Since the Oakland A's first announced in 2009 that they might consider a move south, to San Jose, Oakland has been desperately trying to hold on to the team. Now there's some movement at the Port of Oakland that may free up some land that would be the last best hope for a new stadium in the city limits.

At issue is a 50-acre parcel of waterfront property near Jack London Square, owned by the Port, that has long been discussed as a viable location for a new stadium — iable, at least, from a physical space perspective, but A's owner Lew Wolff tells the Tribune that he's never seen the project pencil out, financially. The recent death of redevelopment, which would have been a big source of potential funding for the project, doesn't help matters.

The property is called Howard Terminal, and for years it's been leased by a maritime tenant, SSA Terminals, which recently sued the Port over a lease agreement when a competitor received better terms. The Board of Port Commissioners met Thursday and decided to postpone talks about a settlement in the suit until Tuesday, but any settlement might clear the way for the Port to move the tenant elsewhere, and to free up the land for development.

The Howard Terminal site is better located with proximity to downtown businesses — which the City would like to see receive a boost from any new stadium — but it is far from perfect. A study done over 10 years ago concluded that building a stadium there would cost at least $100 million more than a new stadium on or near the current Coliseum site. And it's also worth mentioning that the Port site is nowhere near a BART station.

There has also been talk of the City and Clorox CEO Don Knauss wanting to buy the team and build the stadium, but the team is not for sale.

Just this past February, the owners of the A's were seeking guidance from Major League Baseball about a possible move, however the Giants have been thwarting a move to San Jose claiming the city as part of their territory. The A's are close to signing a new five-year extension on their lease at the Coliseum.

[SF Business Times]