With Athletics ownership laying the design groundwork for a new ballpark at the Coliseum site and the realization by city officials that large-scale development there is unlikely, we could see planning for a two-facility solution in Oakland commence.
That the A’s have been working on a game plan for the Coliseum site isn’t news, despite what the San Francisco Chronicle reports — in January co-owner Lew Wolff said the election of Libby Schaaf “re-energized” him on Oakland, with the city and the team moving forward with an agreement to explore the possibility of a new A’s ballpark on the Coliseum site, working in parallel to Floyd Kephart and New City Development seeking a much larger project, Coliseum City. Also going on at the same time: discussions with the Oakland Raiders (NFL) on a new football stadium at the Coliseum site. Now that the ambitious Coliseum City project has imploded and the Raiders are close to a stadium solution — the team meets with the city tomorrow regarding a new stadium, and the NFL is expected to act on teams pitching a move to Los Angeles in August meetings — we’re seeing the outline of a stadium solution emerge.
That solution seems to be a two-stadium setup at the Coliseum site, either with two completely new stadiums for the A’s and Raiders or a renovated Coliseum joined by a new facility. With the future of Oracle Arena in doubt as well, there’s certainly enough land to build two new facilities if the Coliseum ends up being parking — it’s a matter of logistics to make sure the new construction doesn’t totally impact existing operations. We’re a little surprised to see the Chronicle talk about Coliseum renovation — the issues with that facility run deep, literally (remember the sewage flowing into the clubhouses?) — and we’re guessing that by the time you address all the physical problems and aesthetic upgrades, you’re more than halfway to the cost of a new stadium. (To put it bluntly: the circular bowl really isn’t good for football or baseball.)
The big story: we should see some sort of resolution to the Oakland facility issue in coming months. The issue has not been the Athletics; the uncertain state of the Raiders re: Los Angeles has been paralyzing lots of folks in recent months. A resolution of that issue will help resolve ballpark issues for the Athletics.
RELATED STORIES: 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; San Jose MLB appeal set for August; Oakland’s Coliseum City runs into hurdles; Oakland offers A’s ten-year Coliseum lease; A’s reject offer; Lashbrook: Hillsboro could host relocating Oakland A’s; MLB to Portland? Not likely, says mayor; Could A’s end up in Candlestick? Here are some unrealistic scenarios; Giants’ Baer: We’d share AT&T Park with Athletics; Appeals court puts San Jose antitrust lawsuit on fast track; Judge: San Jose has no right to the A’s; Selig: We’ll solve Oakland ballpark issue before I leave office; Selig: Oakland Coliseum a pit, but it’s our pit; Legal settlement could pave way for new Oakland ballpark; San Jose suit against MLB a weak one, saye experts; San Jose files suit against MLB in quest for A’s; Selig to San Jose Mayor: Sorry, no time to meet; Progress on new A’s ballpark? Not likely; Athletics propose five-year lease for Coliseum; What drives Lew Wolff?