Alameda County May Decide If Local Taxpayers Should Put Up Money For A New Oakland A’s Ballpark

Alameda officials seem to not know what to do.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has told Oakland and Alameda County, California elected officials you better give Oakland Athletics’ owner John Fisher hundreds of millions of dollars of public money by sometime in the future to build his baseball stadium-village or else. Manfred will be finding out very soon how seriously Alameda County officials are taking the threat. Alameda commissioners will soon decide on whether local taxpayers should be putting up money to help Fisher achieve his goal of building a stadium-village on the Oakland waterfront.  Earlier this year, Alameda County officials did not know if they wanted to be a part of a special tax district that would be set up for the planned Athletics Oakland waterfront stadium-village complex. Fisher needs Alameda County on board to help with public funding for his proposed development. Manfred recently told a group of attendees at the CAA World Congress of Sports that “frankly, in some ways, we’re not sure we see a path to success in terms of getting something built in Oakland. Oakland’s in a critical situation. In the case of Oakland, we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, just because it’s dragged on so long.”

Manfred is correct, it has been dragging on for decades in Oakland. In 1980, A’s owner Charles Finley agreed in principle to sell to Marvin Davis, who planned to move the Athletics to Denver. But Oakland and Alameda County blocked the deal. For more than two decades various owners have tried to get a new Oakland or Fremont or San Jose stadium built and have failed. San Jose was a problem as the San Francisco Giants control the territory even though voters said no to a Giants stadium in the city. Manfred said A’s relocation is a possibility. Athletics ownership has scouted the Las Vegas area for a stadium location.

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FILE – This rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics and BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group shows an elevated view of the baseball club’s proposed new at Howard Terminal in Oakland, Calif. The Oakland City Council approved preliminary terms for a new $12 billion waterfront ballpark project for the Athletics, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. But it’s not clear if the 6-1 vote will be enough to keep the A’s at the negotiating table instead of leaving the city. (Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group/Oakland Athletics via AP, File)