Port, A’s Agree on New Stadium Plan Nearby

The Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners approved a tentative agreement with the Oakland Athletics that will allow the baseball team to build a stadium across the Oakland Estuary at Howard Terminal.

The Board approved the agreement in a unanimous 7-0 vote at its meeting on May 13. The vote marks the end of a year of negotiations between the Port and the A’s. Under the terms of the deal, the A’s will sign a 66-year lease with the Port of Oakland. The A’s will pay the Port $3.8 million a year for the first 20 years of the deal with the lease amount increasing after that, according to reports. 

Officials still need to prepare an environmental impact report and additional approvals at the local and state levels remain before any groundbreaking is to commence. The proposed 35,000-seat stadium will cover 50 acres of Port property. The stadium will be privately financed. 

In addition to the ballpark, the Howard Terminal site also could include up to 4,000 housing units, 2.27 million square feet of mixed-used development, including retail, office, entertainment, flexible manufacturing or recreation, a 3,500-seat performance venue and a 300- to 400-room hotel, according to reports.

The Oakland Athletics are seeking a 2023 opening date for the proposed stadium. The tentative agreement will expire by 2023 if a stadium is not approved.

Maritime businesses and port employees are worried the construction of the stadium and the surrounding housing and businesses will affect maritime operations. The Port commissioners put in a stipulation in the agreement that requires the A’s to work with businesses at the Port to guarantee the stadium construction does not obstruct maritime businesses.

The Oakland A’s have been trying to drum up fan support in the East Bay for the new stadium. Earlier this month Oakland A’s officials hosted a town hall meeting about its proposed new stadium in Alameda (“West Alameda, Oakland A’s Team up for New Ballpark,” May 9). The meeting was held May 1, at Michaan’s Auction Theater at Alameda Point. The new stadium location poses some interesting challenges and opportunities for synergy with the Island City. Ideas floating around the room during the reception included additional West End crossings between Oakland and Alameda taking the form of water taxis or a gondola.

The West Alameda Business Association (WABA) co-hosted the forum. At the meeting one A’s employees said the team has many other stadium opportunities available, but remains committed to staying in Oakland. 

“We’re doing this for our fans first,” he said. “And we need the fans to show us that this is the ballpark they want.”

The A’s also held a rally to support the team and the new stadium on May 13, at Jack London Square.