Pros and cons of A's potential stadium sites
As A’s officials continue to analyze where the ideal location is to build a new Oakland ballpark, the imagination runs wild for those speculating as to what spot might eventually win out.
Insider Joe Stiglich examines the selling points and drawbacks for all four sites being considered...
PRO: The A’s current home is a known quantity, and the only site of the four being considered that is known to be 100 percent viable. Thus, the timeframe for construction of a new stadium would be shorter than the other sites. The freeway access, and the BART station catering specifically to the Coliseum, make it extremely convenient for fans to get to the stadium.
CON: The Coliseum is in an isolated location with little around it to attract fans before and after games. The A’s goal is to create a “ballpark village” atmosphere, and building here would mean manufacturing that “village” from scratch. There’s also the not-so-small matter of that NFL team that also occupies the current stadium. The Raiders’ uncertain status complicates the A’s plans.
A’s president Dave Kaval on the Coliseum: “It’s important to make sure that we know we have one place that is viable. Whether or not it can achieve our long-term goal and vision of an urban area, I think remains to be seen. I think there is a chance it could.”
Howard Terminal site
PRO: This waterfront site at the Port of Oakland would provide terrific views while fans are taking in a game. It’s a short walk from all the attractions of Jack London Square, and it could serve as the hub of a bustling new entertainment scene. Many view a stadium here as the A’s potential answer to AT&T Park across the Bay.
CON: The A’s and the city of Oakland would have to invest heavily to make this area more easily accessible to fans. The 12th Street BART station is about a mile away. Some sort of shuttle system — or maybe even a new BART station — would need to be created. There’s environmental cleanup that needs to take place along with costly infrastructure improvements.
Kaval on Howard Terminal: “Is it worth the time, effort and political opposition that might come up to pursue (building here)? The site is so iconic that we’ve been keeping it in the mix because, wow, it could just be something that is a game changer.”
Laney College site
PRO: Located in the heart of downtown Oakland, a stadium here provides the potential for all the non-baseball attractions that could make attending an A’s game a truly special event. A big bonus: The Lake Merritt BART station is just two-tenths of a mile away.
CON: Parking, parking, parking … There’s not much of it. And that’s why the A’s are doing their homework in researching what parts of the Bay Area they tend to attract the most fans from. They’re trying to gauge how many would be likely to take public transit to a stadium here as opposed to driving their cars.
Kaval on Laney College: “We’re taking a lot of time understanding parking. Where would people park? How far away? … (If) you need more parking and you don’t have it, that’s gonna create a problem and you’re gonna have traffic jams and people walking too far.”
Brooklyn Basin site
PRO: Another spot close to the water, a stadium here opens the door to innovative ways for fans to get to the game — water taxis, ferry rides … the A’s would consider all of it. Team officials are examining a couple of different sites in this area on which they could build.
CON: It’s not as close to BART as the Laney site, and it’s not as close to Jack London Square as Howard Terminal. Does the waterfront location make up for it being a bit isolated?
Kaval on Brooklyn Basin: “There’s a couple different places the ballpark could go down there, and you’re closer to the water, which is exciting.”