The Oakland A’s quest for a new ballpark has been ongoing for decades, perhaps centuries at this point. The current dream of a new waterfront park at Howard Terminal was unveiled in November 2018, more than two years ago, but the optimistic timeline was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The political and legal processes are dark and full of terrors, but the A’s have made more progress with their current attempt than any previous try. In February the City of Oakland released a Draft Environmental Impact Report, a major step we’ve never seen before. The team has a plan that involves buying the current Coliseum site for redevelopment, and they’re halfway to completing that purchase, unless Dave Stewart outbids them.
But there’s still a lot of work left, with many hurdles to clear and problems to solve, including ones we know about and the unforeseen issues that inevitably come up along the way. Howard Terminal is not a done deal yet.
At 9:40 a.m. on Friday morning, team president Dave Kaval, the leader of this project who has real-world experience building a pro sports stadium in the Bay Area, addressed fans directly in our email inboxes. The letter is reproduced below.
Oakland is our home. Together, we’ve shared so many memories at the Coliseum, but the Coliseum is at the end of its useful life. We need a new, modern, fan and player friendly ballpark.
We have a bold vision for a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal, and we’ve spent the last three years in pursuit of this goal. This project means more than just a ballpark for us and for Oakland: public access to the waterfront, greenspace and parks, housing for Oaklanders, union jobs, and countless community benefits. We’ve held more than 200 meetings with the community as part of a first-of-its-kind race and equity driven community benefits process.
We are prepared to make even more significant investments in Oakland, for the residents and community. Today, we publicly released our financial offer to the City and Community and now we respectfully ask that the Oakland City Council take a vote on our project before summer recess.
Our Development Agreement Term Sheet provides that:
• The Oakland Athletics will privately finance a $1B+, architecturally significant and state of the art ballpark on Oakland’s waterfront at Howard Terminal.
• The Oakland Athletics will fully fund all on-site project costs through private financing and project-generated revenues, including public parks, protection against sea level rise, and environmental remediation.
• The Oakland Athletics will commit to using unionized labor in the construction of the Ballpark Project and the operation of the ballpark.
• The Oakland Athletics will earmark $450M of project-generated revenue to be used for community benefits, such as affordable housing. The City of Oakland and the community will direct how those funds are spent.
• The Ballpark Project will be the most environmentally sustainable project of its kind in California history, and will meet the environmental mandates of AB 734, which include local greenhouse gas reduction measures.
• At full build out, the Ballpark Project will bring approximately $955M to the City of Oakland’s General Fund.
Let’s keep this project momentum moving forward. Please join us in urging the City Council to review and take action.
Oakland A’s President
The link on the phrase “take action” goes to a Change.org petition started by the team, titled, “Urge Oakland City Council to take a vote on the A’s Waterfront Ballpark Project.”
Kaval also took to Twitter in a similar appeal to A’s fans, with a 10-tweet thread.
Together, we’ve shared so many great memories at the Coliseum, but the building is at the end of its useful life. We need a new modern fan and player friendly ballpark. (2/10) pic.twitter.com/QTWyAm67tA— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
We have a bold vision for a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal. (3/10) pic.twitter.com/83JiBCsz1w— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
We’ve spent the last 3 years in pursuit of this goal. This project means more than just a ballpark for us & Oakland. Waterfront access, parks, housing for Oaklanders, union jobs & countless community benefits. (4/10) pic.twitter.com/5fatjOC6D5— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
We’ve hosted 200+ community meetings as part of a first-of-its-kind race & equity driven community benefits process. (5/10) pic.twitter.com/OM8CcdO641— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
Our community work is in every corner of the Town: education, youth sports, food insecurity, homelessness, environmental justice, and more. ⚾️(6/10) pic.twitter.com/U44EcwKnlS— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
We are prepared to make even more significant investments in Oakland, for the residents & community. Today, we publicly release our financial offer to the City and Community. (7/10) https://t.co/Oe566nSbNV pic.twitter.com/YDo03UVZHL— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
Our letter to the City of Oakland. Beyond the $1B+ privately financed ballpark, the project will generate almost $1B in general fund dollars for the City of Oakland and provide $450M in community benefits, including affordable housing. Boom Now that is a Grand Slam! (8/10) pic.twitter.com/MMFvNYbI1S— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
We respectfully ask that the Oakland City Council take a vote on our project before summer recess. @DanKalb@nikki4oakland @lorenmtaylor @ShengForOakland@NoelGallo5 @Kaplan4Oakland #CarollFife #TrevaReid— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 23, 2021
In particular, click the 8th tweet in that thread (the one marked 8/10) to read the A’s letter to the City of Oakland.