As usual, when it comes to talks for a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics, the City of Oakland needs support from Alameda County. This time, however, the city and county actually agreed on something. Sort of, that is.
Alameda County voted “yes” on a non-binding agreement to help fund the Oakland Athletics’ massive proposed development at Howard Terminal in Oakland, directly next to the Oakland Port. The project would include a $1 billion baseball stadium.
The project desperately needed a “yes” vote on Tuesday, but there are still plenty of hurdles to cross for Oakland to hang on to the Athletics. First of all, the vote was non-binding, though it was a 4-1 tally. Second, the A’s say they are still far apart from Oakland regarding some aspects of the negotiation.
“They involve things like infrastructure, whether or not the county will participate, community benefits, affordable housing, and then some of the provisions around transportation,” Kaval said. “These are items that remain open items.”–Dave Kaval, A’s presidentSan Francisco Chronicle
In fact, according to Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says that while the Alameda County vote was a positive step, the A’s will still pursue a new ballpark in Las Vegas, as it has for months.
So while Tuesday’s vote kept the hopes of a new baseball stadium in Oakland alive, that’s about all it did. There is still much work to be done, assuming the A’s even want to stay, which I’d wager they do. The Howard Terminal development is absurdly massive and would be a legacy project for owner John Fisher (who does not want to build a simple stadium say, at the Oakland Coliseum site).
The project’s size and location make it an intricate proposition for Oakland, as it would be for any city.
I mean check it out: here’s a refresher on what the project would include.
The A’s project includes a $1 billion, privately financed, 35,000-seat waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal, 3,000 residential units, up to 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, up to 270,000 square feet for retail, an indoor 3,500-seat performance center, 400 hotel rooms and up to 18 acres of publicly accessible open space.San Francisco Chronicle
No wonder the A’s are hedging their bets. To have such a massive deal approved in relatively short order is always tricky. To cap it all off, the A’s need approval from officials at the Oakland Port to finish the process.
But Kaval says the A’s are under “a lot of pressure” from Major League Baseball to get something done. In due time, I assume we’ll finally learn what they’ll do. But for now, there’s a lot still on the table, despite this “yes” vote from Alameda County.
(Photo courtesy Tony Webster)