EOSA Statement on the A's Decision to Abandon Oakland Negotiations
April 20, 2023
We are as surprised as everyone by the A’s sudden announcement after months of silence. This is a sad day for all of us who have supported the A’s for generations.
For the last 50 years as West Oakland grew as a working international trade gateway, East Oakland has been a supportive home for the A’s in the Coliseum.
The East Oakland Stadium Alliance continues to call for the A’s to rebuild at the Coliseum, which is their rightful home and has a bright future as the epicenter of Bay Area sports. Howard Terminal was never the right place for this mega development that would deprive the city of its critical port and key resources.
The seaport community will continue to work with the city, the port and stakeholders to ensure that Howard Terminal and the working waterfront continue to be the vibrant hub of Oakland’s and the Bay Area’s economy.
Keeping the Oakland A's stadium in East Oakland will preserve critical blue-collar jobs at the port and lift up the East Oakland community.
The Coliseum has been home to the Oakland A's since they played their first game there in 1968, and both the stadium and the team are integral parts of East Oakland's identity and history. We believe it's in the best interest of both Oakland residents and A's fans for a new, state-of-the-art facility to be constructed at the current site – a site which is already approved for ballpark construction and is supported by existing transportation infrastructure that will create economic opportunities that only a new ballpark and a fully realized affordable housing, retail, and sports complex can bring.
The A's are demanding an unprecedented amount of public funds to make a ballpark and luxury development at the Port of Oakland feasible.
The A’s are demanding more than $1 billion in public funds to make their proposed ballpark and luxury development at the Port of Oakland a reality. It's clear that the A's have no intention of paying for any of the proposed community benefits, infrastructure upgrades, or mitigations required to make this project viable themselves. By comparison, the Coliseum site, where the team now plays, is already transit-accessible and would serve as an economic engine for the surrounding East Oakland neighborhoods.
Disrupting Oakland's active port with a stadium, luxury housing, and high-rise office space threatens good-paying jobs and creates significant health and safety risks.
Any decision that reduces the waterfront's dedication to maritime jobs undermines the Port of Oakland's success and sets a precedent for shrinking the city's blue-collar population in favor of developers who do not share our commitment to the West Oakland community. The port is home to almost 90,000 jobs, thousands of them unionized, and many of which would be lost forever to part-time ballpark and retail jobs if they are displaced by conflicting real estate demands. The waterfront location at Howard Terminal is already home to a thriving maritime industry – one of the strongest bastions of good-paying jobs for working-class African Americans in the state.
The proposed site is inaccessible for the thousands of fans who attend A's games: safe travel to the proposed stadium simply isn't feasible. The nearest BART station is over a mile away, and the walk is through industrial terrain adjacent to railroad tracks and heavy truck routes that transport hazardous materials without safe pedestrian crossings.
- Condition any sale or lease agreement of the Coliseum property with the A's to include a new ballpark at the Coliseum complex, with failure to do so resulting in the property reverting back to the city.
- Prohibit the use of the Coliseum site as a resource for development of a ballpark elsewhere, as East Oakland is not the Fisher family's piggy bank.
- Release a fully-formed economic study, transportation study, and seaport compatibility study for the proposed commercial real estate development at Howard Terminal.
- Provide an apples-to-apples analysis of a development at the Coliseum vs. Howard Terminal so the public can judge for itself which site has the most upside and presents the least logistical, financial, and environmental hurdles.
- Condition any approval of the Howard Terminal development on the A's commitment to privately fund and provide any seaport compatibility measures requested by port stakeholders to minimize impacts of the development on port operations.
- Allow Oakland voters to vote on the use of public funds for any stadium and luxury development proposal at the Port of Oakland.
The city can have a win-win here — a world-class sports facility in East Oakland and a world-class port in West Oakland. The A's ballpark and luxury development at the Port of Oakland, as proposed, cannot proceed without doing irreparable harm to the waterfront and Oakland residents. We want to see the A's stay in Oakland for the long-term, keep Oakland financially stable, help preserve critical blue-collar jobs at the port, and lift up the East Oakland community. Keeping the A's at the Coliseum is the only way to still achieve these shared goals.
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