JULY 21: Against the A’s wishes, the Council approved the City’s tentative financial plan at yesterday’s meeting, albeit with an amendment that made clear the A’s would not be responsible for certain infrastructure improvements. (Ravani and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times were among those to cover the news). Kaval and Manfred expressed disappointment with the decision, although the next steps for the team remain unclear. Schaaf told reporters this afternoon she remained optimistic about keeping the A’s in Oakland.
Scott Boras, agent for A’s star third baseman Matt Chapman, addressed the ongoing saga this week. Boras implied that any extension negotiations with Chapman would wait until the stadium situation was resolved, telling Matt Kawahara of the Chronicle that “we’re going to see them take care of their infrastructure first and then address the player element later, I think.”
JULY 18: The City of Oakland released a proposed financial plan regarding development of a potential new waterfront stadium for the Athletics on Friday, reports Sarah Ravani of the San Francisco Chronicle. The A’s are unhappy with the terms, which team president Dave Kaval called a “step backwards” in the disucssions.
The Oakland City Council is set to hold a non-binding vote on Tuesday regarding the A’s proposal for a $12 billion mixed-use development plan, which includes the stadium. A “yes” vote from the Council wouldn’t finalize any sort of development agreement or term sheet, but it would allow the City and team to continue talks regarding the potential construction of a waterfront stadium at Oakland’s Howard Terminal, which the A’s have previously claimed to be the last viable ballpark location in Oakland. A “no” vote from the Council might kill the project entirely, Ravani writes.
Kaval suggested that approval of the City’s Friday proposal would be tantamount to a rejection of the A’s plan. However, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf pushed back against that characterization, saying the City’s proposal moves the project forward and expressing optimism about the parties’ ability to close the gap.
Unsurprisingly, it seems the biggest issue involves the extent of infrastructure taxes to finance the project. While the A’s have pushed for two infrastructure tax districts in their proposals, the City’s terms have thus far excluded the creation of a second district that would cover much of Jack London Square. Indeed, that’s the main impetus for the A’s criticism of the most recent proposal, Kaval told Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News. However, Ravani writes that the two sides have seemed to make progress on other issues regarding affordable housing and the length of a potential non-relocation agreement.
The City Council’s vote next week will take place against the looming threat of a potential relocation of the franchise. The A’s have been looking into the possibility of relocation since May, with Las Vegas appearing to be the most likely destination if they don’t come to an agreement with Oakland. Speaking with reporters during All-Star festivities this week, commissioner Rob Manfred called Vegas one of multiple “viable alternatives” for the A’s if a new deal with Oakland isn’t ultimately finalized.