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Port Director: We Can Make Howard Terminal Ballpark Work

New Oakland Athletics Ballpark Renderings May 2019

In comments this week, the executive director of the Port of Oakland expressed his belief that a new Oakland A’s ballpark could be built at Howard Terminal without interfering with existing port operations. 

The A’s continue their push for a major project at Howard Terminal, which calls for a new ballpark that will be surrounded by mixed-use development. Throughout the planning process, concerns have been raised by a coalition of port stakeholders, who contend that the ballpark and surrounding development could interfere with existing operations and limit the port’s growth potential.

That issue was discussed by Port of Oakland executive director Danny Wan during his first State of the Port address on Wednesday. Wan, who took over the position in November, believes that if the proper measures are put into place, the A’s will be able to move forward with their proposal without disrupting normal business at the port. He suggested that an “industrial sanctuary policy” could be adopted to ensure that the ballpark and surrounding development did not conflict with port operations, though he did not offer up many details about the potential policy. More from CBS SF:

While the proposal drew applause, Wan offered few details about what such a policy would look like.

“From the perspective of the port, the objective of an industrial sanctuary is to provide and preserve the land use, transportation and infrastructure both inside and outside the port area to accommodate transportation, commerce, business and jobs needs of our region,” he said.

“The need for an industrial sanctuary does not preclude the proposal by the Oakland Athletics to build a major league ballpark at Howard Terminal,” Wan said.

The ballpark proposal, however, has drawn sharp criticism from International Longshore and Warehouse Union leadership as well as from some of the ports tenants.

The A’s have been hoping that the ballpark could be completed by the 2023 season, though the team still needs various approvals at the local level to move the project forward. For the A’s, the Howard Terminal ballpark is one part of a larger proposal that also calls for the redevelopment of the Coliseum site. The A’s have released a broad vision for that project that includes tearing down RingCentral Coliseum and replacing it with a small sports park/amphitheater, retaining Oakland Arena as an event venue, and redeveloping the surrounding the land with mixed-use amenities. Alameda County voted last month to proceed with a sale of its half-share of the Coliseum site to the A’s for $85 million, and the team and the city are currently in negotiations about Oakland’s 50% stake in the property.

Rendering courtesy Oakland A’s and Bjarke Ingels Group.

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