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MLB: Athletics not happy with ballpark proposal pushed by Oakland

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While the Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to move forward on its proposed waterfront ballpark, the Oakland Athletics aren’t the least bit sold on the project.

The Athletics announced on May 11 that they would look into relocating the team and that seems to still be the case after team president Dave Kaval said the city’s proposal “is not an effective path forward.”

Kaval’s sentiment didn’t prevent the city council from voting 6-1 in favor of its non-binding term sheet on the project.

The trio of Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council president Nikki Fortunato Bas and vice mayor Rebecca Kaplan termed the vote as “a milestone in our mission to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and build a world-class waterfront ballpark district that will benefit the community for generations to come.”

The plan is for a $1 billion, 35,000-seat ballpark that would be part of a project including housing, office space, retail outlets and a hotel. It was unclear after the session when or if the two sides would continue negotiations.

“There has been progress in the negotiation,” Kaval said during the session. “We’ve moved and made concessions, the city’s made concessions, but I think it is important to remember that the current term sheet, even with these amendments, is not something that the A’s have consensus around.

“It’s not a term sheet that we proposed, with edits that we have come together in mutual agreement, and I just really wanna stress that voting ‘yes’ on something that we don’t agree with, or that we don’t have consensus around, is not an effective path forward. And so I really wanna work with the council to see how we can get something that we agree to voted on before the (summer) recess, as opposed to voting on something that doesn’t work for our side.”

One Oakland City Council member, Carroll Fife, abstained from voting. Fife said she didn’t understand why the project was being discussed on Tuesday.

“If the A’s are not happy with what was produced today,” Fife said, “and are still talking about leaving after the city has bent over backwards and provided some of their best work in the interest of Oakland residents, and come up with all of these concessions, even about how all of these wealthy owners don’t have to pay for off-site infrastructure, I don’t know where we go from here after doing somersaults, after receiving insults, after being disrespected, after all of the things Oakland A’s fans and Oakland residents have gone through over this last little while.

“I don’t know where we go from here if they’re still telling us that they are not rooted in Oakland, that they are not willing to accept what the city staff has put together. … It’s not a negotiation. It’s really, ‘Do what we say, or we will leave.’ That is not rooted. That is not respectful.”

One commenter at the session told the Athletics, “not to let the Golden Gate hit you on the way out.”

Shortly after the session, Fox5 in Las Vegas reported that the Athletics were slated to narrow down their list of possible ballpark locations in Las Vegas to seven or eight finalists on Thursday.

Las Vegas has long been viewed as the favorite to land the Athletics, whose lease at antiquated RingCentral Coliseum concludes after the 2024 season.

If Las Vegas falls through, other possibilities include Nashville, Charlotte and Portland.

The Athletics moved from Kansas City to Oakland for the start of the 1968 season. They are currently in their 54th season of playing at the Coliseum, which has gone by various names.

Oakland has recently lost two professional teams — the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas and the NBA’s Warriors to San Francisco.

–Field Level Media

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