Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Will latest lawsuit be the one to stop A’s move to Howard Terminal?

Oakland A’s team president David Kaval in green shirt said that the lawsuit filed by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association could stop the Howard Terminal project (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 Bay Conservation and Development Commission who voted for the Howard Terminal project is now facing a lawsuit brought on by the East Oakland Stadium Alliance and Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, the Harbor Trucking Association and the California Trucking Association the plaintiffs say that the vote by the BCDC was too fast with not enough thought process going into the project.

#2 Pacific Merchant lawyer and vice president Mike Jacob said that the A’s are only interested in doing something fast where the plaintiffs want to do something right.

#3 MLB and David Kaval the A’s team president have made it clear if the A’s don’t get to move to Howard Terminal there headed to Las Vegas and Kaval stated that he has visited several potential sites and said that it’s easy to build in Vegas than in Oakland.

#4 Jerry, with the trades of Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino how much of a setback will it be for Oakland going forward.

#5 For today’s fourth and final contest in Anaheim going for the A’s Paul Blackburn (6-6, 4.15) and for the Angels Janson Junk (1-0, 0.00) a 12:07 pm PDT fist pitch.

Join Jerry for the A’s podcasts Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Decision on A’s future in Oakland comes up on Jun 30th with BCDC vote

Artist rendition of a Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark located at Jack London Square in downtown Oakland which is the A’s first choice to remain in Oakland (image from the San Francisco Chronicle file)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s and the city of Oakland are nearing the final stages of knowing if a new ballpark in Oakland is going to happen. The A’s have been searching for a new home for decades now, and it appears that the future will be determined this summer or fall.

Recently, the biggest hurdle that needs to be cleared by the A’s is a binding vote from the SF Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC). This group has a say in if the land at Howard Terminal can change designations from port use to be developed by the A’s.

This is a step the A’s must clear if the hope of remaining in Oakland is to remain intact. If the commission votes to not change the designation that would signal the end of the A’s in Oakland.

On Thursday, the commission held an eight-hour meeting in which many community members and officials for both the A’s and the city spoke.

A’s president Dave Kaval spoke on many of the issues and features of the project. For the city, mayor Libby Schaff and others spoke about the positive impact of the project and maintained that the port would not be hindered by the project.

The rubber will hit the road on June 30th when the commission will hold the binding vote to either grant or deny the change. They will determine if the A’s leave Oakland or move forward to keep the club in the East Bay.

If the vote fails it is almost certain the A’s will be moving to Las Vegas. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has seemed to green-light the A’s to explore the new location. The A’s have already begun to explore the new location and began looking at sites and negotiating with the city.

A’s fans hope the vote is affirmative for the A’s to continue to move forward with the waterfront ballpark.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: The Oakland to Las Vegas Shuttle

Artists rendition of the inside of a retractable roofed Las Vegas Oakland A’s stadium as A’s vice president David Kaval and A’s front office staff returned from a visit to Vegas finalizing sites for the A’s in event they don’t get the Howard Terminal project (Artist rendition image from bleedcubbieblue.com)

The Oakland To Las Vegas Shuttle

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–Dave Kaval, President of the Oakland A’s was in Las Vegas last week for meeting with area landowners. The A’s down to two possible locations, and Kaval said the hopes of announcing a final site soon. 

Steve Hill, CEO and President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said that although a room tax is off the table, there are other means that could benefit the A’s if the team relocates to Las Vegas. Public assistance could be made available to help lure the team to Sin City.

Mr.Kaval has been made aware as he met with Mr.Hill, but the A’s, they do not want to negotiate in public.   Earlier this month, the A’s had a list of five possible ballpark sites, so the elimination of three indicates the process could wrap up soon.

What’s new for Las Vegas -The possibility of public assistance made available is important since throughout the year most state and local politicians seem to oppose using public money to help fund the A’s ballpark. But know, a change of strategy.

On deck- June 30 a key vote by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission which would allow the project to proceed. If this vote doesn’t get the approval, Oakland is basically out of gas. If it gets a positive vote, the next step is for the city of Oakland to come to terms with the Oakland A’s on a development agreement.

