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Elephant Rumblings: What are the next steps for Howard Terminal?

MLB news roundup

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Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal Photo by Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s won, 23-2! No, that wasn’t the score of last night’s ballgame. Things are still pretty grim on the field for the A’s this year. But A’s fans and the organization alike have cause to celebrate after the Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) overwhelmingly voted to remove 56 acres at Howard Terminal from port designation.

Losing the vote would have stopped the project dead in its tracks. So this was a big victory, but significant hurdles lie ahead. As Casey Pratt at ABC 7 News Bay Area tweeted yesterday, Commissioner John Gioia summarized the process with a pretty nice analogy in comments he made ahead of yesterday’s vote:

Our waterfront ballpark dreams may be in scoring position! The next major milestone would be for the A’s and City of Oakland to come to terms on a development agreement and community benefits package. Sarah Ravani at the San Francisco Chronicle recently provided some details on the state of these negotiations. These terms will require final approval from Oakland’s City Council. Ravani also reported yesterday that per A’s President Dave Kaval, both sides are meeting weekly to reach an agreement, and the team is pushing for a final vote by late September or early October.

If the City Council votes to approve the development, the final stretch will involve getting a development permit from the same BCDC that voted on Howard Terminal’s port designation yesterday. Some members of the commission indicated that “robust” discussion will take place on whether or not to grant final approval.

There are other potential wrinkles along the way. On July 5th, the City Council will decide whether to put the project to an advisory ballot measure this November. The project also faces legal challenges from interested parties including the Union Pacific Railroad.

Oakland’s dream ballpark still has that 180 feet to go before it can be assured that shovels will hit the ground. But after decades of going in circles, this stadium quest seems akin to meaningful baseball. Brodie Brazil at NBCS tweeted another apt analogy: we’re in the playoffs now and each contest is a win or go to Vegas affair.

And to extend the analogy:

For now, savor yesterday’s win—the next big development could be just a few days away.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend, AN!

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

This pretty much captures the zeitgeist.

New lows (or perhaps new highs?) in strike calling achieved.

Already missing Cristian.

Kotsay on Pache being optioned to Triple-A.

The Elvis countdown.


Guy Sliwinski lends his talents to the cause!

Hal the Hot Dog Guy absolutely killed it in 60 seconds. 11/10!

Yeah, but that was literally last century.

Shohei, you are amazing. But you signed with the wrong team!