A's Seek Exclusive Negotiations For Howard Terminal Ballpark Site
Port of Oakland commissioners tomorrow "will vote on whether to enter into exclusive negotiations" with the A’s to build a ballpark at Howard Terminal, the "first step in a yearlong review of the property," according to David DeBolt of the EAST BAY TIMES. The one-year pact, "known as an exclusive negotiating agreement, allows the A’s to study the economic potential and environmental issues at the 50-acre property near Jack London Square." As part of the agreement, the A’s "will pay the port $100,000." A's President Dave Kaval and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf last month announced that the team "would also enter into a similar agreement with the city of Oakland to assess" the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site. Kaval said, “At this point it’s really critical to preserve as many options as possible in Oakland.” If approved, the exclusive negotiating agreement "would be the second time a group studied building" a ballpark at Howard Terminal. In '14, an "effort led by a team of Oakland businessmen, the Oakland Waterfront Ballpark, was rejected" by A’s Chair Emeritus Lew Wolff. Wolff said that the waterfront plan "was not feasible." MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has toured Howard Terminal, and Kaval said that Manfred has "been supportive" of the dual ballpark search (EAST BAY TIMES, 4/25). In S.F., Ron Leuty noted the Howard Terminal site "offers stunning views but challenges as well." Cleanup of contamination at the "onetime maritime container terminal" has been a "long-running issue for any potential developer and transporting thousands of fans and those coming to the stadium for other events from BART stations closer to downtown." The list of people backing Howard Terminal "now includes Schaaf, who has steadfastly pointed the A's to the waterfront site." The exclusive negotiating agreement "can run a maximum of 30 months" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/23).