Proposed A's ballpark on Oakland waterfront met with more opposition

Momentum is growing for the proposed Oakland A's waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal, but not everyone is sold on the project.

Member of the East Oakland Stadium Alliance rallied outside city hall opposing the new construction for the site in the Port of Oakland. 

Oakland has already lost two major pro sports teams, the Warriors and the Raiders. 

The A's is the last team standing. 

The coalition that disagrees with the move is comprised mostly of unions, port workers and residents who don't want to lose the ballpark in East Oakland or lose port space in West Oakland. 

"We're very concerned over the direction that the Mayor and the port commission are leading the Port of Oakland, transforming what is a work environment, what is an assembly line of services into a playground," said port tenant Andy Garcia. 

"This about the privatization of a public resource," longshoreman Clarence Thomas said. "This is the third business port on the West Coast. It is absolutely preposterous about building a ballpark.

The Alliance later attended an afternoon council hearing on the A's proposal for a luxury mixed-use development on Howard Terminal. 

There, city councilmembers considered two bills currently pending in the state legislature which the alliance opposes.

AB 1191 would enable the team to bypass critical environmental safeguards to gain fast-track regulatory approval for the project.

SB 293 would create an infrastructure financing district for the project in Oakland.

The alliance says that the bills would saddle Oakland taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs for the new stadium and luxury complex. 

In turn, the group says, that will negatively impact Oakland's seaport operations.

Nonetheless, of the 63 people who asked to speak there were numerous supporters. 

"I recommend to the council that they support this proposed legislation and keep this process going because we do need partners like the A's," said USS Hornet Museum Executive Director Mike McCarron. 

"I would like to see our city council take all measure to assist the A's ballpark and other development move forward and resist all efforts to stop the project," said Robert Jeffrey, Jr. of Oakland.

There was no vote on any ballpark location Wednesday at the hearing.