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A's get key vote in Oakland, as team keeps LV in mix

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Here's the latest from Oakland:

"Motion passes unanimously. And this recommendation will be forwarded to the city council," said an official with Oakland's planning commission.

After four hours of a public hearing Wednesday, the six-member commission unanimously sent a huge environmental report, all 3,500 pages, to the Oakland City Council for its consideration.

In doing so, the planning commission indicated the crucial environmental assessment was complete and had been properly done.

The report examined the A's proposed $12 billion waterfront development, which has a $1 billion A's ballpark as the centerpiece.

The mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, released a statement saying the planning commission vote "puts Oakland one step closer to building a landmark waterfront ballpark district with the highest environmental standards."

Next stop: Oakland City Council, which is expected to consider certifying the environmental report next month.

This does not mean the project is approved. It still needs other approvals that could stretch out for a least a few months.

At Wednesday's planning commission, nobody could guess when Oakland's city council would be able to make that actual final vote to get this project moving. When that comes, shovels in the ground could begin, team president Dave Kaval told commissioners, "probably within a year of actually getting the final approval."

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What worries the A's is the clock ticks. The team's lease at the aging Coliseum expires in 2024. The team needs a home.

Kaval wasn't available Thursday. But when he talked to me last month, he was worried about negotiations in Oakland dragging on.

"Like I would be concerned that you get into the election season and then the vote would have to be put off until '23, so I think there's kind of like a narrow window probably to pull it off. I think it's really that first quarter," he said on December 17.

The first quarter ends at the end of March.

So what does all this mean for us?

The team has been looking at sites all over Las Vegas for a stadium. One of them is the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort, at the corner of Tropicana Avenue and the Strip.

"Well, we made an offer on a couple of different sites, and so, that is a site that we're looking at. We made several offers on different sites," Kaval told me then.

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He says the team may disclose its final site pick here soon. We're waiting on that and watching the Bay to see if a team that's called Oakland home since 1968 will stay there ... or come here.

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