OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland's chance of keeping professional baseball in town seemed to be slipping Tuesday afternoon, but that was before the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, in a non-binding vote, decided to support a new ballpark district for the Oakland A's.
The session to decide on the "declaration of willingness" lasted for hours with supervisors undecided on whether to participate with the city in providing public financing for a new ballpark for the Oakland A's.
"Today’s support from Alameda County makes it clear to Major League Baseball that our region is all in to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said following the vote. "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."
Schaaf said in a statement that a final City Council vote on the matter should happen "swiftly and prudently."
Last week Schaaf said that county participation in the ballpark development is necessary for the city to move forward with it. But supervisors were reluctant Tuesday afternoon to decide without more information.
"There is a long laundry list of unknowns," board President Keith Carson said.
He did not want to step out on faith and commit hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue, even though the revenue would materialize due to the project.
He questioned key assumptions used by the economic consultants hired by the city to estimate the future benefits to the county.
One assumption was the continuation of measures AA, C and W, which the consultant assumed would occur. Carson said those measures will sunset while the county is being asked to county is being asked to commit to a 45-year project.
Schaaf was optimistic last week that the supervisors would vote and vote "yes" on the city's "declaration of willingness," a term she coined Tuesday afternoon when the county seemed unhappy with the city's original wording in a resolution.
The A's ballpark proposal includes a new baseball stadium seating about 35,000 people, about 1.8 million square feet of commercial space, a hotel with about 400 rooms, about 3,000 residential units and a performance venue seating about 3,500 people located at the Charles P. Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.
The mayor continued to sell the project, touting its 18-acres of public parks along the waterfront, the building of affordable housing and accompanying union jobs as part of the development.
City officials sought a ballpark development with the A's that was 100 percent privately financed. But have conceded that public financing is necessary.
Oakland also is planning to pay for offsite infrastructure needs if the project is built.
KTVU contributed to this report.