We’ve been down this road before, but Oakland A’s managing partner Lew Wolff says team ownership would be willing to look at a new ballpark at the current Coliseum site.
With San Jose increasingly looking like a spot in the rear-view mirror and prospects for a waterfront ballpark remain in the early planning stages, Wolff may be facing reality in saying the future of the A’s may be at the current Coliseum site. The O.co Coliseum is in bad shape and neither tenant (remember, the facility is shared with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders) is very happy with the state of things. (That’s not stopping the A’s from signing a 10-year lease extension soon, however: it’s apparently been decided the team’s home is in the Bay Area, not Sacramento.)
So Wolff is opening the door to a new A’s ballpark at the Coliseum site, with the land provided by the Coliseum Authority and potentially financed by the team. Wolff has along the way always offered to build a ballpark on his own dime, first in Fremont and then in San Jose. In an interview with the Press-Democrat’s Lowell Cohn, Wolff laid out a potential vision for a new A’s ballpark in Oakland:
PD: Do you still want only San Jose?
Wolff: No. What we’d like to do is have a new venue in order to have a better fan experience. We have tried, we think — although other people may not agree — in Oakland, Fremont and San Jose, and we’re willing to continue looking at those areas.
PD: Is Oakland one of your options?
Wolff: We haven’t closed the door on anything.
And now he’s reopened the door for Oakland. He retains his vision, that intimate ballpark, that retro ballpark. Now he sees it — well, possibly sees it — right where the old place stands now. In Oakland. The same piece of land, although slightly enlarged. Oakland and Alameda County would provide the land and pay for the infrastructure, and the A’s would build the ballpark.
Like many in baseball, Wolff is clearly concerned with his legacy, and at 80 years old, he probably is eager to see a new facility in his lifetime.
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