The Oakland A’s are continuing to pursue a new Oakland ballpark, but will have to overcome some obstacles in their ongoing search.
In December, the A’s effort to build a new ballpark at a site near Laney College was delivered a setback when discussions with the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees collapsed. Ever since, the A’s have indicated that the Laney College site–along with Howard Terminal and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum–remain in play as they continue their search for a new ballpark location.
Howard Terminal has long intrigued some officials because of its waterfront setting and proximity to downtown Oakland, but it does present some challenges, including transportation access issues. A BART official recently ruled out the idea of constructing a new station to accommodate a Howard Terminal ballpark, though the site remains on the table. A’s president Dave Kaval recently indicated that the Coliseum also offers some possibility as a contender, but that the team does have some concerns about its distance from downtown Oakland. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:
BART’s “no go” follows the “no go” by the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees, which rejected the idea of even talking with the A’s about their preferred ballpark site next to Laney College.
Kaval said the third option of rebuilding at the Coliseum is now “probably the front-runner” in terms of getting a ballpark built quickly. But he said its location — five miles from downtown — is still a problem.
“We have seen across baseball that the most successful urban ballparks are downtown,” he said.
Kaval said the team has met with groups interested in partnering with the A’s to develop the Coliseum site. But he said anything built there would have to “be complementary to a ballpark … and that’s the part that hasn’t been solved yet.”
In regard to Howard Terminal, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred recently offered some positive feedback on its potential, though acknowledged some of its issues would have to be addressed. More from SFGate:
“Jack London Square is a positive,” Manfred said. “The proximity to downtown generally is a positive. I think anytime you have the opportunity to build a ballpark proximate to the water, it can be a big positive.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in Oakland in terms of figuring out the more difficult issues. I’m not going to dwell on those other than to mention both financing … and there are transportation issues with respect to that site that would need some good, hard thinking and investment in order to make the site work to its maximum potential.
The A’s are working to have a deal for a new ballpark in place by the end of this year. The team announced the location near Laney College as their preferred site last September, and estimated a 2023 opening for the ballpark until those discussions stalled.
RELATED STORIES: New Oakland Athletics Ballpark Plan B Is In The Works; Oakland A’s Returning to Three Ballpark Sites; Best of 2017, #5: Oakland A’s Ballpark Search; What’s Next for a New A’s Ballpark? Four Potential Resolutions; Peralta Community College District to End A’s Ballpark Talks; Poll Shows Support for New Oakland A’s Ballpark; Business Leaders Show Support for A’s Ballpark Proposal; A’s Preferred Ballpark Site Draws Some Concerns; Athletics Pick Laney College Site for New Privately Financed Ballpark; Concerns Raised Over Potential A’s Ballpark at Peralta Site; Is Howard Terminal Out as A’s Ballpark Site?; Chancellor Intrigued by A’s Ballpark at Laney College; Beane: New Ballpark Could Help A’s Keep Players; Report: A’s Interested in Site Near Laney College; Oakland A’s Considering Ballpark Sites; A’s Hope to Reveal Ballpark Site By Year’s End; Best of 2016, #7: Oakland A’s Ballpark Quest