A real estate development plan that includes a new park for the Oakland Athletics has set up a battle with the team and its supporters – including Mayor Libby Schaaf — against a coalition of labor unions, trucking companies, heavy industry and environmental groups who say it would eliminate jobs at the port, increase car and truck traffic in the neighborhood and create environmental hazards.
The baseball franchise’s plan would move the A’s from the crumbling Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum into a new 35,000-seat park at the Howard Terminal in Oakland’s waterfront Jack London Square. The proposed mixed-use development would include up to up to 3,000 housing units; nearly 2 million square feet of retail, office and entertainment space; and a hotel with up to 400 rooms – all in time for the 2023 baseball season, the team hopes.
The A’s, owned by billionaire John Fisher, have pledged to privately finance at least the ballpark, but not the infrastructure needed for it. But the team has not disclosed details , nor how much the city of Oakland might have to kick in. A business plan was provided to the city in January, but A’s president Dave Kaval told Capital & Main he couldn’t disclose even the broad strokes.
The coalition opposing the Howard Terminal project, the East Oakland Stadium Alliance, includes organizations that don’t usually work together, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, the Harbor Trucking Association and Sailors’ Union of the Pacific. Joining them in opposition are Sierra Club California and Sierra Club San Francisco Bay as well as the Golden Gate Audubon Society. The coalition questions the site of the proposed development, not the ballpark itself, and says that if it’s just a new ballpark that’s needed, the current Coliseum property would be a better spot.