ONN – Livestream: Blame To Go Around In Oakland A’s Relocation Threat? Start With Oakland Athletics – video by the YouTube channel in the video’s upper left hand corner.
Livestream: Blame To Go Around In Oakland A’s Relocation Threat? Start With Oakland Athletics
The day started with Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval’s letter to A’s fans:
Today, Major League Baseball instructed the A’s to begin exploring other markets while we continue to pursue the Oakland waterfront ballpark project. This is not an easy directive for our fans to hear. We believe in the vision we have presented for a waterfront ballpark; it is a project that will create jobs, housing, open parks, and countless community benefits for Oakland residents, and it will set the stage for more World Series titles for our fans. After four years of work, MLB is concerned with the rate of progress with local officials and other stakeholders on our new ballpark efforts. The time is here for a decision on our future, and it is unclear to us and MLB whether there is a path to success for the A’s in Oakland.
A new ballpark is needed for the A’s continued success. We agree with MLB’s position that the Coliseum location is not a viable option for the future of the franchise. While we remain committed to succeeding in Oakland and will continue to work toward our waterfront ballpark, we will also follow MLB’s direction and immediately begin the process of exploring a new home for the A’s.
Please know that one of our top priorities is continuing to create the best experience possible for our fans this season and beyond. We have the best fans in baseball. Your passion for this franchise is truly unmatched, and we are deeply grateful for your continued support of our organization.
There’s enough blame to go around in the latest episode of “Oakland A’s seek a stadium” and this one should be titled: “Oakland A’s Shoot Selves In Foot”. Not saying the City of Oakland’s not to blame either. The murder’s row of suspects looks like this: John Fisher and Dave Kaval, The Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf, The City of Oakland, and The East Oakland Stadium Alliance.
The Mayor of Oakland’s spokesperson Justin Berton released this statement:
We share MLB’s sense of urgency and their continued preference for Oakland. Today’s statement makes clear that the only viable path to keeping the A’s rooted in Oakland is a ballpark on the waterfront. We have made great strides with the Governor’s certification and release of the EIR. Now, with the recent start of financial discussions with the A’s, we call on our entire community – regional and local partners included — to rally together and support a new, financially viable, fiscally responsible, world class waterfront neighborhood that enhances our city and region, and keeps the A’s in Oakland where they belong.”
But the Oakland Athletics, in taking what was to be a city-run project, and trying to give the look of running it themselves, exposed how little they knew about the legislation behind their own ballpark project, and because of that sent out messaging that scared the public. How?
The fact is that according to SB-293, the legislation creating the Howard Terminal Infrastructure Financing District, the City of Oakland’s supposed to establish a new agency that sets up tax increment financing and the bond issue and the cost of the bond, and determines what the bond money is to be used for, and draws the boundaries of the district itself.
None of that is the job of the Oakland A’s, yet the organization’s actions in releasing a
“term sheet” that made it look like they were in control of the tax increment revenue, as well as the District itself, gave the appearance of a money grab on the part of the MLB team. That’s what a lot of members of the Oakland public thought. And that caused support to go south, and fast.
Truth is, The Oakland A’s are supposed to sit back, build the ballpark, and pay the property tax to the new agency, thereby starting the TIF engine of money that would pay for a giant bond issue. That bond issue would go for not just affordable housing and not just infrastructure for the ballpark but city-wide projects. In other words, the A’s and Major League Baseball are leaving the City of Oakland with $700 million in community assistance money held up because it’s trying to skip town. Wow.
The City of Oakland screwed up by letting A’s President Dave Kaval control the messaging on the project. Kaval does not understand tax increment financing. So, when he let loose about $12 billion in buildout development in the Howard Terminal District, which includes the ballpark, Dave forgot that the area holds the district that collects tax increment revenue. The potential revenue haul? $9 billion for use city-wide.
The City of Oakland staff knew this potential for years, but held it from public view. (The information on this goes as far back as the 2010 Gruen and Gruen Study). This staff does not operate like previous City of Oakland Economic Development Bosses I worked for. Who ever heard of a public official hiding money that can help the community? But that’s what the City of Oakland has been doing with respect to potential redevelopment tax increment financing money that could solve the homeless problem in Oakland, and have money to spare.
The whole deal is perfectly Oakland: so afraid to win that it figures out a way to screw up. Then, eventually, Oakland will craft a way to justify its actions. The good news is that does not have to come to pass if we’re aggressive. We have to fight. We have to win. I am sick and tired of Oakland always losing.
Mark Davis Is Right About Oakland
Former Oakland Raiders now Las Vegas Raiders Owner Mark Davis on The Oakland A’s looking to relocate: “I hate to say it’s expected, but it’s expected. It’s what we went through…the government up there, is just not capable of putting a deal together that’s win-win. And that’s all you ever look for is win-win.”
Mark Davis is right. This hurts. We can fix it, but it’s going to take Oakland’s leadership actually leading, and wanting to form a win-win.
Oakland City Council’s Progressive Wing To Step In But Will The Oakland A’s Listen?
the Oakland City Council’s Progressive Wing has said it reached out to Oakland A’s Ownership for a meeting.
Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunado Bas tweeted this:
Council is committed to keeping As in Oakland. I met
on 4/30 + told him Council leadership – me
– are ready to meet w ownership to move forward. No response yet. Also awaiting info from As so staff can schedule to Council b4 summer.
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