An overview of the general area the A’s
plan to build a 35,000-seat, privately-
financed ballpark in Oakland.
After years of uncertainty and concerted efforts by the Oakland Athletics to build a new ballpark in Fremont, then San Jose, the team has chosen a downtown location near Laney College in Oakland.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported news of the announcement Tuesday night, along with a estimated completion date of 2023.
However, the team’s effort to secure the land near Interstate 880 and then navigate Oakland’s planning process and voracious community activists may be difficult.
Community members from the Eastlake neighborhood where the 35,000-seat, privately-funded stadium would be built are already signaling concerns over gentrification and traffic.
“We firmly believe that the Peralta site represents the best opportunity to keep Oakland’s last professional sports team in Oakland for the long term,” Athletics president Dave Kaval wrote to the Peralta Community College Board of Trustees, according to the Chronicle.
The community college district owns the parcel that is a short walk from Lake Merritt and the Lake Merritt BART station.
Kaval added, “the A’s need a modern venue so that we can put the most competitive product on the field and provide the best experience for our fans.”
The A’s had long rumored to have interest in building a ballpark near Jack London Square at a site owned by the Port of Oakland, known as Howard Terminal. However, there may have been concerns about the property’s proximity to the bay and the requisite approval needed from the state. The lack of a transportation infrastructure at the site and a belief the area might be too windy for a ballpark may have been downside for the Howard Terminal proposal.
Demolishing the current Oakland Coliseum and rebuilding a baseball-only ballpark was also up for consideration. But the team’s stated desire for a downtown ballpark, or more precisely, a stadium that could meld the gameday experience with a neighborhood feel of famous ballparks like Wrigley Field in Chicago or Fenway Park in Boston, seemed to limit the Coliseum’s chances.
The proposed ballpark near will cost an estimated $500 million, according to the Chronicle.
It is quite likely that the decision to build a new stadium by Laney College had been made years ago, and that the last few years of discussion supposedly considering such sites as Howard Terminal had been nothing more than a stall and a charade to fool the general public, and so as to give the big boys and their friends and associates enough time to quietly buy up a lot of property near Laney College, property that will now most likely skyrocket in price.
For instance, that seemed to be what happened in regard to the SF Giants and the city, and after years of discussion, finally picking the site in the city's China Basin neighborhood for their stadium, and which is generally referred to as AT & T Park.
And let's see how much it actually costs to build a new stadium for the A's, and especially if it is done largely with public money, and including since major building projects done with public money usually end up costing at least five times original estimates.
Still furthermore, since only 35,000 seats would make it extremely small, if it becomes considered obsolete almost immediately, then fairly soon we can go through the whole charade and boondoggle all over again.
Because 880 is too much fun without it.