No last-minute deal as A’s, Oakland face symbolic showdown vote on Tuesday

OAKLAND — City officials and the Oakland A’s did some last-minute negotiating Monday to keep the team’s waterfront ballpark plan on track, but neither side appeared ready to budge on the financial blueprint to set it into play.

Although both sides indicated they were willing to resume talks before the City Council meets Tuesday morning to consider the A’s non-binding financial term sheet for the $12 billion ballpark and village project, there was no indication that the sides had come to an agreement on several key details.

For the A’ s, the council vote will signal whether the city is willing to do all it can to keep the team in Oakland, which already has seen the Raiders and then the Golden State Warriors leave. For the city, the stakes are also high as it tries to balance the team’s interest with those of taxpayers while making sure it gets affordable housing and community benefits out of the deal.

“The city and the A’s are continuing their dialogue today with the shared goal to make a world-class ballpark a reality,” Justin Berton, a spokesman for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, said in a text on Monday.

“The city will continue to advocate for a proposal that supports and serves Oakland and our entire region, provides affordable housing, public parks, great jobs and other direct benefits for the community — all without risk to our Port, our taxpayers, or the City or County’s general fund,” he added.

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.”

Even if the council approves the team’s term sheet, many more steps lie ahead — including the completion of an environmental impact report — before construction equipment can start rolling in to clear the way for a 35,000-seat ballpark and a mixed-used development of 3,000 homes, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of mixed retail, a 3,500-seat performance theater, 400 hotel rooms and about 18 acres of parks and open space at Howard Terminal, which is part of the Port of Oakland near Jack London Square.

But the A’s want the city to at least bless its term sheet for financing the streets, sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses and other improvements needed to support the Howard Terminal project and access to the 55-acre site.

Lacking such a clear signal, Kaval has said the team intends to ratchet up its efforts to find their ideal ballpark in another city, with Las …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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