The Oakland City Council voted 6-1, with one abstention, on Tuesday to approve a non-binding agreement with the Oakland A’s on a new waterfront stadium development in the Howard Terminal area.
From the sounds of things, however, it’s an “agreement” in name only as neither the A’s nor the city is all that happy with it. The pact is non-binding at this point and team officials will be making their fourth trip to Las Vegas on Wednesday.
“From our perspective, this is not a term sheet that works for the A’s,” said Dave Kaval, team president. “We’re seeing some of this for the first time. It’s not the basis of our proposal or a derivative of it.”
City council members didn’t have much good to say about it either, other than to state how much work their staff has put into their proposal, which had some major differences in responsibilities related to infrastructure costs from the original proposal that the team sent over.
Councilwoman Carol Fife abstained from the vote, stating that since the Oakland A’s don’t agree with the modified proposal, there wasn’t even a need to vote.
“The city has bent over backward to come up with these concessions,” she said. “I don’t know where we go from here.”
Councilman Dave Kalb voted for the nonbinding proposal, but said, “I will probably be holding my nose and throwing up. I would not be happy.”
Councilman Noel Gallo voted against the proposal. He said he will support a new stadium project at the current Coliseum site, where the team currently plays. Councilwoman Treva Reid also supports the Coliseum site.
“I strongly believe based on all the documentation, the A’s have the best location in the Coliseum site,” he said. “I am a strong supporter of the As being in the Coliseum. You have all the necessity and transportation measures in place.”
Kaval has said neither the Oakland A’s nor Major League Baseball believe the Coliseum site is suitable for the team.
Even though they voted in favor of the modified proposal, other council members weren’t really excited about how the negotiations were progressing. Councilman Loren Taylor was particularly offended by the team’s continued visits to Las Vegas.
“I take issue with how the A’s have been acting,” Taylor said. “If we’re voting on how they’re behaving, it would certainly be a no vote.”
Oakland A’s continue exploring Las Vegas option
Even before today’s non-binding vote, the Oakland A’s had scheduled yet another visit to Las Vegas to scope out sites from the famous Strip to the upscale suburb of Summerlin. Today’s vote seems to indicate the A’s might accelerate their plans and talks between local officials and the MLB team could get more substantive.
MLB is monitoring the situation closely and reports indicate they are actively involved in the process and tracking progress. The A’s would need a place to play should they bolt Oakland for Las Vegas and that might soon be a challenge they have to address should MLB Las Vegas relocation become more of a reality.
Still, Las Vegas and local officials haven’t taken the serious step of talking about stadium funding which will be key to acquiring the city’s third major league franchise in the past five years.