That’s Amaury News and Commentary: WWII took Six Years, A’s and City of Oakland since 2001

Artist’s rendering of an Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark at Jack London Square in Oakland, the A’s say they will listen to Oakland Mayor Schaff and the City of Oakland and try and work with them on their offer for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal (image from Curbed SF)

WWII took Six years, A’s and City of Oakland since 2001

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–On Friday, Libby Schaaf Mayor of Oakland, said the City of Oakland agreed to resume talks about the proposed new Howard Terminal ballpark with the Oakland A’s if the A’s agree to its conditions as a starting point. The A’s declined to make a comment. Refreshing our collective memories, this effort to build a new park did not began just a couple of years ago.

In 2001 NHK Sports Inc had three (3) sites in Oakland proposed for the new A’s ballpark. Uptown Oakland neighborhood, the Oakland Coliseum, the Howard Terminal, plus one outside of Oakland (20 miles south) in Fremont, which quickly struck-out.

Negotiations/Talks have been going on since 2001 to the present. That is 20 years of talking between all parties in the saga to keep the A’s in Oakland. In 2001 Jerry Brown was the Mayor of Oakland, later Ron Dellums followed by Jean Quan and since 2015 to date by Libby Schaaf. The Second World War began in 1939 and ended in 1945, about six years.

Since the latest vote on July 20 by the City of Oakland, both sides have “rested” from renegotiating the construction of the 34,000 seat Howard Terminal ballpark. Since then Mr. David Kaval, President of the Athletics has visited Las Vegas multiple times, looking for sites in the desert.

There are still a lot of issues to be resolved. Will the A’s provide hundreds of affordable homes as required by Oakland city law, plus millions of dollars out of their own pockets, which will benefit the community? There is no guarantee.

In April the Oakland Athletics non-binding financial sheet, asked the city to create two tax assessment district, one financing improvements like streets, sidewalks and cleanup of the soil to prepare for the construction on the 55-acre Howard Terminal side, plus a village of 3,000 homes, offices, hotels, performing arts center, parks and open spaces. Alameda County is needed to help cover cost of the infrastructure. The A’s believe about $860 million would be generated from property tax growth by the project.

However, The City of Oakland promised to seek state and federal funds to pay the A’s the $352 million they need for all the off-site improvements.

That offer came as a surprise to Mr.Kaval and the A’s and the team would need to review it before deciding to continue with negotiations. The City of Oakland will be able to renew and consider voting on the request by September. Will this be enough to strike a deal?

The current lease with the Oakland Coliseum expires in 2024. I consider myself a positive man, but after 20 years it presents a tremendous challenge to A’s fans and obviously the Commissioner of Baseball who already ran out of patience and gave permission to the Athletics to look elsewhere.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s Spanish radio flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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