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After hours of talk, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to provide funds for a new Oakland A’s ballpark.
Though the vote is non-binding, the development will move towards creating a stadium that can seat 35,000 people, along with 1.8 million square feet of commercial space and a concert venue at the Charles P. Howard Terminal in the Port of Oakland.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf considers the vote to be a “historic action that creates a clear path to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland”, she wrote in a statement. Oakland plans to fund part of this project, which was originally supposed to be 100 percent privately funded.
“We look forward to continue working with the A’s, and to issuing a final Environmental Impact Report by the end of this year as well as negotiating a binding Development Agreement. We will return to City Council for a final vote as swiftly and prudently as possible,” Shaaf stated.
“The Board should not commit millions of public tax dollars toward a private project that will displace West Oakland residents, put thousands of working-class union port jobs at risk, and jeopardize the county’s long-term financial stability.”East Oakland Stadium Alliance statement
The vote isn’t met with total enthusiasm, however. President Keith Carson, among other supervisors, worried about the outcome of a massive financial investment like this, along with some of Oakland’s economic consultants making assumptions on legislation that has yet to pass.
The East Oakland Stadium Alliance says they are disappointed in the supervisors for giving in to pressure from Oakland and the A’s team, though grateful that the policymakers acknowledged concerns of affordable housing and other resources that the county needs.
“The Board should not commit millions of public tax dollars toward a private project that will displace West Oakland residents, put thousands of working-class union port jobs at risk, and jeopardize the county’s long-term financial stability,” the organization said in a statement. “We are confident that upon having additional time to do a thorough analysis the Board will come to understand the overwhelming negative implications of this proposal and decline to move forward.”