Oakland Ballpark

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Oakland Ballpark
Oakland Ballpark.jpg
Artist rendering of Oakland Ballpark
Oakland Ballpark is located in Oakland, California
Oakland Ballpark
Oakland Ballpark
Location in Oakland
Oakland Ballpark is located in California
Oakland Ballpark
Oakland Ballpark
Location in California
Oakland Ballpark is located in the US
Oakland Ballpark
Oakland Ballpark
Location in the United States
LocationOakland, California
Coordinates37°47′44.7″N 122°17′0,03″W / 37.795750°N 122.28333°W / 37.795750; -122.28333Coordinates: 37°47′44.7″N 122°17′0,03″W / 37.795750°N 122.28333°W / 37.795750; -122.28333
Public transitAmtrak Oakland – Jack London Square
Bus interchange AC Transit: 12, 72, 72M, 72R, Broadway Shuttle
OperatorOakland Athletics
Capacity34,000
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Construction costUS$500 million+
($511 million in 2018 dollars)[1]
ArchitectBjarke Ingels Group
Tenants
Oakland Athletics (MLB) (from 2023)
Website
Official website

Oakland Ballpark is the working name for a proposed ballpark to be built in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland, California. It is proposed as the new home of Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics. It would serve as the replacement to their current home at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, where the team has resided since 1968. This would mark the first time that the A's franchise has played in a brand new stadium since the completion of Shibe Park in 1909.

Summary[edit]

The Athletics have proposed constructing a 34,000-seat stadium at Howard Terminal in the Port of Oakland. Even though the stadium would be privately funded, significant improvement to public infrastructure would be required. After securing the site, the team proposes to begin construction in 2021 with the stadium opening in 2023.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Towards the early 2000s it was becoming clear that the Oakland Coliseum was inadequate for the long term future to host the Athletics and the NFL's Oakland Raiders. Major League Baseball began pushing the team to pursue a new stadium either in Oakland or elsewhere. The Coliseum is the last facility in Major League Baseball that is also home to a NFL team. It is also the last stadium remaining of the multi-purpose stadiums of the 1960s designed for both baseball and football in Major League Baseball. In recent years, the Coliseum has been criticized as being one of the "worst stadiums in baseball".[2] Problems cited include the large amount of foul territory and the addition of Mount Davis.

The former allows for more foul-outs while the latter has been criticized for "ruining" the ambience of the original configuration. In addition, the stadium has been plagued with sewage issues which include flooding of the dugouts and clubhouses with sewage. The process of finding a new stadium began in 2001 with a plan for a stadium in Oakland. After the first plans in Oakland along with plans for a stadium in Fremont and San Jose fell through the Athletics arrived at the current plan.

Timeline[edit]

  • 1968 – The Kansas City Athletics move to Oakland and into the Oakland Coliseum.
  • 1982 – Oakland Raiders move to Los Angeles leaving the Coliseum as a baseball only facility.
  • 1995 – Raiders move back from Los Angeles and the Mount Davis addition is built in the coliseum outfield.
  • August 2005 – First ballpark plan in Oakland is revealed.
  • December 2005 – First new ballpark plan fails to win support.
  • 2006 – Cisco Field plan is announced in Fremont.
  • 2009 – Fremont location is abandoned after public resistance.
  • 2010 – City of Oakland selects waterfront site in the Jack London Square area for a new A's ballpark.
  • 2011 – City tables the Victory Court site in favor of a proposed three-venue development at the Coliseum site titled Coliseum City.
  • 2012 – Cisco Field in San Jose is announced, San Francisco Giants object.
  • 2014 – A's began talks with an architect to build a baseball-only stadium at the Coliseum site.
  • October 5, 2015 – United States Supreme Court rejects San Jose's bid on the Athletics.
  • 2016 – Team reveals they will choose between Port of Oakland, Coliseum site and Peralta for new stadium.
  • 2017 – Team chooses Peralta area of Oakland near Laney College, is rejected by college board.
  • 2018 – Team proposes to buy the Coliseum site outright in exchange for paying off the remaining $135 million debt owed by city and county.
  • 2018 – Team chooses Port of Oakland/Howard Terminal site and releases renderings.

