Oakland Port Commission Set To Vote On A's Ballpark Plan
The Oakland Port Commission will vote on the tentative term sheet for the A’s waterfront ballpark plan on May 13, and if approved, the team would have "four years to complete" an environmental impact report and "get the needed land use approvals from state and local agencies before they can reach a land lease deal with the port," according to Phil Matier of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Bar pilots had "expressed concerns that the ballpark’s lights and fans in boats could be safety hazards." The pilots were also worried the development would "limit the future expansion of the basin to accommodate ever-bigger cargo ships." The agreement, however, is "only preliminary." The port has the "right to reject or modify the project based on the findings of the upcoming environmental impact report," where concerns being raised by neighboring maritime businesses "will be addressed." A's President Dave Kaval said that the team "hopes to have the EIR 'on the street' by summer and is still shooting to start building" in '21 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/5).
HOLD UP: In San Jose, Daniel Borenstein noted the A’s, after claiming the team would "privately finance its new ballpark, could receive a taxpayer subsidy worth tens of millions of dollars." The A’s are the third professional sports team, after the Warriors and the Raiders, "planning to leave" the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site. This frees up that 120-acre parcel, co-owned by the city and Alameda County, "for development." Kaval -- along with city and county officials -- "keeps pretending that his team is entitled to cut to the front of the bidding line and develop the Coliseum land -- that the A’s have some sort of inherent entitlement and social responsibility to develop the parcel." But there is "no rational reason to tie those two together -- except to implement Kaval’s apparent plan to reap a profit off the Coliseum property at taxpayer expense to help subsidize the new Howard Terminal park." In other words, "despite his insistence that his new ballpark will be privately financed, taxpayers will pay part of the bill" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 5/2).