OAKLAND -- The A’s reached another milestone in their progress toward a new ballpark on Tuesday.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the term sheet between the county and the A’s, providing the possible purchase by the A’s of the county’s 50-percent interest in the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex, the site of their current ballpark, for $85 million. All that is left now is a definitive agreement and final execution of the transaction.
“It’s a very important step to move forward with the county and purchase their 50-percent share, and we’re very excited,” A’s president Dave Kaval said. “We got a 5-0 unanimous vote to help us fulfill our vision for the Coliseum site, keep us rooted in Oakland and enable us to build that beautiful waterfront ballpark at Jack London Square.”
The arrangement allows the A’s to move forward with a more smooth partnership with the city after years of challenges between the two sides due to multiple ownerships within the city and county.
“It allows us to move forward with our partnership with the city here and really break the logjam between the city and the county," Kaval said. "There have just been long-standing challenges between the two entities, the co-ownership, and we’re hopeful this new arrangement with us and the city can be more fruitful toward committing toward a long-term plan for East Oakland.”
The A’s are looking to purchase the Coliseum site in order to redevelop the area by transforming the current site with specific community needs and opportunities that have been expressed by East Oakland residents. Preliminary plans include a large park surrounded by substantial new housing, including affordable housing, a skills center, community gathering space, office and retail developments and restaurants.
“We set two big goals for ourselves in November when we announced the two-site plan,” Kaval said. “One was to make progress here in East Oakland, and the other was at the waterfront. This is a big domino to fall for our redevelopment efforts in East Oakland and the adaptive reuse. To get one partner to deal with, the city, and move forward with them is a great accomplishment.”
The next step
After reaching a big accomplishment regarding the current Coliseum site, the A’s will switch their immediate focus to the site of their proposed new waterfront ballpark near Jack London Square.
“The next big one is the vote of the Port of Oakland Commission,” Kaval said. “That’s on our waterfront location and will happen in May. The date is not decided upon. That’s going to be similar to this deal with the county, the economic terms that we would work with the port on. That will be an important date for the organization and our fans.”