Early plans (2001–2005)[edit]

The first of the promising early sites had been a site in uptown Oakland. In a 2001 study, Populous (formerly HOK Sport) had suggested this as the prime site for a ballpark; however, plans to build a park there were canceled by then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown. Brown (now the Governor of California) opted to sell the site to a condominium builder to whom he allegedly had ties.[3] The City of Oakland also considered a site near the Oakland Estuary for a stadium; however, the A's showed no interest in the site due to lack of public transit access. Another possible location that was explored was land directly adjacent to the Coliseum, to the southeast, in what is currently overflow parking, which would have meant the two stadiums would share a parking lot. However, much of that land had already been sold to a condominium developer.[citation needed]

66th Avenue in Oakland (2005)[edit]

Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff presented his vision for the team's venue to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority on August 12, 2005. The ballpark he proposed would have held roughly 35,000 fans making it the smallest park in Major League Baseball. The proposed location was to have been on 66th Avenue just north of the A's current home, the Oakland Coliseum. The stadium would have been built on what is currently zoned industrial land and would have included a Ballpark Village which would have had apartments and condominiums. The plan also called for a hotel to be built into the park along with shops. The new ballpark would also have been close to both Interstate 880 and the BART system which was the primary draw of the location. However, a new BART station or a permanent link to the existing Coliseum BART station was going to have to be built to make the plan viable according to the Athletics.[citation needed]

In December 2005, the 66th Avenue location was abandoned when Wolff revealed that the more than 70 current owners of the land desired for the new stadium were unwilling to sell. Wolff asked the city of Oakland to acquire the land for the stadium by either providing public land or purchasing private land while he and other private developers would cover the cost of construction. Oakland was unresponsive to these requests.[citation needed]

Cisco Field[edit]

Cisco Field in Fremont (2006)[edit]

In April 2006, A's owner Lewis Wolff took a modified version of his Ballpark Village proposal to the suburban San Francisco Bay Area city of Fremont where a large 143-acre (0.6 km2) parcel of land is available just north of Mission Boulevard and south of Auto Mall Parkway off Interstate 880 and across from Pacific Commons. The land is currently owned by ProLogis, a real estate firm, and leased to Cisco Systems.[4] The land had been purchased in the late 1990s in anticipation of company growth by Cisco that never occurred due to the dot com bust. More land was purchased by Lewis Wolff's development group to bring the parcel up to approximately 240 acres (1.0 km2) at the ballpark village site.[citation needed]

A formal press conference to announce the existence of Cisco Field was held on November 14, 2006. Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball and John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco Systems along with Wolff, were in attendance.[citation needed]

The plan called for the 240 acres (1.0 km2) to be developed into a combination of commercial, retail, and residential spaces in addition to the construction of the stadium. The planned development was similar to the Santana Row development in nearby San Jose with the addition of the baseball park. The planned name for the park was Cisco Field, as first announced by the Fremont city council after meeting with Wolff on November 8, 2006. The stadium would have been privately financed, primarily from sales of the residential and commercial properties in the surrounding "ballpark village" to offset the cost of the stadium. The site plan proposed 540,000 square feet (50,000 m2) of commercial space adjacent to the ballpark, and would have included a hotel, restaurant, movie theater and several parking garages of varying size. Its plans also called for 3,150 homes. More than 600 of those residences — including 50 each behind the left and right-field bleachers — would have been sprinkled into retail space north and east of Cisco Field. In addition, 1,900 townhomes and 700 homes would have been built on 115 acres (0.5 km2) south and west of the ballpark. The housing would have been built in phases, and designs showed that a 41-acre (170,000 m2) team-owned parcel would have provided nearly 3,190 parking spaces (West Cushing) until the townhomes were built there.[citation needed]

The earliest the stadium would have opened was for the 2014 season. On November 10, 2008, Lew Wolff reiterated that the construction of Cisco Field was still very much a priority, and that negotiations were proceeding as planned, beginning with the first drafts of the environmental impact reports.[5] The reports came back positive, but the team encountered resistance from the community and the Fremont City Council (which had not approved the deal). "We're literally going door-to-door talking to people," Wolff related. "They think we're going to bring gangs into the community." MLB Commissioner Bud Selig sent Wolff a letter indicating that a move to other communities, such as Santa Clara County (which had been considered the territory of the San Francisco Giants), would be possible. Wolff indicated that a decision on whether to relocate would come by June.[6]

On February 24, 2009, Wolff officially ended the search for a ballpark in southern Alameda County.[7]

2010[edit]

On November 16, 2010, the City of Oakland selected a waterfront site in the Jack London Square area for a new A's ballpark. The site, called Victory Court, was near the Lake Merritt Channel, along the Oakland Estuary. The city conducted an environmental impact report for the Victory Court site and informed Major League Baseball of its decision. The city began accepting public comment on the ballpark EIR at the December 1 Planning Commission meeting held at Oakland City Hall. By the end of 2011, the city had tabled the Victory Court site in favor of a proposed three-venue development at the Coliseum site titled Coliseum City.[8]

Cisco Field in San Jose (2012)[edit]

