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Oakland City Council votes yes on term sheet for A's new ballpark originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Athletics' quest for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal in Oakland stayed alive Tuesday, when the city council voted "yes" to approve a non-binding term sheet for the project.
Six members voted yes, one voted no and one abstained.
The approved terms are what A's president Dave Kaval has said the team will not accept, so now it is up to the A's to decide if they want to continue negotiations. According to Kaval, he had not seen the offer that was approved until Tuesday morning, and does not see it as a plan to which the A's can agree.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas and Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan released a joint statement after the vote:
“Today’s vote by the City Council marks a milestone in our mission to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and build a world-class waterfront ballpark district that will benefit the community for generations to come.
"Based on our extensive negotiations, shared values and shared vision, we believe the A’s can and should agree to the terms approved by the City Council today. This is the path to keeping the A’s Rooted in Oakland in a way that protects our Port and tax payers and will produce the benefits our community demands and deserves.
"We look forward to continue working with the A’s to address their remaining concerns and to focus now on developing a final Environmental Report and binding Development Agreement that address the complex details of this visionary project.”
After nearly two decades of trying to find a new home in the Bay Area, the A's and the city of Oakland have reached the tipping point. The only thing keeping the A's from leaving Oakland -- like the Warriors and the Raiders before them -- is the 35,000-seat proposed park at Howard Terminal.
In April, the A's made a public proposal that would have them self-finance the $1 billion stadium. The proposal also would have the A's provide $450 million in community benefits and arrange for $11 billion in private investment to build up the surrounding neighborhood. The city came back with a counter-proposal Friday, but the sides still were very far apart.
"We're still working really hard to come to a consensus with the city," Kaval said Monday on "A's Pregame Live." "We've had marathon negotiations back and forth, especially today. They've been pretty intense. We're still not there. There is still a gap in a lot of the pieces of the puzzle, but we remain hopeful that we can actually get to something by tomorrow that can be voted on.
"We really want to get a positive vote on our proposal with some of the concessions around the edges and get that to the council and get to a yes."
While discussions were contentious at points Tuesday, the eight-person city council elected to cast a non-binding "yes" vote to approve the ballpark term sheet, meaning negotiations are open to continuation.
A "no" vote likely would have led the team to advance its relocation efforts.
It's unclear if the "yes" vote would keep the A's at the negotiating table, as the sides still seemed far apart Tuesday when discussing the project.
Casey Pratt of KGO-TV detailed the discussions.
Kaval, who joined the A's in 2016 and has led the charge for a new stadium, previously said it's "Howard Terminal or bust" for the franchise to stay in Oakland.
The A's lease with the Coliseum ends in 2024. The Howard Terminal park wouldn't be finished until 2027 if it's ultimately approved, which would leave the A's with a two-year gap to fill.
The A's have scouted Las Vegas and the surrounding areas as a potential new home should the Howard Terminal project not come to fruition. Other cities such as Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Montreal also could become options if the A's truly start to look for a new home outside the Bay.