How about the lawsuits?  On April 4, 2022. Three separate lawsuits were filed in Alameda County Superior Court by Union Pacific Railroad, The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority and a coalition that includes the East Oakland Stadium Alliance, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Harbor Trucking Association, California Trucking Association, metal-shredding company Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.  The City of Oakland and the Oakland A’s are listed as defendants.

California State law: Under AB 734 which was authored by former Assemblyman Rob Bonta, who is now the state attorney general, any lawsuits challenging the environmental impact report would have to be decided within 270 days of the report getting approved.

That puts the court process on a timeline of nine months from now, or January 2023.

Meanwhile, the Oakland to Las Vegas Shuttle continues…

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Hall of Fame Museum and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Kaval and A’s jump another hurdle as BCDC on board with Howard Terminal project

Artists rendition of Oakland Howard Terminal ballpark as the A’s face several lawsuits regarding environmental and traffic issues after getting assurance from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission who plan to vote in favor of the project on Jun 2. (photo from NBC Sports Bay Area)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 The Bay Conservation and Development Commission who are to vote on Jun 2 on the Howard Terminal ballpark and project development said they will vote to move forward with the project and A’s president Dave Kaval called it a “massive deal.”

#2 Kaval said that with the vote from the Oakland City Council and now with the assurance of the BCDC it looks as if the project has a good chance to move forward.

#3 The East Oakland Stadium Alliance filed a lawsuit said that environmental protocols weren’t followed and that the Alliance wants the ballpark built at the existing location here at the Oakland Coliseum.

#4 Amaury not to mention there are shipping, steel, and the port groups that have filed environmental impact violation lawsuits against the project. The Alliance spokesman says the city process failed to meet environmental standards regarding the luxury condominiums, office and retail development.

#5 Kaval added that removing port designation puts the A’s on a path towards building at Howard Terminal.

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

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Manaea dealt to Padres pitches against old team on day one; Lawsuit against A’s has team seriously looking to Vegas

The Tropicana Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip is being considered for a future destination for the Oakland A’s new ballpark if the A’s and the Howard Terminal project is voted down on Jun 2, 2022 by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)  (photo from troplv.com)

On the A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 The East Bay Alliance who have filed a lawsuit with co plaintiffs Schnitzer Steel, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Harbor Trucking Association, California Trucking Association, International Longshore and the Warehouse Union. At issue is their dispute regarding the California Environmental Impact Quality Act regarding non compliance.

#2 The East Bay Alliance wants the A’s to stay at their current site at the Oakland Coliseum saying that the Coliseum meets all the standards of traffic, public transit, freeway access and plenty of room with no jobs to be concerned about getting cut.

#3 A’s team president David Kaval disputes that notion saying that the East Bay Alliance and the plaintiffs lawsuit is absolutely crazy, “We think they should drop the lawsuit. It’s an odd way to use an environmental law to prevent the environmental review from being completed.”

#4 Meanwhile in spring training at Mesa: Former A’s pitcher Sean Manaea started against the A’s on Sunday after being traded to the San Diego Padres for two prospects Infielder Euribiel Angeles No.12 on their system, plus Adrián Martínez, a pitcher and No.26 prospect. The Athletics also sent minor league pitcher Aaron Holiday with Manaea to San Diego. Former A’s manager and Padres manager said that Manaea could have started with an A’s hat and a Padres jersey.

Join Jerry F for the A’s podcasts every other Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A’s Port of Oakland buildings, railroad and gondola

No word yet on the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ball park but baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is losing patience (artists rendition of Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark image from Piedmont Exedra)

A’s- Port Of Oakland, Buildings, Railroad and Gondola.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

Recently commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred said he is not optimistic about a new deal to keep the team in A’s in Oakland. He made the remarks to the Sports Business Journal and confirmed relocation is on the table for the A’s but not only to Las Vegas but as well to other locations in other cities.

Manfred said that Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s need new ballparks, but reiterated (as he has done in the past) that Oakland is the team right now that concerns him the most. Manfred said (quote) “Frankly, in some ways we’re not sure we see a path to success, in terms of getting something built in Oakland.”

The commissioner is following the situation in Oakland and could be worried about the points listed below, that seems to be on the table between both parties.

