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Oakland A’s Select New Ballpark Design Team

Coliseum City, Oakland

As they proceed with the pursuit of a new ballpark, the Oakland A’s are filling out a design team for the proposed facility. 

The A’s are pursuing a site near Laney College for the construction of a new privately-financed ballpark. While the team has plenty of work ahead of it to make that plan a reality, the A’s have touted a few selling point for the site–including access to the Lake Merrit BART Station and proximity to amenities in downtown Oakland and the surrounding neighborhoods.

In the latest step in the process, the A’s are naming a team of firms that will work on the project’s design. That group includes HOKSnøhettaSasaki, and Studio T Square. The ultimate goal in this process, according to A’s president Dave Kaval, will be to gain a better sense of how the A’s can construct an intimate, modern ballpark that fits into its surroundings. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:

The public aspect of planning efforts will kick into full gear in early 2018. Sasaki and Studio T Square will be at the front of such efforts. The ballpark design itself will be handled by HOK in partnership with Snøhetta, which also will take part in the urban design work.

Snøhetta’s role might seem surprising given that the firm, founded in Norway, focuses on cultural and educational buildings. But Snøhetta has a San Francisco office and was the architect for the ill-fated arena that the Golden State Warriors proposed for the city’s Piers 30-32, where the firm emphasized the public space aspects of the private building.

“We felt that Snøhetta brings a capacity to bridge the planning and design,” Kaval said. “We want an intimate ballpark that will introduce a new era in ballparks, not a fortress.”

Given the success of the Giants’ AT&T Park across the bay, it might not seem there’s need for a “new era” in ballparks. But Kaval and [Sasaki’s James] Miner point out that many teams have faced a slump in attendance after the novelty of a new home wears off.

The A’s announced the site as their preferred choice in September but, as noted, the club will have plenty of work to do to make the new ballpark a reality. One of the major tasks ahead is completing an agreement with the Peralta Community College District, which controls much of the team’s preferred site. Should the project move forward, the ballpark could make its debut on Opening Day of 2023.

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