Cisco Field was then proposed to be constructed in downtown San Jose immediately adjacent to the SAP Center and the Diridon Station at the corner of Montgomery Street and Park Avenue.[9] For the A's to have moved to San Jose, either the San Francisco Giants would have had to rescind their territorial rights on the area, or at least 23 of the 30 MLB owners would have had to vote in the A's favor and force San Francisco to give up their territorial claim to Santa Clara County. Lew Wolff stated, "My goal and desire for the organization is to determine a way to keep the team in Northern California."[10] The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose[11] had been acquiring the properties needed at the Diridon South site.[12] The available land, only 12-14 acres, would have given rise to a very intimate stadium. As a result of its small size, it was speculated that it would have been very hitter-friendly.[13]

The Giants repeatedly refused to cede their territorial rights to the San Jose area (which had been yielded by the A's in the early 1990s when the Giants had been in danger of relocating to Tampa Bay, previously both teams had shared the South Bay),[14] although the team is open to sharing AT&T Park with the A's on a temporary basis if the A's have plans for a permanent stadium in the works.[15]

In August 2012, Commissioner Bud Selig's "blue ribbon" committee, which had been implemented to study potential ballpark locations for the Athletics, met with Oakland and San Jose officials. At the Oakland meeting, the committee was met with a proposal for a ballpark on the site of Howard Terminal, a container terminal on the Oakland waterfront near Jack London Square currently owned by the Port of Oakland.[16] Lew Wolff stated the site "has no ability to be implemented for a ballpark."[17] Major League Baseball, however, stated that it was their preferred location for a new ballpark in Oakland.

On October 5, 2015 the United States Supreme Court rejected San Jose's bid on the Athletics.[18]

Back to Oakland (2014–present)[edit]

On June 25, 2014, the Athletics reached a 10-year lease agreement with the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Authority to stay at the Oakland Coliseum. Bud Selig commended both sides for reaching a deal on a lease extension, while offering, "I continue to believe that the Athletics need a new facility and am fully supportive of the club's view that the best site in Oakland is the Coliseum site."[19] On July 16, 2014, the extension was officially approved.[20]

On August 6, 2014, the A's began talks with an architect to build a baseball-only stadium at the Coliseum site, according to Lew Wolff.[21]

2016[edit]

In 2016, John J. Fisher became majority owner of the team and appointed Dave Kaval as team president and head of the stadium project. Around the same time the Raiders announced their relocation to Las Vegas by 2020 which combined with the Golden State Warriors' move to Chase Center in San Francisco by 2019 leaves the Athletics as the last professional sports team in Oakland. The team revealed three stadium options in 2016, the current Coliseum site, Peralta near Laney College or Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland which was the City of Oakland's preferred site.[citation needed]

Peralta Site (2017)[edit]

After a comprehensive study of three proposed ballpark sites (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum[22], Howard Terminal and Peralta Community College Headquarters District), the A’s ownership determined that the best potential site to fit the needs of the A’s and create the most community partnership opportunities and benefits was the Peralta site. The team announced that the Peralta site would be the preferred choice for the A’s new ballpark on September 13, 2017.[23] The area is located between Lake Merritt and I-880 where there are warehouses, parking lots and administrative offices for the Peralta Community College District. With many fans and residents in nearby Chinatown and Eastlake supporting the idea of a ballpark, the opportunities for shared dialogue were just beginning to blossom.[citation needed]

Opposition to the project included members of the Peralta Federation of Teachers, select student and facility groups of neighboring Laney College and a local coalition of organizations led by (APEN), Asian Pacific Environmental Network. After several months of preliminary discussions amongst the A’s and the Peralta Community College’s Office of the Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, Chancellor of Peralta Community College District, a statement was issued by the Chancellor indicating that he had been instructed to "discontinue planning"[24] for the ballpark after a closed session meeting of the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees on the evening of December 5, 2017.[25] This move by the college left the A’s with the directive of just pursuing the two remaining proposed sites. The undeveloped Howard Terminal location and the current home of the A’s, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.[citation needed]

Current plan[edit]

Howard Terminal in 2018
Howard Terminal[edit]

Located close to the vibrant Downtown Oakland area, The Charles P. Howard Terminal is west of Jack London Square and is currently next to train tracks and large industrial facilities. The 55-acre waterfront property is currently owned by the Port of Oakland. Howard Terminal has not been used by a cargo vessel since 2013. On April 26, 2018, the Port of Oakland commissioners voted 6-0 unanimously to enter in to a one-year agreement to negotiate exclusively with the Oakland A’s[26]. This agreement allows the A’s to pay the Port $100,000 to study economic feasibility and environmental, transportation and accessibility issues. A similar agreement with the A’s regarding the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site was also agreed upon with the city on May 16, 2017.[27] 

This Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) allows the team to pursue both sites and allow “parallel paths” that will insure that the A’s stay “Rooted In Oakland.” The A’s have previously offered to pay off the $135 million debt owed by the city and county from renovation costs for the stadium and the arena incurred during the 1990’s. In March 2018, the Athletics sent a letter to the City of Oakland proposing to purchase the entire Coliseum property including Oracle Arena and develop it into a new ballpark and ballpark village in exchange for paying off $135 million of debt owed on the property by the City of Oakland and Alameda County.[28]

