The Port of Oakland Commission voted Monday to approve a tentative term sheet with the Oakland A's to build a new ballpark at Howard Terminal despite some outspoken opposition.
A group rallying against the proposed new Oakland A's ballpark at the Port of Oakland urged the Port Commission on Monday to reject a proposed term sheet with the club, and the team led its own rally for those supporting the project.
The East Oakland Alliance, a coalition of community leaders, business owners and fans, held a news conference and rally in support of workers and businesses concerned that the proposed Howard Terminal baseball stadium threatens their jobs and the city’s industrial economic base, according to a news release.
One of the group's main issues with the proposed term sheet is it would enable the A’s to lease the site at a lower rate than what other port operators are required to pay, the release said.
Meanwhile, supporters weighed in on the project that includes a state-of-the-art ballpark, thousands pof housing units and retail space. One of those supporters was A's legend and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Rickey Henderson.
"I’m rooted in Oakland, I’m staying in Oakland," Henderson said. "I want the park built here so I can go out and see the young kids."
On the other side, port workers said the proposed development won't work on an already operating port.
"This is where we make our living, these are blue collar jobs, and they’re here to stay," worker Melvin McKay said. "We don’t have room to give up, none whatsoever."
Mayor Libby Schaaf said a compromise is possible.
"We can have a word-class ballpark and world-class seaport at the same time," she said.
Schaaf put the timeline on the project at around 2023 as it requires environmental, industrial and safety studies that will take about four years.