Port of Oakland votes to enter into agreement on new A's ballpark at Howard Terminal

The Port of Oakland commissioners voted Monday to start talks to allow a new A’s baseball stadium to be built at Howard Terminal. 

The East Oakland Stadium Alliance, comprised of businesses owners and baseball fans who want more thought to be put into building a new ballpark, held a competing news conference just ahead of the port’s vote on a term sheet -- the first step in a long process to get the new stadium near Jack London Square.

The term sheet allows the Oakland a's four years to complete an environmental impact report for the proposed 35,000-seat baseball stadium.

The A’s would also need to negotiate a sale or lease of land for the project – among other things.

Port of Oakland staff had already recommended the approval of a term sheet ahead of the vote.

But the alliance had urged the commissioners to reject the plan.

Workers and businesses who rely on the Port of Oakland say the stadium at Howard Terminal threatens jobs and the city's industrial economy.

They say the plan would let the team pay a lower rent than what other port operators have to pay.

“As the process keeps going, the framework doesn’t,” said Mike Jacob, vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. “It’s not a done deal.” 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf supports the commissioners vote in favor of this term sheet.

She called it a historic milestone and says it’s possible for there to be both a world class ballpark and world class seaport in Oakland all while understanding the concerns of both sides.

The commissioners vote to approve the outlines doesn't commit the port to the ballpark project.

The environmental impact report has to be done and regulatory and land use approvals have to be secured before an agreement is reached.

Schaaf said  in the years ahead there will be many opportunities to address every concern brought forward.