The Oakland A’s Howard Terminal stadium project took another step forward on Thursday, as the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission passed a key vote that will allow the project to continue.
The BCDC voted today on whether to remove Howard Terminal’s designation for port priority use, and the vote passed by a 23-2 margin, easily clearing the two-thirds threshold needed for approval.
This was a major checkpoint in the process, and you can click here for more background details. If this vote had not gone the team’s way, then the Howard Terminal project would have been effectively dashed.
For a full account of today’s BCDC meeting, click here for an extensive live-tweet thread by Casey Pratt of ABC. You can also click here to watch the full six-hour meeting on YouTube, courtesy of Brodie Brazil of NBCS (video also embedded at the end of this article). A few highlights are included below.
Port of Oakland executives Danny Wan (Executive Director) and Kristi McKenney (COO) make clear that Howard Terminal is of no use to the port as a container terminal, and is unlikely to be anytime in the future.
Danny Wan and Kristi McKenney from the Port of Oakland just brought the thunder here. #BindingVoteSZN #BCDCMtg pic.twitter.com/PzCWUZDiHD— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 30, 2022
“The non-viability of Howard as a container terminal is exactly why we are here today. If it was viable, then we wouldn’t be here today.” — McKenney
Here’s a map with a reminder of where the site actually is.
Again, here’s what they’re discussing. The Port acreage is purple. Howard Terminal’s 56 acres are in red at the bottom right. pic.twitter.com/JF8c8yrE7n— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 30, 2022
Some more info from the BCDC staff, which earlier this month recommended that the commissioners vote yes. Click here for more background info on this staff report.
Here are some key staff conclusions from the @sfbcdc presentation. They find that under a moderate growth scenario, there are enough acres to grow without HT. And there are places for ancillary uses to be relocated. #BindingVoteSZN #BCDCMtg pic.twitter.com/qxipr2f7wi— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 30, 2022
There were over 1,000 comments from the public.
Public comment largely in-person so far, and largely in support of A's/Howard Terminal project. The labor unions have clearly shown up. As have A's fans. #BindingVoteSZN #BCDCMtg— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 30, 2022
Of course, there are still plenty of people who oppose the project. Pratt responds to a few common topics.
The Coliseum argument is moot. They don't want to build there. If you vote no on Howard Terminal, the A's are not staying. Also, the Port of Oakland wants this. So to say its going to kill the port is wrong. All 3 scenarios they are considering are GROWTH scenarios.— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 30, 2022
After the vote, the analogy of choice was a postseason game, since success meant the project can continue whereas failure would have ended any hope of building at Howard Terminal.
- “It was an elimination game.” — A’s President Dave Kaval
- “Today: The A’s essentially won the ALDS. (The opposite would have been losing, and facing elimination... from Oakland)” — Brodie Brazil
- “Pretend it’s like the playoffs. A win advances you to the next round. A loss and you’re gone fishin’” — Casey Pratt
There are still many more steps to go, but this was a big one and a crucially necessary one. Here’s Brazil with a quick peek at what comes next.
Ultimately getting Alameda County's binding vote, another BCDC approval, and beating a handful of lawsuits... that's the World Series.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) July 1, 2022
(Putting shovels in the ground is the championship parade.)
Watch today’s full BCDC meeting below.