This Thanksgiving, we should all be thankful that, despite the often misplaced or ill-timed effort, many people have been trying to keep the A’s in the Bay Area. To illustrate this, I’ve put together a map showing pretty much all of the sites that have been considered for a ballpark over the last 15 years. Below the map is a brief history and the fate of each site.
- # – Victory Court. Emerged as the preferred ballpark location by the City of Oakland after the unveiling of four sites by Let’s Go Oakland in December 2009. EIR process has begun, initial comment period open. Public hearing on December 1 to elicit public comments.
- * – Diridon (South). Preferred San Jose site picked after two year deliberation process. EIR completed in 2009, a 3+ year process.
HOK East Bay study sites:
- A – Howard Terminal. Waterfront site immediately west of Jack London Square. Eventually was leased by Matson to consolidate shipping operations.
- B – Oak to Ninth. Waterfront site east of Jack London Square. Has development plans for 3100 homes, parkland, and commercial uses.
- C – Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Home of the current stadium, has had interest from different parties for a ballpark elsewhere within the complex. Both the Raiders and A’s have leases through 2013. The Coliseum Authority is working with the Raiders on a football-specific successor to the Coliseum immediately to the south of the existing stadium.
- D – Laney College. Plans envisioned replacing the college’s athletic fields with a ballpark. Peralta Community College District was not interested in such a use.
- E – Uptown. The preferred site from the study due to its downtown location and access to mass transit and parking infrastructure. Any chance of a ballpark was derailed when the A’s showed little interest and the site’s chief proponent was fired and a developer-friendly housing scheme was heavily promoted. An apartment complex is now on site.
- F – Pleasanton. One of two southern Alameda County sites included in the study. Was undeveloped back then, is still undeveloped now.
- G – Fremont. The other southern Alameda County choice, the site was north of the NUMMI (now Tesla Motors) site. The area would be reconsidered several years later for another shot at a ballpark, but NIMBY resistance helped kill it.
San Jose study sites:
- I – FMC/Airport West. Old military vehicle plant was briefly considered thanks to central location within Santa Clara Valley. Was eliminated in favor of a more urban locale. Became the site of the future San Jose Earthquakes stadium.
- II – Reed & Graham. An asphalt plant next to I-280. Eliminated early on due to infrastructure issues. Plant still in operation.
- III – Del Monte Cannery. A single-owner site that was ready for redevelopment, just north of Reed & Graham. A developer showed interest in building condos on the site, which is eventually what happened.
- IV – Berryessa Flea Market. Located on San Jose’s east side, its major advantages were its size, a single owner, and its location near a future BART station. Like the Del Monte Cannery, the site has plans for future residential development. Such work has not yet started and may not commence for several years.
A’s ownership promoted sites:
- 1 – Coliseum South. Site pitched by Lew Wolff shortly after he was hired by Schott/Hofmann. Ownership agreed to pay 50% towards a study on the site, which included the HomeBase and Malibu lots. The Coliseum Authority balked. In 2010, the Authority bought the land with an eye towards a Raiders stadium and ancillary development plan.
- 2 – Santa Clara. North of Great America, the site was also considered for a Santa Clara ballpark plan over a decade prior. In order to prevent a ballpark from being built, the City added a street through the property that gets very little vehicular use.
- 3 – Coliseum North (High/66th). A broad redevelopment plan that would have bought 100 acres of industrial zoned land and changed the zoning to residential/commercial, with a ballpark as the centerpiece. Existing landowners balked at moving and Wolff/Fisher were not willing to pay much more than a nominal amount for the land, leading to the plan’s demise.
- 4 – Pacific Commons. Took the Coliseum North redevelopment concept and moved it to Fremont, on Cisco/Catellus-owned light industrial (yet undeveloped) land. Plan died as the broader economy went into the tank in 2007.
- 5 – Warm Springs. Rebirth of the original Fremont plan would’ve had the ballpark decoupled from the residential and commercial components. Area residents decried the location’s proximity to local homes and the lack of road infrastructure. The plan came and went quickly, which made the team look further south.
Have a good Thanksgiving, everyone.