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A’s, Oakland officials negotiating ballpark proposal

Officials for the Oakland Athletics and the Oakland City Council are in talks again to try smoothing out their differences over a proposed site for a new ballpark.

The two sides have been discussing a $1 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. Late last month, the city council approved its proposal for a ballpark but the A’s found the offer unacceptable.

One of the key differences is offsite infrastructure improvements and how those will be paid for.

Oakland officials proposed going after local, state and federal funding to improve transportation in the nearby Jack London Square area, which likely would see considerably more traffic. The A’s were looking to set up two infrastructure financing districts (IFD) that would raise taxes to help the A’s recoup money they put into the project.

Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan said she has been working with city staff to come up with a solution that will suit the A’s. Work is also being done to finalize the environmental impact report for the Howard Terminal site.

Kaplan said the city could release an update on where the negotiations stand at some point, but the next official action will be when Alameda County officials vote on a financing district.

“The next expected public action would be at Alameda County supervisors, not (the) city,” Kaplan said. “There’s lots of stuff going on that (city) staff is doing and they may or may not issue public updates about it. But the next public vote of an official elected board is expected to be the Alameda County Supervisor vote on the IFD.”

The A’s have been pushing unsuccessfully for a new stadium in the Bay Area for several years and finally got the go-ahead from Major League Baseball in May to explore relocation. In the weeks since, team officials have been operating on “parallel paths” — exploring possible ballpark sites in Las Vegas while also pursuing a waterfront stadium in Oakland.

Team officials were tentatively slated to visit Southern Nevada last week, but ultimately didn’t. When the A’s brass will return remains unclear; a team representative said there was nothing new to report pertaining to their next visit to Southern Nevada.

The team has made several trips to the Las Vegas Valley to scope out various possible sites for a ballpark.

During the A’s officials last visit to Southern Nevada late last month, they brought an architect along to better help them envision what a stadium would look like on the possible sites.

Among the sites visited include a plot of land near Downtown Summerlin, the Las Vegas Festival Grounds located on the north end of the Strip, the land where the Wild Wild West was once located near Allegiant Stadium and a pair of plots in Henderson.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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