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    Keeping the A’s in Oakland: Yes, We Can

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    The future of the Oakland A’s isn’t set yet. There remain several hurdles to jump before the Las Vegas proposal could take place. With the increasing problems and extended timeline there, it would be faster and easier to build in Oakland.

    Yes, Oakland, with perfect weather in the heart of a large media market, is a fabulous place for a new ballpark and could readily accommodate the latest proposal faster and for less expense than Las Vegas. The City of Oakland has approved two sites for development that include a ballpark. Projects on either Oakland site could be expedited, in that the ballpark could be built separately or in advance of related development opportunities. In addition, in Oakland, thanks to the great weather, no roof would be needed. As a result, building a ballpark in Oakland would be easier, faster, and less expensive than building one in Las Vegas. The cost of adding the roof in Las Vegas, in fact, adds more cost to that site, exceeding any benefit of the proposed state funding.

    The City of Oakland has obtained environmental clearance for two development sites that include approvals for a ballpark, each of which had been demanded by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. First, the Coliseum site, which has over 120 acres of land, is readily accessible to the entire Northern California megaregion and beyond via BART, an interstate freeway, the Amtrak/Capitol Corridor, a nearby airport, and more. This site and its surroundings have received approval for mixed use development including sports, entertainment, and substantial development, including commercial and more. For more information, see:

    In addition, the waterfront Howard Terminal site, next to a ferry dock and near the Broadway transit corridor, has also received environmental approvals for development, and hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure funding. For more information see:

    We have heard that the effort to build a ballpark in Las Vegas has experienced multiple setbacks, including organized opposition and a potential referendum to block the deal, along with logistical challenges associated with the site, such as the small size and difficulty building a retractable roof. Since the A’s owners and MLB are now proposing a different, and smaller project than they had previously requested, some have asked about the opportunities in Oakland, and whether a revised project would be an alternative in Oakland.

    Oakland can provide the A’s owners and MLB better options for what they are now seeking; whether they prefer a smaller site for just a ballpark, or a ballpark plus dining and entertainment, those would be included elements within the existing larger approvals, and therefore, could be advanced at Howard Terminal or Coliseum in a timely manner.

    By choosing one of the options that Oakland provides, the MLB would be preserving a proud tradition of Major League Baseball that has existed in Oakland for many decades. Yes, we can!

    Councilmember At-Large and Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who is the Vice Mayor of Oakland, was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( ) and Facebook (

    Out of the Closet and into City Hall
    Published on August 10, 2023