Supes breathe new life into Oakland A's waterfront ballpark plan

A move by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is breathing new hope into the possibility of keeping the A's in Oakland. 

Late Tuesday night, the supervisors approved a motion 4-1 to support a new ballpark for the team.

None of this, of course, even close to a done deal, but it is certainly a positive sign for fans who were starting to give up hope that the A's would stick around.

But the vote signals that the county wants to stay at the table and keep working on a financial package for a new stadium for the A's. 

Though the vote is non-binding, the development will move towards creating a $12 billion stadium that can seat 35,000 people, along with 1.8 million square feet of commercial space and a concert venue at the Charles P. Howard Terminal in the Port of Oakland.   

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf considers the vote to be a "historic action that creates a clear path to keep the A's rooted in Oakland", she wrote in a statement. 

"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. We will return to City Council for a final vote as swiftly and prudently as possible," Shaaf stated.   

The vote isn't met with total enthusiasm, however. 

President Keith Carson, among other supervisors, worried about the outcome of a massive financial investment like this, along with some of Oakland's economic consultants making assumptions on legislation that has yet to pass.   

"I have to believe there are other ways in which they can come to the financing on this deal," he said. "I know this is non-binding, but let's be honest, once we take a political non-binding position it's almost impossible for us to take that back." 

The East Oakland Stadium Alliance says they are disappointed in the Board for giving into pressure from Oakland and the A's team, though grateful that the policymakers acknowledged concerns of affordable housing and other resources that the county needs.   

"The Board should not commit millions of public tax dollars toward a private project that will displace West Oakland residents, put thousands of working-class union port jobs at risk, and jeopardize the county's long-term financial stability," the organization said in a statement. 

"We are confident that upon having additional time to do a thorough analysis the Board will come to understand the overwhelming negative implications of this proposal and decline to move forward."