OAKLAND – The Oakland City Assembly approved the preliminary terms of a new waterfront park project for the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
However, it was not clear whether the vote will be enough for the team to remain at the negotiating table and not decide to leave the Bay City of San Francisco.
On a 6-1 vote, assembly members approved the proposal, which requires the complex to include affordable housing, tenant protection and environmental protection measures, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Mayor Libby Schaaf and assembly leaders indicated that the vote is an important step in the negotiation, even though city officials were unable to reach an agreement with the team in last-minute negotiations.
“This is the way to allow the Athletics to stay in Oakland in a way that protects the port and taxpayers and brings the benefits the community demands and deserves,” city leaders said in a statement.
Athletics president Dave Kaval said financial terms don’t work for the team.
“Voting on something that we are not aware of and have not had time to digest is difficult for us. It is difficult to understand what a step up is like,” Kaval said during a meeting.
The Athletics are the last remaining professional team in Oakland after the Golden State Warriors moved to San Francisco and the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas. That emigration has affected the city of 400,000 residents, some of whom implored the assembly Tuesday to work harder to keep the team and jobs at the Colosseum.
Others, like Emily Wheeler, appreciated it: “The Athletics are like that abusive boyfriend you need to put a stop to.”
The Athletics project includes a $ 1 billion park with 35,000 seats at Howard Terminal, 3,000 residential units, office and business space, hotel rooms and an indoor entertainment center.
The team’s contract at the RingCentral Coliseum ends in 2024. Major League Baseball indicated that rebuilding the arena is not feasible.
In May, the majors urged the team to find a place to relocate if it did not reach an agreement.