Plans for a new waterfront ballpark for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland A’s have progressed after lawmakers unanimously voted to support two state bills necessary for the development.
The 35,000-seat stadium in the California city would be built at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland and the development, which is also to include affordable housing and commercial buildings, would be privately financed. Plans for the new arena were first released last November.
Bills SB293 and AB1191, which were passed 7-0 by Oakland City Council, will create an infrastructure financing district, adapt existing law to the ballpark project and provide direction and authority to a number of local authorities, including San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, so they can consider approving the project.
The bills were passed despite council members hearing opposition from some who believe the development will spur gentrification and displacement in West Oakland.
The City Council’s approval of the project, its infrastructure and financing plan will come at a later undetermined date, likely to be July.
Dave Kaval, the president of the A’s, said the team hopes to be playing at the new stadium at Howard Terminal by 2023.
The A’s have played at the 47,000-capacity Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum since 1968.
A recent report issued by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute suggested the stadium would generate $7.3bn in economic benefits over 10 years for Oakland and Alameda County and create more than 6,100 permanent jobs.
“The Oakland A’s plan represents a transformational investment for the city,” said Jeff Bellisario, director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “The economic benefits of a project this size will ripple throughout the Oakland community for many years.”