In discussions of a new ballpark, the Oakland A’s are pitching a transit-oriented plan that could encourage fans to add to the experience of attending a game.
The A’s are moving forward with discussions of a proposed new ballpark for a site near Laney College. Plenty of work will need to take place for that plan to become a reality, but the site has been noted for having a few advantages, including relatively close proximity to the Lake Merrit BART Station and downtown Oakland.
As they continue discussions potential infrastructure improvements related to this proposal, the A’s say that they do not envision the need for a new interchange on nearby Interstate 880 or new large parking garages and lots. Instead, A’s president Dave Kaval–as well as some city officials–believe that BART and existing downtown parking could serve fans, and encourage them to visit nearby amenities before and/or after the game. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:
“A lot of people are going to take BART; some will take bus rapid transit; some will drive from the Tri-Valley or Contra Costa County to downtown Oakland and park downtown, have dinner at Peony in Chinatown, and walk to the ballpark. After the game they might stop and have a drink. It’s going to be that kind of extended experience on both ends.”
It’s a strategy that would spare the A’s, the city of Oakland and Caltrans the expense and bureaucratic hassle of planning and building a new freeway interchange or on- and off-ramps on nearby I-880.
While it’s early, folks studying and planning the proposed stadium site say the A’s don’t want to simply transplant the Coliseum travel experience on game days: a sea of parking, two sets of freeway interchanges and a BART station with a direct connection to the stadium.
“We want to minimize the need for expensive new things while also minimizing congestion impacts,” said Ryan Russo, Oakland’s transportation director.
The A’s announced the site as their preferred choice in September. Opening Day 2023 has been cited as a target date for the ballpark’s completion, but the team will have to go through several steps to get to that point, including securing the site from the Peralta Community College District.
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