Thursday was a great day for the future of Athletics baseball in Oakland, as the Oakland City Council voted 6-2 in favor to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the A’s quest to build a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal in Oakland.
But what, exactly, does that mean?
NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil breaks down the significance of Thursday's vote -- which is all very positive.
"Last night was huge for the city of Oakland, and also the A's," Brazil said.
"There are two ways to look at it -- in the past, and also in the future. In 2017 or 2018 when this process started putting together the EIR, since then, thousands of hours, many more thousands of dollars and effort have been put into this project by the city and by the Oakland A's. You knew even back then this was part of the process that could either keep it going, or this is something that could have completely been a roadblock. If there were things logistically impossible with this site or infrastructure surrounding it at Howard Terminal, this could have been something that sunk the entire project.
"If this document were not ironclad, if it did not consider everything, this could have been a break for Howard Terminal -- this could have been a bust. Instead, it's passed, 6-2. This is now certified by the city of Oakland."
But this is not the final step. There are still more hurdles to clear in the future and steps to take in order for the Howard Terminal ballpark to become a reality.
There are still four applications filed by the A's that need to be reviewed: general plan amendment and re-zoning, planned unit development, a tentative tract map, and a development agreement which includes community benefits.
Regardless of the steps and votes that remain, Thursday was another crucial step in keeping the A's in Oakland for the long term.
"Last night's vote -- if that doesn't happen, we're not talking about Howard Terminal anymore," Brazil said.
"It did happen, the process continues. Hopefully, this vote last night carries momentum to these other things that also need to be approved."