Oakland City Council Votes to Play Hardball with A’s

    • The Oakland City Council approved a term sheet regarding its negotiations with the Oakland A's, but not the one the team wanted.
    • The team has repeatedly threatened to move to another city if it doesn't get the deal it wants.

Today's Action

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It remains to be seen if the A’s are leaving Oakland, but on Tuesday, the city council made a clear statement that they insist on being an equal negotiating partner.

The council made a nonbinding vote agreeing to continue negotiations with the team based on its own term sheet, which has conditions that A’s president Dave Kaval said won’t work for the team.

The vote may prompt the team to more aggressively explore Las Vegas, Portland, and other potential relocation sites. While the two sides have both said they want to keep the A’s in Oakland, they have had trouble hammering out the specifics. 

  • The team initially proposed a $12 billion project, which would develop the surrounding Howard Terminal area with housing and commerce.
  • The proposal included two infrastructure funds that the A’s would pay for, then recover through tax dollars generated from the stadium and surrounding area.
  • The city responded with a counter proposal that allowed the team to collect tax revenue from stadium-related infrastructure, but removed $352 million in paybacks from tax revenue generated by the nearby Jack London Square area.

Oakland has traditionally avoided offering tax payer dollars to fund sports stadiums. The city has seen the Golden State Warriors leave for San Francisco in 2019, and the NFL’s Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.