Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics’ US$12 billion proposal for a new waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal has received approval from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (SFBCDC).
The 23-2 vote determined that the 56-acre terminal can be reclassified as a multi-purpose area, after the commission decided that the proposed ballpark ‘would not detract from the region’s capability to handle the projected growth in cargo’.
Despite this breakthrough for the A’s, they still have to agree a deal with the city of Oakland for the US$1 billion, privately funded waterfront venue at Howard Terminal. The proposed development project, designed to keep the team in the city, also includes 3,000 residential units, as well as offices and retail spaces.
Following the vote, A’s president Dave Kaval said in a Twitter post: ‘What a huge win for our waterfront ballpark project and the future of Oakland and the A’s.’
The MLB team are the last remaining major sports franchise in Oakland after an exodus in recent years saw both the Golden State Warriors and the Raiders depart.
The A’s are in search of a new home, with the team’s current lease at the outdated RingCentral Coliseum set to expire in 2024. They have been linked with a relocation to Las Vegas if plans to find a new Oakland venue fall through.
In March, the Kaval confirmed that the team had made offers for five plots of land in Las Vegas as potential sites for a new ballpark amid a slew of reports that the A’s could relocate. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has given his blessing for such a move and said is it not viable for the team continue to play at the Coliseum.
On 29th June, the New York Post reported that MLB would wave its relocation fee, if the franchise opted for a move to Las Vegas.