Athletics

Kaval calls Oakland's term sheet proposal a 'step backwards'

Athletics
Dave Kaval

With just three full days left until the Oakland City Council is scheduled the vote on the Howard Terminal project on Tuesday, July 20, it's clear the A's and the city are far apart on a deal to make the waterfront ballpark a reality.

The city of Oakland released its term sheet for the project Friday and it was quickly rejected by A's team president Dave Kaval.

Kaval explained to NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil and Dave Stewart on Friday why the city's term sheet doesn't work for the A's.

"Well, it's really a step backwards," Kaval said on "A's Pregame Live" on Friday. "It lacks any details on who pays for the off-site infrastructure. It has additional taxing measures like the condo transfer tax. So we remain pretty far apart with the city with only a couple days to go before the vote on the 20th. So I think we're really hopeful at this point that the city council votes on our proposal that we made public in April, and that would be a great path forward for the new waterfront ballpark."

Kaval said the two sides are engaged in marathon negotiating sessions, with different members of each staff sitting down at the table as they try to hammer out a term sheet both sides can agree on.

"We're spending a great deal of time on it," Kaval told Brazil and Stewart. "And it's important to remember that this is something that's been going on for almost 18 months, this negotiation. So we're really at the point where some of these things are public policy decisions. You know, does the city want to see a waterfront ballpark? Does the city want to have an off-site IFD? And we really need to get an indication if that's a yes or no."

 

As Brazil wrote Friday, there are three main sticking points regarding the term sheets: One or two Infrastructure Financing Districts, a 20- or 25-year non-relocation commitment and the city of Oakland asking for over $400 million in a community benefits package.

The A's proposed a 20-year non-relocation commitment, while the city of Oakland asked for a 25-year commitment Friday. The A's have stated they would be willing to do a 30-year agreement if that's what it takes.

"I think we've made progress on the non-relocation, on getting to something that works for both sides," Kaval told Brazil and Stewart. "But I think the areas where we have the bigger gap are obviously with the off-site infrastructure and some of the additional taxes, like the condo tax and the transportation fee taxes. Those are the things we're going to continue to discuss to see if we can get to something that makes sense and we're obviously continuing to fight hard to get to a proposal that works for the A's that could be voted on on Tuesday."

As of Friday night, it's unclear which term sheet the Oakland City Council will vote on Tuesday. Brazil asked Kaval what he would think if the city council either voted on their own term sheet or voted on the current A's term sheet but voted no on it.

"Well, I think that would be really sad after everything that's gone into this," Kaval said. "And I just think it would be an incredible opportunity that they will have let slip through their fingertips. And I'm just hopeful that we don't have to entertain that option."

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Time is running out for the two sides to strike a deal. The A's already are exploring Las Vegas a potential relocation site, and Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf believes MLB could open up six other cities if a ballpark deal isn't worked out in Oakland.

"We really need to know on Tuesday," Kaval said. "We've been clear for months that this is a critical date for us. We're running out of time at the Coliseum. We only have a lease through 2024. It's 10 years past its useful life. We need to come to some type of resolution that works for everyone. We have a plan. We have a plan where we are paying for our new ballpark with all these community benefits and all these positive attributes. We just need it voted on."