a new waterfront stadium. The disputes had argued that the proposed baseball stadium at the Howard Terminal would cause severe environmental damage to the surrounding port area.

A crucial Oakland City Council vote to determine the future of the A’s looms. Major League Baseball and the A’s have said it’s time to make a decision on the team’s plan to build its $12 billion Howard Terminal project.

Charles Reilly has worked at the Colosseum for 25 years, but he knows that could be coming to an end.

Usher of the Charles Reilly Coliseum
Usher of the Coliseum Charles Reilly.

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There’s a warmth to his laughter and gentleness as he greets fans in Section 121.

“Vegas or Howard Terminal?” What are we going to do ? Reilly asked.

There is a feeling of “Cheers” here, where everyone knows your name.

“People come and they know you,” Reilly said.

But it’s hard to say goodbye when you like to talk sports and also had the best place at home for the Warriors and Raiders.

“I’ve worked for all the teams that are now gone. You see how people don’t support some of them anymore, because they’re gone,” Reilly said.

The Oakland City Council will ultimately decide the team’s fate. Jobs are at stake for employees like Reilly, and more.

“Co-workers that I’ve known for 15 years, we go to barbecues together and to each other,” said Teresa Perez of Hayward, who is also a longtime Colosseum usher.

“These people you get to know and the fans, you’ve known them for a long time,” Reilly said.

Reilly can talk to anyone from family members of owners to players and your average fan. He worked for the US Postal Service for nearly 40 years, supporting his two daughters.

His retirement check arrives on time, but this job allows the now grandfather to provide even more.

“Ultimately, it will be better for the whole community,” Reilly said.

He wants to keep walking, talking and working as long as he can.

“There’s a void and you have to fill it with something. You don’t have basketball, you don’t have football,” Reilly said.

For Reilly, it’s time to build a ballpark in Oakland.

“We still keep our jobs,” he said.

The city says at least 7,000 union jobs will come with the construction of a new stadium.