Oakland City Council approves own term sheet for A's new stadium at Howard Terminal

ByAmy Hollyfield, J.R. Stone, and Leslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Oakland City Council passes own term sheet for A's new ballpark
The Oakland City Council has voted to pass their own term sheet to continue negotiations with the A's for a new stadium at Howard Terminal.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tuesday Oakland City councilmembers voted on and approved their own non-binding financial plan for a new waterfront stadium for the Oakland Athletics, but the team said it was a swing and a miss.

A's president Dave Kaval said while progress has been made in negotiations, the plan the City Council voted on Tuesday afternoon is something that doesn't work for his team.

VIDEO: A's president Dave Kaval says July 20 vote is 'last at-bat' for team in Oakland

Oakland A's President Dave Kaval sat down with ABC7 News to talk about the future of the organization in the Bay Area and what happens next.

He says the proposal the A's brought to the council wasn't even voted on.

"We were disappointed that the city did not actually vote on our proposal or the one we agreed on today," said Kaval.

But in a press conference Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf came out swinging in support of the approved term sheet.

"We are doing everything we can to meet their deadlines," said Schaaf who went on to say that she and others have been working hard behind the scenes as late as Monday, on a stadium and development deal, "We are very close, in full agreement with the A's."

But as the mayor said that, Kaval told ABC7 News that the A's aren't even fully aware of everything within the approved city plan.

"We're very focused on understanding and unpacking what was voted 'yes' on today because it was something we had never seen, and so that could be a good thing or bad thing, we need to dig in and really analyze all aspects of that," said Kaval.

VIDEO: A's president explains key pieces of Oakland's new proposal, next steps

Athletic's President Dave Kaval unpacks Oakland's proposal for a possible Howard Terminal stadium.

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said the City Council's amendments addressed the A's biggest concern, which was having to pay for offsite transportation infrastructure improvements.

About 1,000 people watched the meeting virtually and about 100 commented publicly before the vote. Six councilmembers voted "aye" for the city's proposal while Councilmember Noel Gallo voted "no" and Councilmember Carroll Fife abstained.

VIDEO: Oakland officials express frustration over A's response to term sheet

As the A's have indicated they will possibly visit a site for a ballpark in Las Vegas this week, councilmember Gallo responded by saying "we are looking for a waterfront ballpark in Las Vegas? There ain't no waterfront."

"I don't know where we go from here after doing somersaults, after receiving insults, after being disrespected," said councilmember Fife.

Mayor Libby Schaaf says that in Tuesday's approved agreement, the city assumes responsibility for the off-site transportation and infrastructure improvements, but says the primary issue that is still in negotiations is funding for the community benefits fund.

The city also increased the A's affordable housing commitment requirement from 30 to 35 percent, with 15 percent, or nearly 450 affordable housing units, required on site. The mayor even taking aim at Vegas, saying Oakland can't be rivaled.

"Oakland offers something that no other city in the world can offer. The views from Howard Terminal are equal to none. And yes it is true, it is 104 degrees in Las Vegas today and it is a nice 72 degrees here in Oakland," said Schaaf.

ABC7 News Sports Director Larry Beil and ABC7 News Contributor Phil Matier discuss the new proposal made from the City of Oakland to the Athletics.

As the A's have indicated they will possibly visit a site for a ballpark in Las Vegas this week, councilmember Gallo responded by saying "we are looking for a waterfront ballpark in Las Vegas? There ain't no waterfront."

The anger was reflected in some of those who spoke out at the public hearing.

"The A's are like an abusive boyfriend and you need to stand up to them," said one woman.

RELATED: A's fans fear losing 3rd Oakland team, say 'we'd be the laughing stock of the nation'

Another Oakland resident added, "This is a billionaire looting the city."

Others, however, clung to hope saying, "The A's are part of Oakland's identity."

Mayor Libby Schaaf, Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas and Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan released the joint statement below after the council's vote:

"Today's vote by the City Council marks a milestone in our mission to keep the A's rooted in Oakland and build a world-class waterfront ballpark district that will benefit the community for generations to come.

Based on our extensive negotiations, shared values and shared vision, we believe the A's can and should agree to the terms approved by the City Council today. This is the path to keeping the A's Rooted in Oakland in a way that protects our Port and tax payers and will produce the benefits our community demands and deserves.

We look forward to continue working with the A's to address their remaining concerns and to focus now on developing a final Environmental Report and binding Development Agreement that address the complex details of this visionary project."

VIDEO: 'Where they belong': Bay Area sports fans make it known, they want A's to stay in Oakland

Amid possible relocation efforts, the message is loud and clear. Bay Area sports fans don't want to lose the A's, the last remaining pro team in Oakland.

If the Athletics were to depart the city of Oakland, it would leave the town as a professional sports desert, once a thriving symbol of passionate neighborhood fandom.

"I grew up, I have gone to games at this stadium since I was a little girl," said longtime A's fan Rhonda Morris. "It hurts my heart deeply. I was in high school when the Raiders left and I was here when they came back. Envisioning Oakland without a sports team is not even something I can imagine."

Another proposed idea is to rebuild at the current site of the Oakland Coliseum. It would be a cheaper alternative and would help avoid using taxpayer money, which the city has said it does not want to do. Conversely, the Oakland A's leadership has said that option is not on the table.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.