We applaud Councilmember Carroll Fife’s decision to honor the wishes of Oakland residents and let the voters determine whether it is appropriate to use public funds to support building the Oakland A’s privately owned baseball park and 3,000 luxury condominiums at Howard Terminal.
Oakland faces many challenges including school closures, an ever-increasing homelessness crisis, spiking crime, desperately needed infrastructure repairs of roads, and fire safety investment. Voters should be given the opportunity to decide whether this is the right time to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds on billionaire John Fisher’s privately owned luxury project.
For the past several years, the Oakland A’s have pursued building a new stadium. A strong contingent of Oakland residents wants the stadium to be built at the existing Oakland Coliseum site. For decades, the Coliseum was home to the A’s, Raiders, and Warriors. Each of these teams had great success, sellout crowds, and championship seasons at the Coliseum site.
They also argue that the Coliseum site is shovel-ready, accessible by public transportation, and bordered by two major freeways. It does not have the huge infrastructure costs, estimated at over $800 million, that Howard Terminal requires. But the A’s reject the Coliseum site without good justification, prompting many residents to believe that their objection is really based on not wanting to have a baseball park in a Black neighborhood.
The A’s have set their sights on Howard Terminal, located in West Oakland’s industrial zone, and the heart of the Port of Oakland. Many critics complain that building at Howard Terminal would threaten the viability of the Port of Oakland, and good-paying union jobs.