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A’s Preferred Ballpark Site Draws Some Concerns

Coliseum City, Oakland

Since the Oakland A’s announced a site near Laney College as their preferred choice for a new ballpark, some Oakland officials have expressed their concerns. 

Last week it was revealed that the A’s are planning to pursue the construction of a new ballpark at a site near Laney College, a decision that comes after an extensive vetting process. The site was chosen over two other options, including the existing Oakland Coliseum land and the waterfront Howard Terminal location, the latter of which was pushed by some officials–including mayor Libby Schaaf–but rejected by the team because of the challenge in developing the site and the lack of public transit near the ballpark.

The proposal for a ballpark near Laney College is by no means final. The A’s will have to reach a final agreement with the Peralta Community College District relating to the land–a process that could take at least a year–and the team is targeting a 2023 opening. Still, there have been concerns over how the ballpark will affect residents in the neighborhood–signs of opposition emerged before the site was confirmed as the preferred choice–and some Oakland officials have expressed various concerns. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:

“Traffic is going to be a nightmare,” said longtime sports booster and Councilman Larry Reid, whose East Oakland district includes the team’s current home at the Coliseum.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf wasn’t turning cartwheels either, having preferred that the ballpark go to Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.

But “I respect that they are privately financing their ballpark — and this is the site that they feel is most finance-able,” Schaaf said.

Councilman Abel Guillén, whose district includes the A’s chosen site, was reserved as well, saying that his first step will be to work with the city attorney to put the brakes on real estate speculation “that we are already seeing in anticipation of this decision.”

“It’s very important that we see no net loss in affordable housing,” Guillén said Friday.

The Chronicle also reports that A’s president Dave Kaval is meeting with neighborhood groups about the proposal. The prospective ballpark location has been cited as having a few advantages, including a location close to downtown Oakland and access to the Lake Merritt BART Station.

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