The A’s circulated results Tuesday of a study that claims a new ballpark in Oakland would generate $3.05 billion in economic impact over the first 10 years for the city’s businesses and residents.
The study, conducted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, also concluded that a new stadium would boost annual attendance by roughly one million, up from the 1.5 million or so that the A’s drew in 2016. Building a new ballpark would also produce about 2,000 construction jobs.
“A new Athletics baseball stadium would be very, very good for Oakland,” Dr. Micah Weinberg, president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, said in a team press release. “These types of signature projects come along only once every couple of generations. A new ballpark represents a significant and important investment in Oakland that will generate tremendous buzz and excitement, creating local jobs, supporting local businesses and spurring even more investment in the city.”
A’s president Dave Kaval and Jeff Bellisario, the report’s author, will discuss the findings with media during a 2 p.m. news conference at the Coliseum.
This is the first concrete piece of information to come out in quite some time about the A’s proposed new ballpark. Team officials have been analyzing potential spots to build in Oakland, with the three locations believed to be Howard Terminal, a plot of land next to Laney College and the current Coliseum complex itself. The study does not provide a recommendation for a site to build, but the A’s say they will announce a location before the end of this calendar year.
The $3.05 billion in economic benefit is broken down into $768 million from construction and related spending, $1.54 billion from game-day spending and $742 million from ballpark operations.
The hardware just keeps rolling in for the Oakland A's.
Just look at the list of awards the A's have claimed over the past two weeks:
• AL Manager of the Year -- Bob Melvin
• Sporting News AL Manager of the Year -- Melvin
• MLB Executive of the Year -- Billy Beane
• Two Gold Gloves -- Matt Chapman and Matt Olson (plus two more finalists in Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien)
• AL Platinum Glove -- Chapman
• Wilson Defensive Player of the Year -- Chapman
"It's really special," A's general manager David Forst said. "Seeing the individual awards has been great. It means a lot to everybody in the organization."
That list doesn't even include Edwin Jackson, who was named a finalist for the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award. The winner will be announced Monday.
The A's also were represented in the AL Cy Young Award and MVP voting -- Blake Treinen tied for sixth in the Cy Young race, and four A's finished in the top 20 of the MVP voting: Chapman (seventh), Khris Davis (eighth), Treinen (tied for 15th), and Jed Lowrie (tied for 20th).
"When it was announced on the network that Bob (Melvin) had won (AL Manager of the Year), you could hear the applause from all corners of our new office in Jack London Square," Forst said. "That was the case for both Gold Glove Awards, and really everything this offseason that has kind of energized the organization. It has been really special the last month."
Quite the momentum to take into an important offseason, as the A's search for starting pitching and other components that can help return them to the playoffs.
It could be Sonny again in Oakland, but there's reportedly still a long way to go.
The A's reached out to the Yankees about acquiring right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray, "but there is no present momentum in talks," MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Friday.
Last week, Fancred's Jon Heyman reported the A's were interested in re-acquiring Gray, who pitched in Oakland from 2013 to 2017 before being traded to New York. As Morosi noted, they've had no problem bringing back former pitchers, and there's good reason that a return to Oakland could bring the best out of Gray.
For one thing, he was a much better pitcher away from Yankee Stadium since the Bronx Bombers acquired him at the trade deadline in 2017. Gray went 6-7 with a 6.55 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 88.0 innings in the Bronx. By contrast, he was 9-9 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.18 WHIP on the road. In 386.0 innings at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the A's, Gray was 25-20 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.
Injuries to promising young starters such as Sean Manaea and A.J. Puk forced the A's to use a patchwork starting rotation down the stretch last season, and the team relied on a bullpenning strategy en route to its first playoff appearance in four years. As a result, A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane identified starting pitching as the team's top priority this offseason.
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Re-acquiring Gray would maintain the approach that kept the rotation afloat last season but offer the A's much more upside than bringing back Cahill and Anderson. With the Yankees actively looking to trade Gray, it makes a lot of sense for both teams.
Based on Morosi's report, it sounds like they'll have to start picking up the phone, though.