A’s plan to reject Oakland’s latest financial proposal for new stadium development

The Oakland A's released renderings of their proposed new ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square in Oakland (Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group)

A financial plan put forward Friday for a new baseball stadium for the Oakland A’s to stay rooted where they are is way off base as far as the team is concerned.

If the City Council votes “yes” Tuesday on the plan recommended by city staff Friday, “that is a no vote on this project,” A’s President Dave Kaval said in an interview.

The Oakland A’s and the city of Oakland still disagree on three issues around the A’s proposed ballpark at Howard Terminal, according to the financial plan.

The disagreements laid out Friday by staff were around affordable housing, how to pay for offsite infrastructure, and sources for the Community Fund, which would set aside money for things like workforce development.

City officials said they are targeting “30 percent affordability” for housing through both onsite units and offsite displacement strategies.

Despite the disagreements, Oakland officials, including the mayor, were optimistic a deal can be done.

“The Term Sheet (tentative financial plan) put forth by city staff moves us one step closer to making the vision of a world-class ballpark a reality,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. “We appreciate the A’s working with us to reach consensus on nearly all financial terms as well as continue to problem-solve between now and approval of a binding development agreement,” she said.

That agreement would pave the way for a 35,000-seat waterfront stadium off Market Street in Oakland as well as 3,000 new residential units and a new hotel with about 400 rooms. The project would also include 1.77 million square feet of commercial space and a performance venue seating about 3,500 people.

The team is proposing a new Oakland site at Jack London Square (Rendering courtesy of Oakland Athletics and mlb.com)

Schaaf said if the project is approved, it would be “a game-changer for West Oakland and our entire region.” She said it will provide “affordable housing, public parks, great jobs, and other direct benefits for the community — all without the risk to our Port, our taxpayers, or the City or County’s general funds.”

City staff and the A’s spent the day Thursday in negotiations over the financial agreement.

Kaval said to keep the A’s in Oakland, the City Council needs to vote “yes” for the financial plan the A’s put forward in January and released to the public in April. He said the differences between that proposal and what the city released Friday are “massive. The differences are in the level of detail and who pays for what, such as who will pay for offsite infrastructure, Kaval said.

Kaval said he thought the city and the team were getting closer to an agreement. “We’re rather far apart,” he said Friday. The difference, he said, was about $500 million.

The whole project is expected to cost $12 billion, including a new $1 billion ballpark.

Kaval has said that it’s Howard Terminal or bust for the team, meaning if the team does not get a new stadium at Howard Terminal, they may leave Oakland.

Kaval has already visited Las Vegas and may do so again on Wednesday, depending on the outcome of the City Council vote Tuesday. The special City Council meeting starts at 9 a.m. and will deal solely with the proposed ballpark.

The City Council is voting on a non-binding financial agreement, but few terms of such a plan change after it’s voted on.

MLB has also said that the Oakland Coliseum, where the A’s play now, is not a viable venue for the team moving forward.

The agreement the city released Friday would not force the city to raise taxes on any residents and it would not put the city’s general fund on the hook.

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