According to the San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Athletics will announce a new site for a stadium before the end of this year. According to team president Dave Kaval, the number of possible locations is down to four.
Kaval said that the four remaining locations are Jack London Square, Laney, the Coliseum and Howard Terminal. During a small press conference — following his formal address to the team’s supporters at the club’s FanFest at Jack London Square — Kaval said that the team was treating the event as a “test run” of sorts.
As you can see on the attached map, three locations are pretty close to, if not in, Downtown Oakland.
The Fanfest was used as a test case to see how quick 15,000 people could get in and out of there. “We’re flying drones over us right now. So, we’re seeing where people come in and out, where they park. How many people take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). We’re working hand-in-hand with them. Because this is actually a pretty good test run, a dry run for this location to understand what the limitations and maybe some of the benefits”, Kaval stated.
About the approachableness of the future stadium, Kaval said: “We’re spending a lot of time on the transit and traffic plans, making sure any site that we pick, people can get to easily whether it’s public transportation, driving, parking, that kind of stuff,” Kaval said. “Especially in the Bay Area, there’s so much traffic for the fans. You’ve got to have an easy in-and-out, because if you don’t, people won’t come 81 times. That’s a critical part of the process.”
On the cooperation with the city of Oakland, Kaval said the following: “They’ve been a great partner. Mayor [Libby] Schaaf could not be more supportive of our efforts. I think she’s a truly visionary leader and she is someone who understands kind of our shared vision for really rebuilding Oakland around the new ballpark and what a ballpark village can mean for the city. And so, it’s been a great partnership. We’re excited to continue working together. There’s obviously huge challenges for developing in California and you need to have a great relationship with the city. As I saw in San Jose with Avaya Stadium to make it work.”
According to the San Francisco Examiner, the ballpark will be privately funded, something that Kaval did before with the MLS stadium in San Jose. Kaval stated that the Athletics want to build a stadium that does not have to be torn down after twenty years, like the Ballpark at Arlington. They want something that can stand the test of time, like Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.
“And the only way to do that is really to engage the community and build it into the fabric of the community and the urban planning. And that’s why we’re working hand-in-hand with the mayor’s office and the city to make that happen. And I think what we build here will not only transform the A’s and allow us to win World Championships, but also transform the city.”
With the Oakland Raiders possibly heading to Las Vegas, the city of Oakland does not have to look for multiple locations for a football stadium and a baseball stadium, so the future for the Athletics in Oakland looks a lot more promising than a couple of years ago.