Liveblog of the meeting (watching the stream):
7:15 PM – The first of eight speakers, Chris Dobbins, is up. The first three speakers are in favor of the resolution: Dobbins, Mike Davie, and Jorge Leon. emperor nobody is fifth with the the phrase “green stadium” as the magic words to making the ballpark work. Ethan Pintard suggests other alternative sites, is concerned with land availability. Bryan Grunwald suggests 980 Park, wants more transparency in the process.
7:28 PM – Council is speaking. Nancy Nadel asks about the Uptown garage, which will have $3.8 million in available funding, which will not be enough to finish the garage (it was also dependent on a now dormant housing development). Funny, she talks about the garage in terms of bringing people in from outside Oakland; isn’t that one of the purposes of a ballpark? Just asking.
7:33 PM – Rebecca Kaplan is up, is encouraged but wants alternatives (uses of the Victory Court site) just in case MLB doesn’t choose Oakland or a ballpark doesn’t pan out. Suggests the Coliseum as a possible site, though she takes care that mentioning the Coliseum is not opposition to Victory Court (sounds like a backpedal from the pre-election stance). Asks about pedestrian and rail crossing improvements, potential for a streetcar project.
7:36 PM – Ignacio de la Fuente thanks A’s fans. Is concerned about how MLB plays one city against another to squeeze out the best deal they can. Implores MLB to make a decision, says he can’t in good conscience support the resolution without a commitment from MLB. Brings up the DC-NoVA bidding war to land the Nats. Northern Virginia, like San Jose, was considered in the lead because it was well organized and had good political and economic support. DC got the team because of the deal put together by Robert Bobb and then-mayor Anthony Williams.
7:41 PM – Jane Brunner rebuts IDLF. Basically says that if we don’t approve this, we lose the team tomorrow (applause).
7:44 PM – Jean Quan expresses her support. Also looks at the site for other potential uses.
Motion passes 6-2. “Let’s Go Oakland” chant ensues.
Side note: A Bay City News article (via NBC Bay Area) mentions Fremont as Wolff’s fallback if MLB doesn’t allow a move to San Jose but only as a past (and currently not active) site possibility.
Greetings from the Southland again, where I am working on an ark to transport me, family, and pairs of animals away from the flash flooding here. At least it ends tomorrow. I think.
Rich Lieberman has the scoop that the A’s are dropping out of the KTRB bidding, due to the station’s “significant internal issues.” I think Big Vinny is cutting the A’s a bit too much slack here. Lew Wolff and Ken Pries are fully aware that individual stations don’t come up for sale very often, so to be able to jump in on one that already has your programming and really only needs some upkeep is a pretty rare opportunity, especially in the Bay Area. I’ve gotten on my soapbox two weeks ago, so I won’t belabor the point. Let’s just say I’ll be seriously disappointed if this comes to pass.
Speaking of opportunities, the Oakland City Council will take up the $750k EIR decision on tonight’s agenda (PDF). Be forewarned, however. The agenda has 47 items, and the meeting starts at 5:30 PM – which makes sense if you’re going to cram 47 items into a single session. The Victory Court item, 10-0260, is way down towards the bottom of the list and is a non-consent item, which means it will be heard after 6:30. A staff note for the item goes as follows:
The December 14, 2010 Community and Economic Development Committee approved recommendations and directed staff to spend conservatively – as slow as possible and decisions to expend funds should be leveraged against tangible certainties.
Staff further directed to add a RESOLVED that the contract is subject to termination at any time, with remaining funds left unspent, should the City’s work with the Major League Baseball stop progressing towards a satisfactory conclusion; 4 Ayes
Again, the item should pass handily with the added termination clause, though there will undoubtedly be a great deal of discussion before that vote is taken. The meeting will stream here.