Oakland As

Oakland City Council Expresses Support For A's Stadium Plan

Carrie Hodousek
June 12, 2019 - 10:31 pm

OAKLAND — A pair of state bills in connection with the A’s new ballpark proposal has been endorsed by Oakland City Council.

In a special meeting at City Hall Wednesday, members voted to amend state legislation to build the new basebal stadium at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square. 

The bills in question are AB 1191, which would streamline the permitting process, and SB 293, which would allow the creation of a new tax district to help cover millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.

The Oakland A's proposal includes building 3,000 units of luxury housing, a 400-room hotel, office and retail space in addition to the construction of a 34,000-seat ballpark.

Members of the East Oakland Stadium Alliance are against the idea, fearing the project will burden taxpayers and impact thousands of jobs and the city’s seaport, which is the third busiest port on the West Coast.

Andy Garcia, chairman of the board at container transporter GSC Logistics said during a Wednesday rally outside City Hall it’s not about baseball, it’s about a real estate deal.

“None of us can afford $4 million condos,” he said. “This is not for the people of Oakland. This is not for the workers of Oakland. This is specifically for the rich people who own the A’s.”

Other opponents like Mike Jacob with Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said it’s a one of a kind property that can’t be replaced.

“You can build a ballpark anywhere," Jacob said. You can’t build a port anywhere."

During the public hearing, many voiced their support for speeding up the process.

“The other teams are leaving. The A’s need to stay. We need to make that happen. There’s a lot of jobs. It’s support important that we protect the workers of Oakland,” said a union representative for employees at Oracle Arena and the Colisium.

The A’s passed a big hurdle last month when the Oakland Port Commission voted to approve their plan.

The final nod will need to come from City Council, but members said they want more answers when it comes to transportation and financial options. The council is expected to vote on the ballpark plan at a later date.

The team hopes to play ball by 2023.