A's ballpark talks: Oakland and Las Vegas

Kaval: A's planning on 'parallel path' in both cities

August 21st, 2021

OAKLAND -- In advance of Friday’s Bay Bridge Series opener between the A’s and Giants, A’s president Dave Kaval provided an update on where things stand regarding the club’s quest for a new stadium.

After Kaval voiced his displeasure over amendments made to the term sheet for their ballpark project that received a “Yes” vote on July 20, he revealed Friday that negotiations remain ongoing with the city of Oakland to find common ground for both parties to agree to. At the same time, Kaval also said the club plans on continuing the exploration of Las Vegas as a potential market for relocation.

“I think it’s important that we recognize that we’re still having conversations [with Oakland],” Kaval said. “It’s also really important to understand the parties are still working towards a mutually agreeable solution.

“But we’re also going to work on a parallel path in Las Vegas, because it’s important that we have multiple options. We’re really running out of time here at the Coliseum.”

The main sticking point following the July 20 vote appeared to center around an economic difference -- mainly how to go about paying an estimated $352 million in offsite transportation improvements and infrastructure upgrades. Kaval said the two sides still “remain apart” on that matter, however, the environmental impact report is the more pressing topic right now.

“We’ve been focused more on the environmental review and making sure that process continues to move forward, as well as design guidelines with some of the other approvals,” Kaval said. “We’re going to make sure we make progress in that area. On the economic terms, we’re still waiting to re-engage on that.”

The A’s plan to continue making trips to Las Vegas every couple of weeks while still maintaining dialogue with the city of Oakland over the next few months.

In response to an update posted to the city of Oakland’s website that stated the two sides were in agreement on “nearly all of the terms” approved by the city council on July 20, Kaval reiterated his disappointment with the city’s changes made to their original proposal but also said he remains hopeful that progress can be made in upcoming negotiations.

“We’re still working with the city to see if we can bridge some of those gaps,” Kaval said. “That’s something we’re going to continue to work on in good faith to see if we can find solutions around some of the open items. We continue to move forward on some of the processes like the environmental impact report, and we’ll continue to update both the media and the community on our progress.”

As for the funds for transportation and infrastructure improvements, Kaval said the team is “waiting on the county a little bit” after the city of Oakland brought in Alameda County to consider entering a tax district to help create those funds. That vote over whether Alameda County will take part is not expected to take place until sometime in September.

“We’re running out of time,” Kaval said. “We only have a lease here through 2024 and the facility here is probably 10 years past its useful life. We need to know and have a better sense of the direction that we’re going to have as a club.

“If you have a Major League Baseball team, you need a Major League stadium. We’re in a dangerous situation where that may not happen. So that’s really been the focus.”