On Tuesday, the Athletics received instruction from Major League Baseball to pursue possible relocation sites for the team outside of Oakland. This was on the heels of the organization struggling with its plan to build the waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal as quickly as initially desired.
A’s president Dave Kaval has been at the forefront of this project from the beginning, and gave an updated status on what needs to be done in order to continue the plans for a new ballpark.
“We really want to get a vote in front of the city council,” Kaval told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil on Tuesday. “Even with that, we still need to look at what other options exist beyond Oakland just to have other options as an organization for the good of baseball, for our community and understanding where our future is as a franchise.”
The A’s current lease at the Oakland Coliseum is set to expire in 2024.
Kaval added that it does not make sense to build a new stadium at the existing Coliseum site -- the only way the A's will stay in Oakland is by building at Howard Terminal.
“It’s either Howard [Terminal] or bust for Oakland,” Kaval said. “We’re going to do everything we can to keep advancing that. I think it’s important that people recognize that -- that’s not just us, that’s the league as well.”
The A’s presented a proposal, which included $450 million of community benefits, to the Oakland City Council. But that has not been acted upon yet.
Kaval is hopeful the A’s will receive more clarity on the next steps in the next two-to-four months.
“We’ve been working closely with the league and [MLB commissioner] Rob Manfred and his team, updating them on our progress and really the timeline of what we’re trying to accomplish here in Oakland,” Kaval added.
Kaval says there has been success so far with the Port of Oakland and the Governor of California backing the project. He’s also spent every waking moment trying to make the waterfront ballpark a reality.
“I think the reality is we need a decision in Oakland,” Kaval added. “We spent four years under my leadership spending time, effort, treasure -- whatever you want to call it -- to make it happen, and we’re at the point where we need to know.”
Nashville, Tenn., Portland, Ore. and Las Vegas, Nev. all have been rumored possibilities as future A’s locations.
“It’s hard to say how that’s going to pan out,” Kaval said. “We’re going to work closely with the league to identify markets we even consider. We’ll work with them in a collaborative fashion in order to approach that effectively."
“The time is now to get this figured out one way or the other,” Kaval said. “We know that’s scary for some of our fans because it brings up the possibility of moving, but those things are real possibilities and I think most people just need to understand that we’re not going to build a ballpark at the Coliseum -- as some people have always thought would be a fallback, we have a great plan at the waterfront -- we hope gets approved and we want to continue to work with Oakland on that, but also we’re going to take the advice of the league and in parallel look at other markets and understand what that would look like as well.”