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Oakland City Council Approves Terms Of Track And Field Deal Against Team’s Will

The Oakland Athletics play their home games at the RingCentral Coliseum. (Tony Avelar / Associated press)

Oakland City Council did what Athletics asked them not to do on Tuesday: vote to approve proposed terms for a deal that would keep the team in Oakland and allow them to build a baseball stadium on the waterfront. the water.

The As want the deal, but not on the terms offered by the city. After the 6-1 vote, city officials strongly suggested that the A’s work with the city to finalize the deal.

“Based on our extensive negotiations, our shared values ​​and our shared vision, we believe the A’s can and should agree to the terms approved by city council today,” said a statement signed by Mayor Libby Schaaf , Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas and Deputy Mayor Rebecca. Kaplan.

It wasn’t immediately clear how A’s and Major League Baseball would react. A chairman Dave Kaval said on Friday that a vote on the city’s condition list would be “a no to this project.”

On Monday, however, the city amended the list of conditions to make it clear that A’s would not be responsible for the infrastructure improvements associated with the project, which are estimated at $ 352 million. Kaval had said he feared the city had not specified who would pay for these improvements; Kaplan said the city will work with other government agencies on funding, but won’t hold the A’s accountable for all of it.

City negotiator Betsy Lake said, “We believe the city has solved the issue that the A’s have identified as the most critical… We believe the A’s can and should agree to these terms. “

Kaval and other A officials are heading to Las Vegas on Tuesday night, as part of another trip to explore relocation options there. Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that he may soon release A’s to explore other possible new homes, and Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; Nashville; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Montreal could be part of it.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Kaval did not rule out additional near-term negotiations with Oakland. He said he did not see the amended condition sheet until it was publicly disclosed at the meeting.

However, he said: “Voting yes on something we don’t agree with… is not an effective way forward.”

The A’s are proposing a $ 12 billion redevelopment project, with a $ 1 billion stadium surrounded by homes, shops, offices and a theater. Several board members said on Tuesday they were ready to continue talks, but were dismayed at what they saw as the team’s “take it or leave it” strategy.

Board member Carroll Fife, who abstained, said she was unsure why the board should vote on a proposal the As did not approve, given their threat to end negotiations entirely. She said the city bent over backwards to accommodate the A.

“I don’t know where we are going from here, after doing somersaults and receiving insults,” she said.

Board member Dan Kalb called it “disturbing” that the team would not pay for any infrastructure, but hoped further talks could improve the deal.

“I’m going to cover my nose while I vote yes,” he said.

Fife wanted one thing to be crystal clear: no one is chasing the team out of town.

“Everyone wants the A’s here,” she said.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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