Oakland 'very close' to Howard Terminal ballpark deal if Athletics re-engage

Oakland mayor calls Howard Terminal deal 'very close' if A's re-engage originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Athletics have hit another roadblock in their Las Vegas ballpark pursuit, as Nevada lawmakers reportedly aren’t willing to contribute the amount of public money the team is seeking for the stadium.

Now, Oakland mayor Sheng Thao revealed the city is open to doing a deal with the A’s if team ownership re-engages.

“Howard Terminal, it's already entitled. And so I want the A's to stay here,” Thao said Thursday on ABC7 News Bay Area (h/t ABC7’s Casey Pratt). “If the owners called us back and say, 'Let's get back to the table,' we are very close to a deal.”

Thao also said if that someone else is ready to buy the A's, Oakland also would be ready.

“If someone wants to buy the A's, and that happens, we are very close to a deal," Thao said. "So, I would say that we would be able to break ground as soon as possible in regards to the process after in having that deal, whatever that looks like. It could be two years.

“And if we do have a deal, this is something that I would want to expedite because it will be great for the city, it will be great for not just the fan base but for our economic potential as well.”

Pratt clarified that Howard Terminal isn't fully entitled, as Thao said, but it does have entitlements. For a deal to be reached, however, the project would need further approvals and permits.

Earlier this week, Bally's Corporation announced that it, in conjunction with Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc., had reached a binding agreement with the A’s to build the franchise's new ballpark on a portion of the current Tropicana property on the southern end of The Strip in Las Vegas.

The deal is the second such agreement the A's have entered in the last month, with the first being a new stadium on 49 acres of Las Vegas land owned by Red Rock Resorts. However, that agreement fell through, and the A's started looking elsewhere.

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On Thursday, though, Tabitha Miller and Howard Stutz of The Nevada Independent reported, citing sources, that Nevada lawmakers haven't introduced legislation to bring the A's to Las Vegas because they "are only willing to contribute up to $195 million in transferable tax credits for stadium construction funding." The A's requested $395 million in public funds.

The A's never-ending roller-coaster ride for a new stadium continues to tick upward and fall downward, but if the team opts to stay in the East Bay, the city of Oakland will be ready for whatever comes its way.