OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf stood at the entrance of Howard Terminal Wednesday, flanked by city, community, and labor leaders.
They were promoting the plan the city council passed Tuesday on a new $12 billion Oakland A's waterfront ballpark. It was a plan that also included condos, offices, and retail space.
"We also set terms to make sure this will be a great day for Oakland's finances and a good day for taxpayers," said Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas.
The city included three new planks in its proposal Tuesday.
- It eliminated one of two tax districts.
- It increased affordable housing to 35 percent, up from 20 percent.
- The city also proposed a more flexible community benefits fund be established that could go toward badly needed services in the community.
The A's were mulling it over.
"We are taking time to analyze and really unpack what amendments were made to the city's proposal from last Friday. That's going to take at least a couple of days," said Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval.
Kaval traveled to Las Vegas Wednesday to look at possible ballpark sites in the desert.
"Play things out in Oakland. See what happens there. We are kind of in the bottom of the ninth. Build momentum in southern Nevada which has such a great recent track record with professional sports," Kaval told Las Vegas TV station KVVU.
But even if the A's and city did agree, one major consideration to any deal at Howard Terminal would be the port of Oakland, the second largest port in California.
More than 300,000 trucks a year currently use the Howard Terminal. The question would be where would they go.
"They are spilling out into the neighborhood or trucks are spending more time on the freeway. Those are direct issues that need to be addressed in the short term," said Mike Jacob, head of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.
Jacob was also concerned about the long-term impact on the industry.
"How do we grow. How do we maintain what we do when we are looking to add millions of more containers over the next few decades," said Jacob
If the city and A's did agree, it would be almost certain that lawsuits aimed at stopping it would follow.