Oakland A's

City of Oakland votes ‘yes’ on non-binding deal for new A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal

Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval said that a “yes” vote from the Oakland City Council on July 20 would actually be a “no” vote for the franchise’s proposed waterfront development at Howard Terminal, situated at the city’s bustling port.

But Oakland voted “yes” anyway, voicing their support for more negotiations on the massive development deal, which would include a new ballpark for the Athletics. The city said “aye” by a sizable margin, but they voted on the Athletics’ original proposal plus alterations they made themselves. Kaval said the changes won’t work for the A’s — hence the “yes” actually meaning “no” dynamic from the A’s perspective.

So now, it’s up to the Athletics to decide how much they really want that Howard Terminal project to break ground. If the franchise does indeed want the $12 billion deal to move forward (and doesn’t want to relocate, as it’s threatened), it will likely have to make some concessions to the city.

Even on Tuesday, however, Kaval said “This is not a term sheet that works for the A’s,” in referring to the deal presented and approved by the City Council.

So how “not effective” is this path the city council just put Bay Area A’s fans on? It seems sensible for the A’s to negotiate a deal for Howard Terminal, but they’ve said that their own original unaltered deal is all that works for them. It’s Kaval’s move now (same goes for team owner, John Fisher). How badly do they want to stay in Oakland? We’re sure to know soon enough.

Of course, the Athletics could always take their “yes” vote and start building, so to speak. The changes the city made are not monumental. Rather, they were last-second changes that appeared to catch the A’s off-guard. Ultimately, Mayor Libby Schaaf and other Oakland officials have definitely put the ball in the A’s court regarding this massive project.

(Photo courtesy Tony Webster)

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