OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Port of Oakland commissioners have voted unanimously to enter into exclusive negotiations with a group of Oakland business leaders who are proposing to build a waterfront stadium for the Oakland A’s at Howard Terminal.

The group is headed by Clorox chief executive Don Knauss, developer Michael Ghielmetti, former Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream chief executive T. Gary Rogers and former Oakland planning commission chairman Doug Boxer, the son of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California.

The business group will now make a $100,000 down payment to the port for one year of exclusive talks with the port.

The terminal, which is just north of Jack London Square, was just vacated recently. The Port of Oakland is now considering a baseball stadium at the site because it has ruled out maritime uses there, including a proposal to ship coal.

Doug Boxer said Friday that during the year of exclusive talks the business group and the port will begin analyzing the feasibility and costs of building a baseball park on the 50-acre site.

Boxer said if the initial analysis goes well the business group would then conduct an environmental review of the site and deal with the large number of agencies who have jurisdiction over it.

Boxer said the A’s currently have said they aren’t interested in building a stadium on the site but the business group hopes that if their initial analysis is promising the baseball team “will find that the site is workable.”

He said, “This is a 50-acre site on the waterfront and there are many baseball teams that would love to have the opportunity to build a stadium that’s next to shopping, like we have at Jack London Square, Amtrak, a ferry terminal and bus and BART service.”

An A’s spokesman wasn’t immediately available for comment on the possibility of building a stadium at the Howard Terminal site.

Boxer said, “Our goal is to have the A’s stay in Oakland and if they want to commit to the Oakland Coliseum area God bless them. We just think this site is better.”

The Oakland A’s will kick off their 2014 season at the Oakland Coliseum Monday evening with a game against the Cleveland Indians. They are currently playing a three-game exhibition series against the San Francisco Giants..


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