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No last-minute changes: A’s ballpark vote set for today

Oakland A'sDespite some last-minute negotiations, the Oakland City Council will move forward with a nonbinding vote on a new-ballpark term sheet already decried by Athletics President Dave Kaval as being unacceptable.

We covered the issues with the term sheet presented by Oakland and the two areas of disagreement between the team and the city. These are some pretty big issues: whether a new tax district should be established outside the ballpark development area to benefit said project, and whether the A’s will follow local and state guidelines regarding community development and affordable housing. The city opposes a second tax district; the A’s want a waiver to the local and state guidelines.

So, despite some last-minute negotiations that yielded little change, the City Council will proceed with a vote. As noted, this is a nonbinding vote, and despite the importance the Athletics are placing on the vote, it’s merely the first step of many in what’s already been a drawn-out process. (Big projects take big time.) Alameda County still needs to sign off on any deal, an environmental report still needs to be reviewed, and any final deal needs to be approved by the city as well. From the Mercury News:

A’s President Dave Kaval confirmed he and city officials met via Zoom, but just as he did on Friday, he cast the discussions in a darker light than the mayor’s office, saying the two sides remain “far apart” on key points.

“We are growing increasingly concerned that the council is going to vote on something that doesn’t match what we’ve proposed,” Kaval told this news organization in a phone interview.

For the city to counter with its own terms for financing the project’s infrastructure and dictating other conditions without the team’s buy-in “is not an effective path forward,” Kaval said. Nevertheless, he added, “my phone is open.”

No matter what happens, the A’s are still planning another Vegas run to once again seek a partner there on a new ballpark. Meanwhile, we have another potential suitor for the A’s: Sacramento city officials and business leaders say they’re ready to make a run for the team.

To review: the A’s have proposed a $12-billion development at the downtown Howard Terminal waterfront site. The proposal, first unveiled three years ago, calls for a Howard Terminal waterfront development that, according to the team, will feature $12 billion in private investment, including a billion dollars for a new 35,000-capacity ballpark to replace the Coliseum. The development would also include 3,000 units of housing, as well as 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of retail space, a 400-room hotel, 18 acres of parkland and an estimated $450 million in community benefits. Also, the team would buy the remaining half interest in the Coliseum site it does not own and redevelop that area as well–but that’s not a done deal, either.

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