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Oakland Mayor Backs Negotiation Window With A’s

Oakland A's

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf is calling for exclusive negotiation windows with the Oakland A’s for Howard Terminal and the Oakland Coliseum, a move that could give the team more time to decide its preferred new ballpark site. To this point, the A’s have not settled on their preferred site for a new ballpark. Howard Terminal, the Coliseum, and a location near Laney College have been in the mix for some time. However, momentum seems to have shifted toward Howard Terminal and the Coliseum since discussions with the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees collapsed in December.

As the A’s continue to consider their options, Schaaf is supporting an idea that would allow the team to enter into exclusive negotiation windows for Howard Terminal and the Coliseum. Additional approval will be needed to trigger the exclusive negotiation windows, but that move would effectively prevent other developers from obtaining either property before the A’s make their final decision. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:

Schaaf announced her plans to seek the agreements as she stood next to A’s President Dave Kaval on the rooftop of City Hall, where they were raising an A’s flag to mark the start of baseball season.

Sign-off on the exclusive negotiating agreements would need to come from the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors for the Coliseum site, and from the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners for the waterfront terminal site. Both votes could happen as early as April.

On Monday, the A’s offered to buy the Coliseum site from the city in exchange for paying off the outstanding debt owed by Oakland and Alameda County — some $135 million. The team made the offer after getting word that Oakland officials were in talks with other developers for the 130-acre parcel, which includes the Coliseum and Oracle Arena.

The mayor said entering into the exclusive talks would “double our chances” of keeping the A’s in town. She said the city would push for a deal that benefits the community and doesn’t hurt taxpayers.

If the A’s are able to move forward with discussions for Howard Terminal and the Coliseum, it would give them more time to consider two distinct sites. The waterfront Howard Terminal could serve as a more scenic location that is closer to downtown Oakland, but the site has long been surrounded by questions that includes concerns about accessibility and wind conditions. The Coliseum, meanwhile will likely be the center of redevelopment talks at some point. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders, the A’s Coliseum co-tenant, are set for a move to Las Vegas in 2020, while the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are poised to leave Oracle Arena for a new arena in San Francisco in 2019.

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