As we all know, too well, at this point in time there is no real guarantee as to where the A’s will play their home games in the not too distant future. We all have opinions, we handicap the race, we rationalize away opposing views, etc. So for this post, let’s all take our “bookmaking” hats off and just envision what it would be like to sit in the stadium that has been rendered…
If it helps, just imagine it is at Jack London Square. We start with my favorite image…
Ignoring the question of “where,” two things seem to be on folks mind’s when thinking about this rendering of a new A’s stadium. Will it be a hitter, or pitcher, friendly stadium? And what the heck is that thing in Right Field?
Let’s start with the dimensions. From Left to Right, 309 LF Line, 375 LF Power Alley, 405 CF, 345 RF Alley, 300 RF Line (this number comes from a different picture). These dimensions, combined with the scarce foul ground, make me think it is safe to say that this park would be rather attractive to hitters. A few things we can’t really tell from the image above would be important in determining how friendly. Really, the most important thing we can’t necessarily tell is the height of the fences. Clearly, Left Field is lower than the rest. If I were to guess I would say that Center and Right Fields (minus the thing in Right Field) are 12-15 feet high. If these dimensions are really what will be in play, I hope it is 15 feet, or higher. Otherwise, there are gonna be A LOT of fly balls in the right field gap, that wouldn’t normally hit a warning track anywhere else, that are landing a few rows deep. Even then, those fly balls will probably be doubles instead of fly outs. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
After years of watching “Coliseum regulated offensive production” it might be nice to see some guys hit 50 HR’s on occasion. I mean, imagine if Eric Chavez played his pre-2006 career in this stadium. Holy cow he would have been a monster. Jason Giambi in 2000 could have over 50 HR’s in this place. The downside? Barry Zito wouldn’t have won a Cy Young. Well, this is all clearly meandering false revisionist history that can’t really be proven. But wait! Another picture:
That Thing in Right Field is kind of awkward. There. I said it. But it also has freaking huge potential. Looking at this image, three things jump out at me. The yellow line running up the brick portion of the wall. The concept of mini/convertible suites. The unfinished look to the architecture.
I may be legally blind, but even I can see that the distance to the corner appears to read “300.” The yellow line, about 45 feet in from the foul line and coinciding with the Crawford Box like seats in Right Center, that runs up the thing and kind of disappears about half way up drips with possibility. I imagine the HR line would run along the top of the brick line, it looks to be about 25 feet high, and allows for fans to sit just about in the field of play. 300 feet seems a bit short, no? Without a doubt it appears to be something below 310 feet, so it will require MLB approval. But this short distance offers opportunity in the form of premium seating.
The Thing in Right Field appears to be made up of suites. In the original Fremont design, the park had customizable minisuites. These appear to be the same concept, small configurable suites. The lower level, those covered with brick and in play, could easily be a larger version of the Virgin America Loft (pictures start on slide 6 in the link) over at AT&T Park. Everything above the line would be suites, customizable for groups from 4 to 16. It reminds me of many football stadiums I have been too, with the row of suites all on one side of the field, in a stacked formation.
The last thing, of course, is the stark look to The Thing in Right Field. It leaves a lot to the imagination. Don’t get me wrong, if it looks exactly like this drawing, it will be good as is, with it’s stark, modern feel. But imagine something like the Coliseum in Rome, with it’s arched breezeways. It could fit. Spanish-Mission Style rectangular windows. They fit. I like the blank slate.
I hope no matter where a stadium ends up, it has The Thing in Right Field. Just, maybe, 320 feet from home plate. Let’s look at another angle:
This is just a cool shot. The two things I really like are the building along the Left Field line and the Upper Deck in Left.
The Upper Deck in Left reminds me of my favorite old school park, Tiger Stadium. When the A’s used to go to Detroit, in the the pre Comerica Park days, I would run home from school to be home in time to turn on KAIL TV 53 and see if anyone could hit one into the Upper Deck. I would love to sit in a real Upper Deck in the middle of the outfield. Of course, these days I wouldn’t really have reason to wonder if anyone (in Green and Gold, anyway), would hit one into the Upper Deck. But maybe someday Chris Carter?
I imagine that building along the Left Field foul line, and then wrapping around behind the stadium, is an equivalent to the area outside Fenway Park on Yawkey Way. At least, it is envisioned as such, only bigger. With a High Speed Rail station somewhere nearby, it isn’t hard to see the vision: A transit hub/plaza/retail district that sits in between HP Pavillion and Cisco Field. It is a grand vision.
Is this vision be become reality? We all await your direction, Bud.