SAN FRANCISCO — California leaders tucked nearly $280 million into the state budget that could benefit the proposed A’s baseball stadium in downtown Oakland, taking advantage of a record surplus to potentially bring the team and city closer to a deal.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers quietly approved the funds weeks ago, and the money has stayed under the radar ahead of a pivotal Oakland City Council vote Tuesday on the stadium’s future — a decision that the A’s and Major League Baseball insist could determine whether the team remains after 53 years in the city.
A state budget bill Newsom signed late last month directs $279.5 million in general fund money to the Port of Oakland for a broad range of infrastructure projects. The port says it doesn't have a specific plan for the money, which the budget dedicates to "improvements that facilitate enhanced freight and passenger access and to promote the efficient and safe movement of goods and people."
But the infusion of state dollars came just weeks before Tuesday's vote on developing the port's Howard Terminal into a baseball stadium and mixed-use development in one of the smallest markets in Major League Baseball, and as the Oakland A's hold out for more government funding.