Commissioners signed off on a deal that would let the ball club perform environmental studies and seek permits to build the privately financed ballpark at Howard Terminal.
The Board of Port Commissioners have voted 7-0 to approve a term sheet between the Port of Oakland and the Oakland A’s outlining terms for the possible development by the A’s of approximately 50 acres of Port property at Howard Terminal. #WeAreRooted pic.twitter.com/E8C5J4o4zH— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 13, 2019
Oakland A's President Dave Kaval Couldn't have been more pleased with today's vote.
"It's a great day for Oakland, a great day for the Oakland A's with a 7-0 unanimous vote to build a new privately financed ballpark here at the waterfront," he said.
But before the vote, Kaval was still working the crowd, gathering public support that he hoped to take into the hearing with him-- with the help of A's legends Ricky Henderson, Shooty Babitt and Bip Roberts.
Oakland Port Commission preparing to hear public comment on Oakland A’s plan to build a new stadium at Howard Terminal. pic.twitter.com/sdJH0YFGXG— Eric Thomas (@ericthomaskgo) May 13, 2019
Roberts told the crowd, "As we are Oakland, we are rooted here and we want the best. So again, together we're going to make this happen."
Just a pop fly away, the main group opposing the stadium project held a rally of their own.
Melvin Mackay, President of Longshore Workers Union Local 10 said, "This yard is a maritime yard, it's for maritime use only."
While Longshoremen protest plans for a new Oakland A’s Stadium at Howard Terminal, the team is holding its own rally less then 100 yards away. pic.twitter.com/XVCzRJDLJW— Eric Thomas (@ericthomaskgo) May 13, 2019
The stadium plan also includes condos and low-income housing. Mayor Libby Schaaf is onboard.
"The project will benefit the environment, the economy, our workforce and most of all Oakland residents," she said.
Inside the port commission meeting, each side lobbied hard for a vote their way. Kaval told commissioners the project will add hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy and create thousands of jobs and they urged commissioners to vote yes.
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"Something that comes along really just once in a generation-- to this type of private investment in this part of the city," he said.
But Longshoremen say the site is contaminated and must be cleaned up, and they fear members losing their jobs. Veteran Longshoreman Clarence Thomas had this warning for the commission.
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"This is a defining moment for you and you're going to be held accountable," he said.
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