It remains “Howard Terminal or bust” for several important figures when it comes to a future waterfront ballpark for the Athletics.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf herself mirrored what A’s president Dave Kaval said recently. Schaaf also appeared optimistic this project would happen and offered updates ahead of the City Council vote on July 20.
“Howard Terminal or bust, baby,” Schaaf told NBC Sports California on A’s Pregame Live on Friday before the opener of the Bay Bridge Series against the Giants. “I love the ballpark proposal. It’s beautiful, it’s transformative, it’s going to keep our Oakland A’s rooted in Oakland where they belong, but more importantly, it’s going to benefit Oakland and the region for generations to come.”
Schaaf mentioned affordable housing and transportation improvements as benefits for the possible new stadium located at Jack London Square in Oakland.
“A part of our waterfront that no longer can be used as a container port business as we’ve expanded our port to the outer harbor, the deeper water,” Schaaf added. “It’s time to get people on to that beautiful land, the beautiful parks that will be part of this project -- just something for everybody. I am so excited about making this happen.”
MLB gave the A's their blessing to begin exploring relocation possibilities because the local government’s pursuit of the waterfront ballpark was taking longer than anticipated.
NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil held up a copy of Exhibit F, the financial portion of the ballpark proposal and wanted to know if it was enough information for the City Council to vote on come July 20 (on the council’s agenda) or if more revisions and conversations were needed before the vote on that date.
“Honestly that’s not the document that I plan to bring to the city council,” Schaaf said. “We have been working really hard on something that we all agree on, that we feel comfortable is possible for our taxpayers, really make sure the project pays for the project, and that this project includes those incredible community benefits that support not just the A”s and the A’s fans, but all the different activities and economics in that part of the city.”
Schaaf said they will reveal a new and improved finance sheet that everyone should be happy with. The original proposal that was presented includes $450 million of community benefits.
The July 20 vote stems from the City Council sending a letter to MLB about negotiating with the A’s organization and is “ready to explore the request for the waterfront ballpark.”