OAKLAND -- Oakland's community and economic development committee will decide today whether to spend a quarter of a million dollars in redevelopment money for a ballpark study.
The funds to pay for the environmental study of the proposed Victory Court ballpark site -- the location preferred by Major League Baseball -- would come out of money earmarked for a new parking garage at 21st Street and Telegraph Avenue.
Several new condominiums, eateries and bars have opened in the area, but public parking has been lacking since the Sears garage was demolished to make way for Forest City's Uptown development.
In August, city staff put out a call for bids to study the potential environmental impacts of building a new 39,000-seat stadium for the Oakland A's at the Victory Court ballpark site. The agency received five bids and staff is recommending that LSA Associates, Inc., which has offices in Berkeley and San Francisco, be awarded the contract to prepare the report.
If the transfer of money from the Central District redevelopment funds to pay for the study is approved, available funding for the garage would be reduced to $18.3 million.
A's owner Lew Wolff wants to move the team from Oakland to San Jose. However, such a move requires approval by Major League Baseball, not to mention a vote by San Jose residents, before the South Bay city can commit any public funds to the project.
Oakland officials are trying to prove that it has an acceptable site for a new stadium and that it is making every effort to keep the team in the East Bay.
The committee meets at 1:30 p.m. today at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.