Oakland A’s ballpark project hits $12bn mark

The Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team has revealed details of the financial offer it has made to the city council for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal, with the total costs set to reach at least $12bn (£8.6bn/€9.9bn) when incorporating the nearby mixed-use development.

In a letter to A’s fans on Friday, president Dave Kaval provided details of the term sheet the team has submitted. The stadium itself, which will sit on the waterfront at Howard Terminal, would cost at least $1bn and will be privately financed by the team.

The A’s will fully fund all on-site project costs through private financing and project-generated revenues, including public parks, protection against rising sea levels and environmental remediation.

The team has also committed to using unionised labour in the construction of the ballpark project and the operation of the stadium. Some $450m of project-generated revenue will be earmarked for community benefits such as affordable housing, with the City of Oakland and the community to direct how those funds are spent.

Kaval’s letter added that the ballpark project will bring around $955m to the City of Oakland’s general fund and the president has called on fans to urge the city council to review the terms and “take action”. The team has asked the council to take a vote on the project before the summer.

The ballpark would have a capacity of 34,000 and would replace the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the home of the A’s. The team used to share the Coliseum with the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders when the latter played in Oakland but has long-held hopes for a new stadium and declared Howard Terminal as its proposed site back in November 2018.

The team recently took what it claimed was another “important step forward” in efforts to develop the stadium as plans were revealed for a third major redesign of the project. The plans were revealed as the City of Oakland released the Draft Environmental Impact Report showing the path forward for the ballpark.

The $12bn cost outlined on Friday includes the wide-ranging mixed-use development that will sit alongside the stadium. The site would include 3,000 housing units, 1.5 million square feet of office space and 270,000 square feet of retail space.

Justin Berton, a spokesman for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, said the city is keen to keep the A’s in Oakland and is open to working with the team.

In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, Berton said: “Our goals for the project are unchanged: We want to keep the A’s in Oakland – forever. We need a deal that’s good not just for the A’s, but for the city, one that provides specific, tangible and equitable benefits to our residents, and doesn’t leave Oakland’s taxpayers on the hook. The city is willing to bring to bear its resources to help make this vision a reality.”

Image: Oakland A’s