The A’s stand for Athletics, not anxiety. But anxiety is exactly what A’s fans are feeling on the eve of a decisive Oakland City Council vote that will determine whether the A’s can move forward with their proposed waterfront ballpark.
“I’m pretty anxious,” A’s fan Gabriel Hernandez said.
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Those who work in and around Howard Terminal say the industrial part of the city is not equipped for a new ballpark, let alone housing, retail and office space.
“We need this facility,” said Aaron Wright, who represents the local longshoremen’s union. “We need these train tracks to be free. We cannot put thousands of cars in this area.”
The Port of Oakland is the fourth busiest port in the country. At the Howard Terminal satellite yard is part of the 50 acres where the A’s want to build their new ballpark.
“What truckers are able to do is go to the port, get their trucks out, and they can come and stage their cargo here,” Wright said.
Wright says if the ballpark is built at Howard Terminal, drivers will have to park their cargo trucks on city streets, clogging up traffic for those who live in West Oakland.
Wright says the area is not safe for pedestrians and not safe for fans on boats.
Will the A’s stay in Oakland? The city rolled out its latest financial terms proposal for building the ballpark site at Howard Terminal and it shows the city and the team are still on very different bases. NBC Bay Area’s Jessica Aguirre spoke to Dave Kaval, president of the Oakland Athletics, for insight.
“If they put a ballpark here, you get a McCovey Cove situation,” Wright said. “People are bringing their party boats out. We’re going to be bringing gigantic container ships in.”
Councilmember Noel Gallo has already made up his mind and it’s a no.
“What am I losing?” he said. “Right now, Oakland has many emergencies that I need to attend to: homelessness, housing, public safety, and I need to invest my dollars there, not on a professional team.”
NBC Bay Area’s Jessica Aguirre and Melissa Colorado break down the upcoming vote in Oakland that will decide the fate of the A’s.