County to discuss funding for Howard Terminal ballpark later this month

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)

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is planning to discuss later this month possibly crucial financing for a proposal by the Oakland A’s for a new baseball stadium at Howard Terminal in Oakland, a letter from board president Keith Carson said.

The discussion will take place at the regular board meeting scheduled for Oct. 26, said Carson’s letter, which was addressed to Elizabeth Ortega-Toro of the Alameda Labor Council, a coalition of labor unions, and Andreas Cluver of the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. The agenda had not been released publicly as of Friday.

Supervisors received a letter from Ortega-Toro and Cluver on Sept. 22, asking the supervisors to place on their Oct. 12 agenda an urgent item having to do with the proposed ballpark’s infrastructure financing district, which would be used to pay for infrastructure related to the park and adjacent development.

Money that would be generated by the district may play a role in whether the ballpark is built.

The county has been asked to commit more than $350 million of projected future revenues to the project, based on the 45-year life of the financing district, Carson wrote.

“We are thankful that the county will be taking this important issue up at their October 26th meeting,” said Ortega-Toro, executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council. “The Howard terminal ballpark project is critical for working families, the city has weighed in with a ‘yes’ vote, and we are appreciative of the work our county supervisors are putting in to help keep the A’s in Oakland — at our beautiful Jack London waterfront,” she said. “We look forward to their continued support at the meeting on the 26th.”

Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval has repeatedly said a new stadium must be at Howard Terminal or the A’s will move the team out of Oakland. It’s unclear why the existing site at the Oakland Coliseum cannot be redeveloped with a ballpark, but Major League Baseball has said the Coliseum site is unfit for the A’s.

The A’s are considering Las Vegas as a site for the team if they do not stay in Oakland. The A’s are the last major professional sports team in the city after the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors moved across the Bay to San Francisco.

A new ballpark and adjacent development at Howard Terminal are expected to cost about $12 billion and will include a 34,000-seat stadium, up to 3,000 residential units, up to 1.8 million square feet of commercial space, a hotel with about 400 rooms and a performance venue with 3,500 seats.

About 7,100 jobs would be created because of the project, according to a report by real estate advisory firm Century Urban in a report in August to the county. About 25,000 jobs would be created during construction of the project, the same report said.

Carson’s letter said the labor union and trades council wanted the supervisors to discuss the ballpark proposal on Oct. 12, but Carson said that was too soon considering among other things “the extreme short timeframe the County has been given to examine all the important legal and financial documents necessary.”

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