OAKLAND (BCN/KPIX) — Lawmakers in Oakland voted to support a plan to build a “world-class ballpark” in the East Bay, Tuesday night.
Alameda County supervisors voted to help finance the Howard Terminal Project. In a 4-to-1 vote, they approved a non-binding resolution to contribute future tax revenue to help the team pay for parks, affordable housing and other infrastructure.READ MORE: Shoppers Welcome Heighten Police Presence In Downtown Walnut Creek
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement saying, “Tonight’s vote by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is a historic action that creates a clear path to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and build a world-class waterfront ballpark district that will benefit bay area residents for generations to come.”
The East Oakland Stadium Alliance said they were disappointed in the Board for giving into pressure from Oakland and the A’s team, though grateful that the policymakers acknowledged concerns of affordable housing and other resources that the county needs.
“The Board should not commit millions of public tax dollars toward a private project that will displace West Oakland residents, put thousands of working-class union port jobs at risk, and jeopardize the county’s long-term financial stability,” the organization said in a statement. “We are confident that upon having additional time to do a thorough analysis the Board will come to understand the overwhelming negative implications of this proposal and decline to move forward.”
The chances of Oakland keeping professional baseball in town seemed to be slipping Tuesday afternoon as the Alameda County Board of Supervisors debated whether to join the city of Oakland in providing public financing the new A’s ballpark.
Alameda County supervisors heard hours of public comment on the plans for the new waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal.
This past summer, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred turned up the heat, saying if the Howard Terminal site isn’t approved, the A’s should begin looking for other cities to move to.
Team officials had already met with Las Vegas city leaders more than once to discuss a possible move that would have the Athletics following the Raiders to Sin City.READ MORE: Police Officers Denied Service At San Francisco Restaurant Triggering Social Media Debate
The struggle over Howard Terminal became a billion dollar game of chicken leaving loyal A’s fans wondering whether there is any way Alameda County politicians will support the plan.
Mayor Schaaf said last week that county participation in the ballpark development is necessary for the city to move forward with it. But supervisors were reluctant Tuesday afternoon to decide without more information.
“There is a long laundry list of unknowns,” board President Keith Carson said.
He did not want to step out on faith and commit hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue, even though the revenue would materialize due to the project.
He questioned key assumptions used by the economic consultants hired by the city to estimate the future benefits to the county.
One assumption was the continuation of measures AA, C and W, which the consultant assumed would occur. Carson said those measures will sunset while the county is being asked to county is being asked to commit to a 45-year project.
Schaaf was optimistic last week that the supervisors would vote and vote “yes” on the city’s “declaration of willingness,” a term she coined Tuesday afternoon when the county seemed unhappy with the city’s original wording in a resolution.
The A’s ballpark proposal includes a new baseball stadium seating about 35,000 people, about 1.8 million square feet of commercial space, a hotel with about 400 rooms, about 3,000 residential units and a performance venue seating about 3,500 people located at the Charles P. Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.MORE NEWS: Long Lines Form Outside San Mateo Event Center COVID-19 Vaccination Site
City officials sought a ballpark development with the A’s that was 100 percent privately financed, but have conceded that public financing is necessary.