Oakland probably has moved ahead.
John Fisher is a step closer to getting a stadium-village built for his Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball business after the Oakland City Council approved a 3,500-page environmental impact report for Fisher’s proposed downtown Howard Terminal waterfront development. The approval does not mean that Fisher can put a shovel into the ground yet. It does though signal that Oakland political leaders are on board with Fisher’s plan for a 35,000-seat ballpark along with 3,000 units of housing, as well as 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of retail space, a 400-room hotel, and 18 acres of parkland. There still needs to be a funding plan developed with Fisher putting in some money and Oakland and perhaps Alameda County and the state of California throwing significant money at Fisher’s project. This should mean Fisher is solely concentrating on Oakland and forgetting about moving his business to Las Vegas. Except, Las Vegas is still in the running for Fisher’s franchise.
The Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval is hedging his bets. “Well, it’s an important step and it’s a necessary step. But it’s certainly not a sufficient step to getting a binding agreement to build a ballpark in Oakland. I think the toughest hill is yet to be climbed, and we’ll see how it plays out over the next three to five months.” Meanwhile Kaval has reassured Las Vegas interests, it ain’t over till’ it’s over. “We have to have a real option in Las Vegas. Well, we’re spending a great deal of time and effort and money to have an option to play in Las Vegas, and we’re down to a handful of sites that we’re negotiating with the landowners. We’ve made some offers, big huge offers on some of these properties.” Fisher got what he wanted an Oakland-Las Vegas bidding war for his business.
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