As the summer unfolds, the speculation heats up about which location in Oakland the A’s will pick to build their new ballpark.
A story Monday from the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the A’s appear to be leaning toward a site next to Laney College and near Lake Merritt, where the offices of the Peralta Community College District sit.
A’s president Dave Kaval maintains that the team will announce a ballpark location during this calendar year, but he has not publicly disclosed a preferred site. The team is considering the Laney site, Howard Terminal and the current Coliseum, which appears the least likely of the three because of its isolated location.
An advantage the Laney site would have over Howard Terminal is its close proximity to the Lake Merritt BART station. The nearest BART station to Howard Terminal is roughly a mile away.
If the A’s do indeed prefer Laney, it means their concerns over a lack of parking space in that area aren’t an overriding factor. Kaval told NBC Sports California during the spring that the team was surveying fans to get a feel for their preferred mode of transportation to get to A’s games.
The more fans that would be inclined to BART to games at a potential Laney ballpark site, the better.
But it’s not as simple as the A’s selecting Laney and sticking a shovel in the ground, if indeed that’s the spot they want. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has long been outspoken for her preference that the A’s build at Howard Terminal. And, as the Chronicle story points out, an attempt to build at Laney could bring a fight from faculty and students.
Wherever the A’s ultimately build in Oakland, they also have a vision of building surrounding development around the ballpark to attract fans even when a baseball game isn’t taking place.
A club statement sent to NBC Sports California read:
“We want to make sure our ballpark integrates into the community and are focused on the ballpark village concept. In addition to a ballpark, the village will include residential, retail, restaurants and open space.”