Oakland Approves New Rough Conditions Sheet; To say “no efficient way forward”

Oakland City Council members voted 6-1 in favor of a non-binding list of conditions for the Oakland Athletics’ proposed waterfront stadium on Tuesday, but the session ended with confusion over whether negotiations between the city and the team would continue.

A chairman Dave Kaval said during the session that the new terms sheet, made up of city amendments, “isn’t a business partnership that works for us,” echoing his sentiments of Monday when he told ESPN that a “yes” vote under city conditions was akin to a “no” vote. Kaval expressed concern that some of the amendments – covering affordable housing and anti-displacement protections, among others – consisted of language the A’s were seeing for the first time and said the team “was digesting it. always “some.

The As did not immediately respond to a request for comment at the end of the session. In a joint statement, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas and Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kaplan called the vote “an important step in our mission to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and build a World-class waterfront baseball stadium neighborhood that will benefit the community for generations to come. “

The biggest problem to come stemmed from a $ 352 million payment for offsite transportation improvements and infrastructure upgrades that the city did not agree to subsidize by creating a second fundraising district in Jack London. Square, which sits next to the Howard Terminal site where the 35,000 -seat stadium would be built. During the presentation, city official Elizabeth Lake assured the As’s would be reimbursed for this payment through local, state, federal and other regional funds, stating: “We believe the city has solved the problem that the A’s identified as the most critical. “

The As’s apparently disagreed.

“There has been some progress in the negotiation,” Kaval said when it was his turn to speak. “We’ve moved and made concessions, the city has made concessions, but I think it’s important to remember that the current list of conditions, even with these amendments, is not something the A’s have. consensus. This is not a list of conditions that we proposed, with modifications that we met by mutual agreement, and I just want to stress that voting ‘yes’ on something that we are not agreed to agreement, or on which we don’t have a consensus, is not an effective way forward And so I really want to work with the board to see how we can get something that we agree to vote on before the [summer] recess, as opposed to voting on something that is not working for our side. “

Carroll Fife, the only Oakland City Council member who abstained from voting, returned with Kaval to clarify his position and said: “I’m not exactly [sure] why we are still here today. “

“If the A’s are not happy with what has been produced today,” Fife continued, “and are still talking about leaving after the city bends over backwards and provides some of their best work for the sake of it. residents of Oakland, and comes up with all these concessions, even that all these wealthy landowners don’t have to pay for offsite infrastructure, I don’t know where we’re going from here – having made some somersaults, after receiving insults, after being disrespectful, after everything Oakland A fans and Oakland residents have been through lately. I don’t know where we’re going if they still tell us that ‘ they’re not rooted in Oakland, they’re not willing to accept what the city staff has put in place.… It’s not a negotiation. It’s really, “Do what we say,” or we’ll go. It’s not ingrained. It’s not respectful. “

The A’s have spent most of the past two decades hoping for a new Bay Area stadium, a chase that has taken them through San Jose, Fremont and several venues in Oakland, most notably around Laney College. Renovations to the current Colosseum site, where the A’s have played since 1968, were deemed unsustainable in large part because of the team’s stated desire for a downtown location.

All that’s apparently left to keep the A’s from leaving Oakland – and following the recent paths of the NBA Golden State Warriors and NFL Las Vegas Raiders – is this latest stadium proposal in Oakland Harbor.

The A’s made public proposals in April, saying they would privately fund the stadium, which will cost around $ 1 billion, while providing $ 450 million in community benefits and organizing an additional private investment of $ 11 billion. dollars to eventually build the surrounding neighborhood. But the City of Oakland made a counter-proposal on Friday that Kaval said Monday “lacks detail and detail and doesn’t really answer any of the questions we have that needed to be addressed to keep moving forward.”

The project also includes 3,000 residential units, up to 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, up to 270,000 square feet for retail, a 3,500-seat indoor performance center, 400 guest rooms. hotel and up to 18 acres of open space accessible to the public.

The team’s lease in what is now called RingCentral Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. If finally approved, Howard Terminal Baseball Stadium would not be ready until 2027 at the earliest, leaving the A’s with a gap of ‘at least two years to cover in Oakland.

In the meantime, team officials have continued to explore Las Vegas and surrounding areas as an alternative. Kaval and A’s owner John Fisher have made three trips to southern Nevada this year and plan to return there on Wednesday. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said ahead of last week’s All-Star game that it would be “a mistake” to call the Las Vegas option a bluff, calling it a “viable alternative for a major league club “. Other relocation options – including Portland, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Montreal – could come to fruition if the team’s deal with the city fails.

“Based on our extensive negotiations, our shared values ​​and our shared vision, we believe the As can and should agree to the terms approved by city council today,” the city statement read. “This is the way forward to keep As’s rooted in Oakland in a way that protects our port and taxpayers and will produce the benefits our community demands and deserves.”

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