On Thursday, the Oakland A’s toured the Howard Terminal site for a pitch on a new ballpark. After the tour, questions remain as to whether the team is actually interested in that location.
When the tour–which included A’s president John Fisher–hit the news on Wednesday, we took a look at the A’s history with the site. Howard Terminal has often been touted by Oakland officials for its waterfront location and potential to generate spin-off development, but it has some issues, mainly a lack of adequate parking infrastructure and inconvenient access to public transportation.
The location has come and gone in ballpark discussions over the years, but it is back at the forefront now. The tour came after Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf endorsed the site, indicating some interesting among Oakland politicos in reviving ballpark talks that have stalled in recent months.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors in the A’s search is the fate of the Raiders. It has long been believed that if the A’s made the move to Howard Terminal or another site in Oakland, the Raiders could take over much of the Coliseum location with a new stadium and additional development. The Raiders, however, are eyeing a move to Las Vegas and have taken the steps of releasing stadium renderings and filing a trademark for the name Las Vegas Raiders. (More on this story on our sister site, Football Stadium Digest.)
Past indications are that the A’s would have an interest in staying in the area of the Coliseum. But with so many variables in the picture, it is hard to pinpoint which direction the team will choose, something that those involved in Thursday’s tour–including Port of Oakland spokesman Mike Zampa–seem to be keeping in mind. More from NBC Bay Area:
A’s owners are “also still interested in building at the current Coliseum complex,” team officials say.
Schaaf agreed with [Save Oakland Sports co-founder Chris] Dobbins, saying one advantage to getting the A’s off the Coliseum site is it gives the Raiders an opportunity to build a football-only stadium – meaning, a solution that could keep both teams in town.
But port officials said a waterfront ballpark still is a long way off, at this point.
“At this stage, there is no proposal here,” Zampa said. “Again, this was an exploratory visit today. There is no telling what it leads to.”
Until this week, talks between Oakland and the A’s had been quiet. The team has not been linked to another market since a proposed move to San Jose fell through when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case on MLB’s antitrust exemption last fall. Howard Terminal can serve as a starting point for discussions, but it remains to be seen what direction the A’s want those discussions to take.
RELATED STORIES: A’s to Reconsider Howard Terminal Site; Manfred Backs Oakland for New A’s Ballpark; Raiders, A’s Spar Over Future Facilities; Oakland pitches new Athletics ballpark sites; Two-facility solution on horizon in Oakland?; A new mindset in Oakland?; Appeals court rejects San Jose’s claim to A’s;A’s commit to Oakland after lease; architect talks begin;With lease approved, A’s face much larger issue: new ballpark; Winning, conciliatory moves bring back Athletics fans; Oakland Athletics lease extension due for approval tomorrow; Selig calls new Coliseum lease “crucial” in keeping A’s in Oakland; A’s close to Coliseum lease extension; Wolff confirms interest in Coliseum-area ballpark; Wolff: We’d be open to Oakland ballpark site