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Elephant Rumblings: Howard Terminal hopes bolstered by new commission report

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Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval displays a map of the Howard Terminal site and surrounding area in Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 where the baseball team is hoping to build its new stadium. Photo By Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Back in March, hopes for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal took a hit when the Seaport Planning Advisory Committee (SPAC) recommended that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) reject removing Howard Terminal’s designation for port activities. Were the BCDC to follow this recommendation in a binding vote to be held in June, the ballpark project would be dead.

Thankfully, BCDC staff rejected the SPAC recommendation in a report released earlier this week that recommends “Removing the Port Priority Use designation from 56 acres at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.” This means the authors of the report believe that Port of Oakland operations would not be adversely affected if the new ballpark and surrounding developments go forward.

If the commission’s June 30 vote follows this recommendation it will effectively remove a big hurdle that has threatened to block the A’s new stadium plan. Casey Pratt at ABC 7 News Bay Area has been diligently covering the issue on Twitter.

One event that could potentially move the needle on this issue between now and June 30 is a BCDC public hearing scheduled for June 2nd.

Athletics President Dave Kaval and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf both celebrated the news:

This isn’t the only hurdle left to clear before the Howard Terminal project becomes a done deal. As Sarah Ravani and Michael Cabanatuan reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s still need to finish negotiating a development agreement with the city that will require ratification by the Oakland City Council. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors will also need to approve an infrastructure financing district. The A’s and City of Oakland also need to prove in court that the certified environmental review of the project was duly thorough. But the BCDC staff report marks a momentum shift back toward realizing our waterfront ballpark dreams.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Casey has also been chronicling a little brewhaha between fans and a local craft brewery.

A disgruntled A’s fan working at Altamont Beer Works stamped cans thusly, putting some A’s fans up in arms. Love that t-shirt!

Thankfully, an apology was issued and tensions subsided.

Selleck’s latest notes.

The Ports pull off the opposite of what the A’s did last Friday.

Shea ... when you coming up?

Aviators hosting a new MiLB postseason format.

Consider supporting Canine Companions for Independence!