Newsom signs two bills that move along approval of a new Oakland ballpark

Amid new threats the Oakland Athletics could move to Las Vegas if a lawsuit by the city of Oakland is not dropped, the California Legislature, however, appears in favor of new ballpark in downtown Oakland.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two Oakland-centric ballpark bills last week, each sponsored by local state officials, that will streamline the regulatory process and help fund infrastructure around the proposed site.

Legislation by Assemblymember Rob Bonta allows the State Lands Commission to streamline the process of working with other regulatory agencies and commissions with the goal of setting boundaries for the waterfront property.

Another by state Sen. Nancy Skinner allows the city of Oakland to set up a tax infrastructure district in the area around the proposed waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal.

The district allows the city to issue bonds to help pay for infrastructure required to facilitate the large number of fans attending games, such as roads and transportation facilities, but also low-income housing and parks.

The A’s plan on building a 35,000-seat ballpark that will be privately-funded, the team has repeatedly said.

Although, despite the recent signings of the two bills last weekend, the city balked at a proposal by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to sell its half of the Coliseum complex to the A’s, rather than to the city of Oakland, which owns the other half.

Oakland city leaders followed up with a temporary restraining order this month blocking negotiations between the county and A’s.

The Coliseum complex represents a tantalizing opportunity for redevelopment, which both the A’s and city recognize. The A’s hope to redevelop the Coliseum area for housing and use some of the proceeds to help fund the Howard Terminal ballpark near Jack London Square.



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