Oakland Ballpark

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Oakland Ballpark
Location Oakland, California
Coordinates 37°47′44.3″N 122°16′57.2″W / 37.795639°N 122.282556°W / 37.795639; -122.282556Coordinates: 37°47′44.3″N 122°16′57.2″W / 37.795639°N 122.282556°W / 37.795639; -122.282556
Operator Oakland Athletics
Capacity 35,000
Surface Grass
Construction
Construction cost US$500 million+
($500 million in 2017 dollars)[1]
Architect Bjarke Ingels Group
Tenants
Oakland Athletics (MLB) (2023–future)
Website
Official website

Oakland Ballpark is the working name for a proposed ballpark to be built in Oakland, California. It is proposed as the new home of the 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 35,000-seat stadium at either the site of the Oakland Coliseum or at 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 National Football League 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, California and San Jose, California 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, California 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.

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, California 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]

Current plan[edit]

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.

2017[edit]

Kaval stated in 2017 that the team would have a stadium site by the end of the year. The team was reported to favor the Peralta site.[22] In August 2017, the team launched a website for information and fan input related to the project. On September 12, 2017, it was announced that the Peralta site had been chosen for the new ballpark with the A’s proposing to construct the stadium on the site of the college's administrative buildings which the team would have to replace elsewhere in the area. In addition the team is proposing building housing and commercial space on an 8-acre Laney parking lot just north of the site and funneling revenue from it to Laney. The A’s would also help build a garage in the area with the idea of boosting the college’s overall parking capacity.[23]

On November 17, it was announced that the Athletics had chosen HOK and Snøhetta to design the ballpark with the first round of planning efforts led by Sasaki and Oakland’s Studio T Square.[24] On December 6, it was announced that the Laney College board would halt talks with the Athletics about a stadium in a move that took the team by surprise.[25]

2018[edit]

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. The Athletics also voiced a desire for an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city over the site. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf voiced her support for such an agreement for both the Coliseum site and the Port of Oakland site.[26]

On April 26, the Athletics entered into a one-year exclusive negotiating agreement with the Port of Oakland to study the feasibility of building a new ballpark near Jack London Square.[27] In August it was announced that the A's had hired Bjarke Ingels Group to design the ballpark.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  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. ^ Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy. "A's appear to favor Peralta site for new stadium". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  23. ^ http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/A-s-want-to-build-new-ballpark-next-to-Laney-12193239.php
  24. ^ "A's pick design team for proposed new ballpark". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-11-18. 
  25. ^ "Laney College board halts ballpark plans with Oakland A's, team 'shocked'". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  26. ^ "Mayor Schaaf supports exclusive negotiating deal with Oakland A's on ballpark sites". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-04-02. 
  27. ^ "Port of Oakland and A's enter ENA for Howard Terminal". East Bay Citizen. Retrieved 2018-04-26. 
  28. ^ "Oakland A's hire design-forward architect to oversee new ballpark". SFChronicle.com. 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-08-23. 

External links[edit]

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

2023 – future
Succeeded by
none