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Oakland Leaders Unanimously Pass Resolution to Show A's and MLB They're Still Ready to Get a Deal Done

A's fans and Oakland city leaders gathered at City Hall on Tuesday to make a point

On Tuesday, Oakland A's fans flocked to a standing room only event. No, it wasn't a baseball game or even a sporting event. The venue was instead the chambers within City Hall in Oakland where the goal was to provide a clear message by gathering leaders from the City, Port, labor leaders and the fans as a sign of unity that everyone is on the same page in attempting to keep the A's in Oakland. 

That message was furthered when the resolution that was discussed, reaffirming Oakland's commitment to keeping the A's passed unanimously, 7-0 by the city council. 

Yes, this was an effort to set the narrative ahead of the owner's vote next week and the vote didn't really do anything tangible to keep the A's rooted in Oakland. Yet, there was energy in those chambers. 

Before Mayor Sheng Thao came out, fans started chanting "Stay in Oakland," while everyone was wearing the "STAY" t-shirts that had been handed out by the fan group, the Oakland 68's. The Mayor came out during those chants, which lasted a few minutes, and she was also wearing one of the "STAY" shirts when she took the microphone. 

Being in the room felt like a mix between a political rally with plenty of applause breaks, and a wrestling event with the audience chanting and booing. 

A lot of the Mayor's 13 minute speech revolved around stating the facts that have been out there for months now, like how the city has secured over $400 million for off-site infrastructure, which is more than John Fisher had asked them to collect. It should also be noted that the sum that Oakland has put together, just for off-site infrastructure, is more than the $380 million they're getting from Nevada. 

When councilmember at-large Rebecca Kaplan took the mic, she made a compelling case for why staying in Oakland would be better for Fisher financially. 

"You could build in Oakland more quickly, and more cheaply. One more thing you shouldn't forget about Oakland--we have the best weather in the world. From the investment perspective, why does it matter that you have the best weather in the world? It matters for two reasons. It matters for customer experience and the fan experience, but it also matters for a simple question of dollars and cents. Because of the weather issue, you need to build a roof or a dome on your ballpark in Las Vegas, and you don't need to in Oakland. That costs so much more money that it is more than the subsidy that you might or might not get from the state of Nevada." 

She also mentioned that the work has been done for not just one site, but for two in Oakland. The A's could take their pick over building at Howard Terminal or at the existing Coliseum site. Speaking of that work, she also brought into question how the plans had changed from 55 acres and 3,000 units in housing, and millions in square feet in retail space to a leased ballpark on nine acres behind a casino. 

"They told Oakland run 100 miles. They told Las Vegas run ten feet. Sometimes people say it's hard to get projects approved in California. We did it."

Part of what was mentioned a couple of times was that if the A's decided they wanted a smaller project in Oakland, that they wouldn't have to start all over again. Those approvals already exist for either site. 

Kevin Brown, representing the labor leaders, talked about the jobs at the Coliseum. The most powerful part of his speech came when he said, "We heard A's management promising the Las Vegas legislature that they would create thousands of new jobs in their town. These are not new jobs, they're our jobs."

One last interesting quote from the mayor: "Whoever owns the team should invest in the team. Otherwise, there's many other people that would like to own the team and invest in the team. You and I both know an owner across the Bay who's interested." 

That owner of course being Joe Lacob, who owns the Warriors and the brand new expansion WNBA team that was announced last month. Lacob has experience buying a team that hasn't performed well on the court but had a dedicated fan base and turning them into a winner. 

Why not see if he could do it again?