A's have plenty of work left on ballpark after major hurdle cleared

The A’s waterfront ballpark plan still has more milestones ahead that "will determine whether and when the project gets built" after the Oakland planning commission this week “signed off on the environmental impact report,” according to a front-page piece by Annie Sciacca of the EAST BAY TIMES. The City Council “will have to certify” the EIR itself, as the certification is a requirement under the California Environmental Quality Act. While there is no date yet set for a vote on that, city and A’s officials have said that the City Council “could vote on certifying the EIR as early as next month.” The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission “will hold a public hearing” on making an amendment to the Bay Plan, “which guides the region’s development” around the San Francisco Bay. The A’s “have vowed to cover the costs” of building the ballpark and other structures, but the team and the city are “still working out a deal to finance the project’s infrastructure, affordable housing and community benefits." A's President Dave Kaval on Thursday said that the team and city’s representatives “have been meeting multiple times per week to negotiate over the terms,” and he expects the council “would vote on it in the next four to six months.” City leaders had wanted the A’s to “designate at least 15% of the 3,000 proposed housing units as affordable and shell out" at least $50M to build affordable housing elsewhere in Oakland. There is also the issue of who “will fund $400 million worth of improvements” to roads and sidewalks, sewer, water and electrical lines, and construction of pedestrian bridges "to get people to and from the ballpark." Kaval on Thursday said that the city and the A’s “were still going back-and-forth on those issues” but “would not elaborate” on the specific terms that the team currently wants (EAST BAY TIMES, 1/21).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

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