The Oakland Athletics named Dave Kaval as president, with a prime focus on working out a new ballpark plan for the team, while Jack Hill, who worked on the original development of Globe Life Park, is now leading the planning of a new Texas Rangers ballpark.
Kaval replaces Michael Crowley as team president as part of a front-office shakeup that saw Lew Wolff step down as managing partner, selling most of his share of the team to John Fisher and the existing limited partnership group. Fisher will take over as managing partner, giving the Athletics a totally new look on the management and new-ballpark fronts.
“It has been an honor serving as managing partner and I thank our fans, staff, and players for the opportunity I’ve had to lead this great organization,” said Wolff. “John and I have talked in great length about the future of this club and I am ready to pass the reins to him.”
“I want to thank Lew for his leadership over the last 11 years,” said Fisher. “His initiative and love of the game of baseball brought my family to the A’s, and we would not be involved without him. Lew has given the organization all of his energy and experience for the last 11 years and I look forward to a new chapter in our working relationship and friendship. It is a privilege for me to steward the A’s at this important moment for the franchise.”
Kaval has served as president of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer for six years, but his roots are in baseball. Prior to joining the Quakes, he founded the independent Golden Baseball League (GBL) in 2003, attracting some high-profile investors TV personality Pat Sajak. In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book, “The Summer that Saved Baseball,” which highlighted a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the summer of 1998. With the Quakes, Kaval oversaw development of the $100-million privately financed Avaya Stadium, which opened in March 2015.
“I am excited to take on the role of President of the Oakland Athletics. I want to thank Lew Wolff and Mike Crowley for their confidence in me and support,” said Kaval. “Given my longstanding love of baseball and my experience building Avaya Stadium, I am enthusiastic to join the Athletics as the Club pursues a world-class ballpark in Oakland for the best fans in baseball.”
Hill to Lead Rangers Ballpark Efforts
Today the Rangers named Hill Senior Vice President, Project Development. Hill, who also managed the construction of American Airlines Center in Dallas and AT&T Stadium in Arlington locally, will also work with The Cordish Companies as the Texas Live! development evolves and will be involved in other Rangers’ projects, including the repurposing of Globe Life Park in Arlington. Earlier this month Arlington voters approved $500 million in public funding for a new billion-dollar retractable ballpark, which could open as soon as 2020.
“There is no one more qualified to manage the construction of our new ballpark than Jack Hill,” said Rangers Executive Vice President, Business Operations Rob Matwick in a press statement. “Jack had a huge role in the l construction of Globe Life Park in Arlington and has had a major impact in the building of many successful sports facilities projects over the last 25 years. The Rangers are very happy to have him on board.”
Hill joined the Rangers’ organization in August 1991 as Vice President, Ballpark Development and served as the principal development manager for a 191 million dollar project, which included The Ballpark in Arlington, a 140,000 square foot office, building, and a youth sports park. The project was completed on time and on budget when it opened in April 1994. From 1995-98, Hill was the Vice President of Development for Hammes Development Corporation and was centrally involved in the planning of Miller Park in Milwaukee. He was the principal manager for Hillwood Development while managing the construction project for American Airlines Center from 1998-2002. Hill then spent three years as Associate Superintendent of Construction for the Dallas Independent School District.
Most recently, Hill was Project Executive for the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara, California. Levi’s Stadium, a 1.3 billion dollar sports and entertainment facility, opened in July 2014 and served as the site of Super Bowl 50 last February.