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New Oakland Athletics Ballpark Plan B Is In the Works

Coliseum City, OaklandAfter plans for a Laney College area facility were rejected by the Peralta Community College District, team president Dave Kaval says they’ve moved on to the next phase of searching for a new Oakland Athletics ballpark site.

Yes, the search seems to be eternal. And yes, the A’s are working on a pretty narrow list of new Oakland Athletics ballpark sites, including the waterfront Howard Terminal site and a new development at the current Oakland Coliseum site. And yes, Kaval says a Laney College site is still on the tables. But, according to an AP interview, a new ballpark timeline is still intact despite the rejection by Peralta Community College District:

“We’re still on the same timeline that by 2023 we’re going to open the new ballpark, but by the end of this year that’s our deadline to have an agreement, we gave ourselves at the end of last year a year to get an agreement with the city or the county, whoever that ends up being,” Kaval said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday at new Jack London Square headquarters where the team moved into offices this month. “So we’re still on that timeline.”…

While the Laney College site still could be considered if the sides worked something out, that seems less likely now.

“It’s not eliminated but obviously we had a setback on it and we want to make sure that we keep evaluating the other sites as well and make sure that we find a solution that fits not only for the A’s but the community,” Kaval said. “Because everyone has to feel this is the right decision, or it won’t work.”

What we would like to hear from Kaval and the Athletics: exactly what they are looking for in a new ballpark. The Laney College plan would have created a small urban ballpark with the potential to gentrify a limited area, but the A’s ownership would not necessarily benefited from that economic boost. Meanwhile, you have some proven strategies in MLB of ballparks generating economic growth, especially  with Target Field boosting the North Loop area (including properties owned by the Pohlad family, which also owns the Minnesota Twins) and the SunTrust Park/Battery development boosting the Braves’ bottom line as well as generating increased revenues both for the team and Cobb County. Given that some of the Oakland ownership group include developers, it’s hard to imagine a situation where a stated goal of a new ballpark doesn’t include some associated development.

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