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A’s president rejects Oakland ballpark proposal

Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval, center, speaks at a news conference
Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval, center, speaks at a press conference beside Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Ces Butner, president of the Board of Port Commissioners, during a baseball news conference in Oakland on Nov. 28, 2018. Kaval says terms for a new ballpark released and to be voted on by the council do not work for the club.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

On the day the city of Oakland released its long-awaited proposal for a waterfront ballpark and surrounding neighborhood, the team that would play there offered a dramatic and stunning rebuke: No deal.

The Oakland City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal Tuesday. The Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball insisted on a Tuesday vote, but A’s President Dave Kaval said the team would not agree to that proposal.

“If the council voted yes on that, it would be yes on that term sheet, but it would really be a no on that project,” Kaval told The Times.

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The A’s have explored relocation to Las Vegas. In the absence of an agreement between the A’s and the city next week, according to KGO Radio, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred warned Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf that the A’s could be authorized to start considering six additional cities, including Portland, Ore., and two in Canada.

“Las Vegas is a viable alternative for a major league club, and there are other viable alternatives that I haven’t even turned the A’s loose to even exploring at this point,” Manfred said Tuesday. “Thinking about this as a bluff is a mistake. This is the decision point for Oakland.”

Kaval said the A’s are not pulling their proposed ballpark district off the drawing board. The A’s have pitched $12 million in private investment in a live/work/play waterfront neighborhood, including a privately financed $1-billion ballpark. But the city and team remain apart on infrastructure financing — the A’s have asked for $855 million — and affordable housing, and Kaval wants a yes vote on the term sheet the A’s publicly revealed in April.

“We really need a positive vote on that, or a close derivative of that,” he said.

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Kaval said he plans to call the City Council members and ask that they vote on the term sheet proposed by the A’s, not the one the city proposed Friday.

“I’m still hopeful they’ll vote on our original proposal,” he said. “I think there is still the opportunity for them to vote yes on that.

“A yes vote on what was released today does not work.”


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