Below deals with some of these topics.

-Port of Oakland. How can the ballpark affect the Port of Oakland operations? Concerns that the port needs to expand to accommodate large cargo ships. That this would be more difficult with a baseball stadium at Howard Terminal. Port of Oakland workers have demonstrated in front of the A’s team owner John Fisher in San Francisco as they are against the proposal to build the new stadium at Howard Terminal. Workers say that will displace blue collar jobs.

-Buildings. The Athletics plan calls for Howard Terminal to build one (1) residential tower as high as 600 feet and another at 400 feet tall. These buildings would compete with designs such as the Ordway building, which is 400 feet tall and the tallest building in downtown Oakland. Ordway building is also known as #1 Kaiser Plaza.

-Railroad. The DRC (Oakland Design Review Committee) wants a safe way for the visitors to the park to avoid the railroad tracks altogether. The DRC is concerned with the safety of people to get to the park across the railroad crossings. AMTRAK trains travels right in front of Jack London Square. Note. Union Pacific controls the rails.

-Gondola. In 2019 the Oakland A’s proposed the idea of a gondola to take fans from BART to Howard Terminal. However, this idea was not in the plans and reviewed by the committee. The proposal was to move fans from downtown Oakland to a stadium at Howard Terminal. The fans would be “ferried” via an elevated gondola similar to what you might see at a ski resort to the stadium. Looks like the gondola is a No Go.

Above are some of the key points to be discussed by the Alameda Board of Supervisors this October 26. As of today the official agenda for the meeting still pending and has not been announced to the public.

It seems that Commissioner Rob Manfred, who has put a clock in baseball to ‘speed up’ the game, has also put the A’s on the clock when it comes to the new Howard Terminal ballpark.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A’s Future Uncertain as 2021 Season coming to an End

Oakland A’s team president David Kaval says he was startled when he learned that the Alameda County Council would not vote on tax revenue for the A’s infrastructure and Kaval said it appears to be a no go (file photo Mercury News)

A’s Future Uncertain as 2021 Season coming to an End

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

That’s Amaury Pi-González

The 2021 season is soon coming to an end. The hopes of the Athletics advancing into the playoffs are still depending on the last 30 games or so, when it all will be decided. But the future of the A’s in Oakland might not be decided in the next 30 days. That seems more unclear.

The latest: Alameda County said it is not ready to deliver a vote this month of September. Without their vote (County of Alameda) and their share of taxes revenue, the Oakland city officials have said that not enough money would be generated from the city’s share alone in order to cover the infrastructure costs. The County wants the City of Oakland and the A’s to agree before.

The vote is now delayed or maybe it will never take place. Dave Kaval, President of the Oakland A’s who has now been involved in this endeavor for years said: “We have been speaking to the County of Alameda and we are trying to do our part” “At the end of the day it’s a binary decision. They will be involved or not” and added as he received the letter. “I was startled to receive that and it appears it’s a no go”.

Kaval continues to say that the Athletics organization is working in two different plans, the one to keep the A’s in Oakland and continuing researching a location for the team in Las Vegas. Back in April (when the baseball season was just starting) the A’s asked the city to create two infrastructure financing districts. Both together include pedestrian bridges, traffic upgrades for fans to make it to the ballpark. As well as a village for 3,000 homes, hotels, offices, performing arts space for parks.

From these plans the Oakland A’s were counting on getting reimbursed $844 million over 45 years in bond money for all the infrastructure they would pay upfront. Libby Schaff, the Mayor of Oakland, recently said (for? times) she believes the team will stay in Oakland.

So…around and around it goes, where does it stops nobody knows.

Historical note: Back in the 1930’s, when radio was king, a young 22-year old actor by the name of Orson Wells was the star in The Shadow, an iconic radio show where Well’s was a Super Crime-fighter. A very famous and quotable line from the show: “Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men. Only the Shadow knows…”

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

Dealbreaker on Howard Terminal ballpark: A’s looked for two infrastructure projects Oakland Council gave them only one

Oakland A’s owner John Fisher and team president David Kaval behind the Oakland A’s dugout in undated photo have turned down the Oakland City Council’s offer after they voted yes on Tue Jul 20, 2021 (file photo from Athletics Nation)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Oakland City Council held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the A’s Howard Terminal Development Proposal. The meeting took place at 9 AM local time over zoom.

