Plan includes a focus on black-owned businesses and East Oakland Hiring
The Oakland A’s have introduced their new ballpark plan for the Howard Terminal near Jack London Square, and continue to stay focused on building at the site.
“We didn’t know how the public would react to our new plan,” said Kaval, “but the projects, the Howard Terminal ballpark and the planned open park in the site of the current Coliseum, have so far been well-received. “Keeping the A’s here is what’s really exciting,” he said.
The Raiders did not renew their lease with the City of Oakland for next year and they are currently looking for a new home before they move to Vegas in 2020. And the Golden State Warriors will move into their new home across the bridge at the new Chase Center in San Francisco, leaving Oakland with only one major professional sports team, the Oakland A’s.
The A’s plan to pursue Black-owned businesses and hire those in the area for job opportunities to ensure the Coliseum’s projected plan benefits specifically those who live in East Oakland. Kaval said that one of the key components of the vision for the plan is strong community involvement. The plan is to “make sure we appropriately and responsibly handle the local hire and that local African-American businesses are included both in job opportunities and in helping to develop the ideas and concepts, because we don’t want this to just be the A’s project,” he said.
“It’s the community project, it’s East Oakland’s project and we want to work together on how we roll things out, what things get built first, how we can build new neighborhoods, new homes with affordable housing, build grocery stores. That’s what we heard from the meeting.”
The A’s also want to deliver an unparalleled, best in-class experience for the best fans in baseball.
“We want the most intimate ballpark in all of baseball,” Kaval said. “No nose-bleed seats, we want you close to everything that’s happening and we want to add new amenities like the Treehouse at the Coliseum.
We want fans to have a communal and social experience, where you don’t have to be tethered to a physical seat. Some of the younger fans want to mingle and be with their friends on social media, take selfies on Instagram. We need to provide ways to get them to get involved. The Waterfront setting will be attractive and exciting.”
This project will be 100% privately financed, rather than subsidizing costs with public funding.
“We’re working with the city and county to look into a public-private partnership on two items, infrastructure and affordable housing. Basically we’re going to use the tax revenue created by our projects, so this is money that currently does not exist,” he said.
Infrastructure, Kaval said, will help both the ballpark and the entire community around it, by dealing with new transportation options, raising the Howard Terminal above sea level, and other frameworks that will ensure the site is safe and sustainable. There is no projected total cost available yet.
The A’s Framework will also ensure the project delivers strong economic and community benefits to the people of Oakland.
“It’s important that its meaningful, whether it’s local hire, community and job benefits or workforce development. We want to be a catalyst to make sure these things happen,” Kaval said.
The A’s have met with stakeholders, and people who live in the community for ideas and input on the Coliseum plan in particular. Kaval said the team has had a lot of meetings and outreach to understand various people’s perspectives. The community has taken an active role to be involved in this project. Look for announcements, market strategies and ads right here with the Oakland Post, and we will keep you updated every step of the way on the development of the new ballpark.