On November 28, 2018, The Athletics announced that the team had chosen to build its 34,000 seat new ballpark at the Howard Terminal site at the Port of Oakland. The team also announced its intent to purchase the coliseum site and make the site into a tech and housing hub, preserving Oracle Arena and reducing the Coliseum to a low-rise sports park as San Francisco did with Kezar Stadium.[29]

BIG Partnership[edit]

As the team progresses towards their goal of opening day in a new ballpark in 2023, they have hired Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to be the lead designer in developing plans for the new home for the A’s[30]. BIG is a Danish architecture firm led by Starchitect Bjarke Ingles that has built some of the world’s most innovative buildings and projects. For the A’s, BIG is working on designing a 21st century new ballpark home for the team in Oakland, and the surrounding development around the new ballpark. This will be BIG’s first Major League Baseball stadium.[citation needed]

Community Engagement Plan[edit]

Throughout his quest for a new ballpark for the A’s, Dave Kaval has made the process of engaging the community an extensive effort in working with the people that live, work, play and connect in Oakland. The hundreds of meetings with the community have given citizens a voice to share their perspectives and values on how a new ballpark can benefit their neighborhoods and provide opportunities as the city continues to progress. The meetings have allowed the A’s to work in concert with the city as they become the only professional sports team left in Oakland. These set of meetings occurring during the fall and winter months of 2018 in East and West Oakland are progressive discussions that will elaborate upon the proposed ballpark projects of both the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Howard Terminal sites.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "The 5 Worst Stadiums in All of Major League Baseball". Bleacher Report. January 30, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Cisco Field - Proposed Home of the 2010 Fremont A's". Sports-venue.info. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  4. ^ Oakland A's sign Fremont land deal San Francisco Chronicle
  5. ^ Wolff: New ballpark 'on track' oaklandathletics.com
  6. ^ Door opens for A's in Santa Clara oaklandathletics.com
  7. ^ "A's abandon plans for Fremont ballpark – Sacramento Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. February 24, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  8. ^ Gammon, Robert (December 14, 2011). "Coliseum City Unveiled". East Bay Express. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  9. ^ "San Jose's Cisco Field". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  10. ^ "Oakland A's Abandoned Plans To Move To Fremont". www.ktvu.com. February 24, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Diridon Station Area Ballpark". Sjredevelopment.org. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  12. ^ "Herhold: San Jose council whiffs in allowing town homes near Santana Row – San Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  13. ^ "Home Run Park Factor—A New Approach". Hardballtimes.com. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  14. ^ Heyman, Jon (May 17, 2012). "Giants still intend to enforce their territorial rights in San Jose and block an A's move". CBS Sports. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  15. ^ Pavlovic, Alex (February 26, 2014). "Giants willing to share AT&T Park with A's". The Mercury News.
  16. ^ Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (August 4, 2012). "Secret meeting on A's port-ballpark plan". San Francisco Chronicle. sfgate.com. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  17. ^ Newman, Bruce; Noguchi, Sharon (August 5, 2012). "40 months and counting: Baseball committee -- again -- secretly meets with both San Jose and Oakland". Oakland Tribune. InsideBayArea.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  18. ^ "U.S. Supreme Court rejects San Jose's bid to lure Oakland A's". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  19. ^ "A's reach 10-year lease deal to stay at Coliseum". USA Today. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  20. ^ Goodell: Levi's might fit Raiders ESPN.com (July 18, 2014)
  21. ^ "A's approach architect about building new ballpark in Oakland". San Francisco Chronicle. August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  22. ^ Coliseum, Oracle Arena and Oakland-Alameda County. "Oracle Arena and Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum". www.oraclearena.com. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  23. ^ "A's appear to favor Peralta site for new stadium". SFChronicle.com. 2017-06-19. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  24. ^ FOX. "Peralta board of trustees directs chancellor to stop A's stadium planning". KTVU. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  25. ^ "A's Stadium Plan at Peralta Site Falls Through". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  26. ^ "Port of Oakland OKs A's wish to study Howard Terminal ballpark". The Mercury News. 2018-04-27. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  27. ^ "Let's play two: OAKLAND enters ENA with A's for Coliseum property". 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  28. ^ "Mayor Schaaf supports exclusive negotiating deal with Oakland A's on ballpark sites". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  29. ^ "A's settle on a ballpark site and a futuristic stadium". The Mercury News. 2018-11-28. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  30. ^ "BIG has been selected to lead design for the new Oakland A's stadium - Archpaper.com". archpaper.com. Retrieved 2018-10-20.

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Home of the
Oakland Athletics

2023 – future
Succeeded by
none