Tensions were high heading into the meeting on Tuesday. The climate over the development project has been hot since Major Lague Baseball and the Oakland A’s essentially delivered an ultimatum to the city. The ultimatum was essentially, “approve our Howard Terminal ballpark plans or we are leaving town.”

MLB has stated they do not beleive the current site to be viable for the future of the MLB product. This obviously leaves the A’s with little choice but to pursue a more updated model of a downtown ballpark with other amenities.

On Tuesday after the community input section of the meeting, Councilmember Fife asked A’s President Dave Kaval a very direct question to the tune of, “If the current city proposal isn’t in consideration from the A’s what are we doing here?”

The response from Kaval drew mixed responses after the meeting. The A’s appeared very set that the council either vote on the A’s proposal or the A’s were not interested in hearing what they had to say. The council did not do so. Instead, after hours of community input and conversation with the council they decided to vote on the term sheet the city had released on the prior Friday.

One key difference between the two are the number of IFD’s (Infrastructure Financing Districts). The A’s want two in order to pay for the project while the city of Oakland only wants one. The city did appear to make the concesison of adding a BID (Business Improvement District).

However, the A’s did not appear to want to play ball at all with the city on this issue. One concession the city did seem to make is that the A’s would not have to pay for off-site infrastructure. It appears the city is willing to reimburse the A’s through taxes of these costs or at a minimum subsidise them.

The Council voted in a 6-1-1 decision to approve the preliminary term sheet the city put together. All members voted in favor excpet Councilmember Carroll Fife abstained and Councilmember Noel Gallo voted against the project. However, it will prove mute if the A’s refuse to return to the negotiating table on the approved term sheet and not the one the A’s put fourth.

The meeting did not end on an overly optimistic tone as it appears the A’s will not return to the negotiating table. Only the next few days if the A’s are headed out of town or if they are willing to try and get a deal done with the city that involves some compromise.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Oakland City Council Approves Own Term Sheet- Kaval travels to Las Vegas Wednesday

Artist’s rendering of the proposed Howard Terminal ballpark at Jack London Square in Oakland. Oakland City Council submitted a term sheet on Tue Jul 20, 2020 which the Oakland A’s and team president David Kaval rejected (image from lvsportsbiz.com)

Oakland City Council Approves Own Term Sheet -Kaval Travels to Las Vegas Wednesday

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

OAKLAND–In the saga of the Oakland Athletics and the City of Oakland, regarding the construction of a new ballpark at the Howard Terminal, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Like I wrote last week on this so called “decisive” vote by the Oakland City Council, it was to be expected.

The City of Oakland voted “Yes” on their term sheet to keep the A’s in Oakland. Two days ago, Dave Kaval, President of the Oakland A’s said that the vote was “the bottom of the nine innings with two outs.” Within the hour after today’s vote, the Oakland A’s said they are not OK with today’s City Council final vote on what could be the conclusion of the game for the staying or leaving of the legendary franchise.

The Mercury News reported “City officials and the Oakland A’s did some last-minute negotiating Monday to keep the team’s waterfront ballpark plan on track, but neither side appeared ready to budge on the financial blueprint to set it into play.”

Some $500 million seems to be the issue. The City of Oakland would like the A’s to commit to infrastructure and affordable housing and other community endeavors, but A’s management doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about the idea as they already have said they (the team) will build the Howard Terminal ballpark.

Dave Kaval, President of the Oakland Athletics who said prior to today’s vote that both sides remained far apart, also announced that regarding of the vote, he will be traveling again to Las Vegas tomorrow (Wednesday) to continue the process on the possible relocation of the team to that city.

The Oakland A’s lease with the Oakland Coliseum runs out in 2024. The City of Oakland lost the Warriors to San Francisco and the Raiders to Las Vegas, now the Athletics are “on the clock”. Will they leave? Your guess is as good as mine. But if we hold both sides accountable to their words, this vote was not satisfactory to the Athletics, a lay person will say, that’s it, end of story, next case.

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