Talks about a new ballpark in Oakland are back in the spotlight, as the Oakland A’s are expected to meet with city officials about the Howard Terminal site.
The Howard Terminal location is not at all new to these discussions, as it has been brought up and touted by the city in the past. It does some offer some advantages, mainly a waterfront location and the ability to tie into potential development. However, it also posses some glaring issues, including a lack of adequate parking infrastructure and inconvenient access from a BART stop.
Like most discussions between Oakland and the A’s, talks of a Howard Terminal ballpark have picked up over the years only to eventually stall. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf wants to revive this dialogue, and the A’s are going along with the plan for now, as team officials–including co-owner John Fisher–are expected to tour the site on Thursday.
Both parties are keeping are looking into options to improve accessibility at the site. One issue, however, could be whether a development of this type can meet environmental regulations. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Building a large parking garage near the ballpark is an option, but planners would still need to find a way to get pedestrians over the main railroad line that separates Howard Terminal from downtown. The A’s also would have to clear many of the same regulatory hurdles for waterfront development that helped doom the efforts of the Golden State Warriors to build their new arena at San Francisco’s Piers 30-32. Schaaf has moved to have Howard Terminal incorporated into the city’s downtown area plan, which will allow the industrial site to be rezoned for a ballpark and make it easier to clear environmental obstacles. According to City Hall sources, Fisher recently signed up Strada Investment Group’s Jesse Blout and Michael Cohen to help come up with an Oakland ballpark plan.
There has been little public talk in recent months about a new ballpark in Oakland, though as recently as July MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed his desire to keep the A’s in town. It remains to be seen if Howard Terminal, or another location, can spark discussions between the two sides.
RELATED STORIES: 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