Estuary Park Presentation on A’s Fan Radio

If someone – anyone – discovers a ballpark site is being discussed or presented, and he lets me know about it, I’ll take the time to cover it. Even though ownership is only focusing on one site and the City of Oakland has its own two sites in mind, it doesn’t hurt to be open-minded about others. We may find the best of breed or dismiss something entirely. Either way we’re getting educated and informed about it. I enjoy covering it, and I hope you enjoy reading about it. That brings me to the Estuary Waterfront Project, a ballpark concept by Oaklander D’Sjon Dixon. Dixon, a native East Bay guy by way of the University of Wisconsin (as he pointed out, like Bud Selig and Lew Wolff), is an excellent artist and has some brought some fresh thinking to the often static world of stadia. During his segment on A’s Fan Radio, Dixon frequently talked about his ballpark’s goals of sustainability and its ability to enhance both the waterfront and the city.


D’Sjon Dixon’s Estuary Waterfront Project would place a ballpark on the site of Estuary Park and the Jack London Aquatic Center along the Embarcadero in Oakland

Over the years Estuary Park has aroused curiosity about its ability to work as a ballpark site. It’s located east of Jack London Square, across the tracks from Victory Court. I’ve gone there multiple times and several people have asked me about it over the years. My immediate answer to them is that it’s too small. The park measures roughly 400′ x 240′ plus some estuary frontage of varying width. The Jack London Aquatic Center, which opened in 2001, is a somewhat triangular piece of land that’s also 400′ long and 300′ wide at its widest point. JLAC has a boathouse with a community room that can be rented out for events. Rounding out the landscape is the old Cash and Carry warehouse, which the City bought through its old redevelopment arm a few years ago. That parcel, including a parking lot, measures 440′ x 340′. In all, the land (which is all city-owned at this point) totals just over seven acres.


Overhead picture of Estuary Park, the Jack London Aquatic Center (bottom right), and the vacant Cash & Carry building. Yellow line across field represents 400 feet.

It’s not small just because of the acreage, it’s small because of a single dimension. In the picture above, the yellow line represents a reasonable buildable width including mandated setbacks and easements for the water and the apartment complex to the west of the land (top). 400 feet is simply not wide enough to hold a ballpark. A grandstand including the concourse will measure around 170 feet deep. Add to that 50 feet from the first row to home plate, and then at least 300 feet for a short porch to right field, and the ballpark becomes 520 feet wide. There simply isn’t room for that kind of structure on the land, unless you do something unorthodox.


Water view shows footprint of ballpark extending beyond existing Estuary Park footprint

To address this, Dixon took two unorthodox approaches. First, he disregarded the Estuary Park limitations and simply built more of the ballpark out into the water. I didn’t notice this until I saw more images on the project website. Notice the second pic’s taper from JLAC to the park, and how that no longer exists with the ballpark. Anyone who has spent any time reviewing CEQA knows that building anything new over what is currently water is for all intents and purposes forbidden in California. Even the Warriors arena is getting a great deal of static for aiming to build on piers, which of course aren’t land. Additional creation of land in the Bay, regardless of purpose, practically requires an act of god to make it happen. Remember the plan to extend SFO’s runways a decade ago? That would’ve required bay fill. It died on the vine. A similar effort for this ballpark, even if it required only a 100′ x 400′ slab (1/2 acre), would be laughed out of committee or ripped to shreds by Save the Bay, Waterfront Action, or the BCDC if it ever got that far. The Bay is what makes our region distinct, and people and groups have shown that they’re willing to defend it endlessly and to the death. The other unusual step Dixon took that baseball fans noticed is that he oriented the ballpark west-southwest, so that it would face JLS, Alameda Point, and in the distance, San Francisco. As we’ve discussed several times, MLB prefers its ballparks to face east or northeast. In some instances such as domes it’s willing to have a ballpark aimed north or south. This is to ensure that the sun isn’t in the batter’s eyes during the day and to provide relatively predictable shadows during the season. Interestingly, Dixon tried to address this by placing an eight-story hotel tower in right field and a big scoreboard in center. Those measures will only work in certain sun-sky conditions. The ballpark could be re-oriented southeast to fix the sun problem, but it would take away from the view. Dixon couldn’t say what the ballpark’s capacity was or explain how much onsite parking would be there. The size of the ballpark would be “up to the developer”, though he also claimed he knew three people who could fund the ballpark. It all adds up to someone who has some great ideas and understands LEED, but knows next to nothing about CEQA. CEQA is the set of regulations that forces environmental review and places restrictions on what kinds of projects can be built in sensitive places. CEQA has led rise to hyper-NIMBYism in California. On the flip side, it has allowed our coasts to remain mostly in the public interest and not full of high-rises and private development. If this ballpark concept ever got off the ground, it would immediately have Bay and waterfront activists, open space and parks preservationists, boating enthusiasts, residents of the nearby apartment complex, and many others lined up to take it down. That doesn’t include the normal anti-stadium types or additional complications such as the PUC and other governmental agency interactions. This is the stuff that Lew Wolff talks about when he says that people can’t just point at a site and say that’s a site. There’s a ton of legwork that has to be done on each proposed site, and even more on the sites that actually get studied as alternatives. There are studies of noise and shade, seismicity and hydrology, cultural and paleontological resources, along with the more common traffic and transportation work. It’s a significant, seemingly endless amount of work, and the crazy thing is that a draft version of an EIR has not been finished for any ballpark site in Oakland: Victory Court, Howard Terminal, Coliseum City, this site or any other site. And it’s telling that Estuary Park, despite its rather prominent position where the Estuary meets Lake Merritt Channel, was never really considered a ballpark site in the past. That’s largely due to all of the issues identified in this post, and probably many more that I haven’t covered. Just a thousand feet across the Channel, HOK studied two sites at the Oak-to-Ninth (O29) site in 2001. That’s not to say that Dixon’s in the wrong. He has some great ideas, and the fact that he put he put his visual skills to use in fleshing them out can help a lot in terms of creating a real vision for Oakland going forward. If the concept ultimately serves as a catalyst, it would be incredibly productive for fans who want an Oakland ballpark and need a unified rallying point. This idea can be moved and modified to work at other sites. Dixon seems to like Coliseum City nearly as much as his own plan, as long as the A’s stay in town. If Save Oakland Sports and other groups can come to a consensus on one site that has energy behind it and has been properly vetted, they have a shot. If they stand by the City’s current vision of multiple sites being equal with no real consensus, there’s nothing to rally behind. They’re just circles on a map. —– Note: As I was writing this in the middle of the night, I did not ask Dixon for permission to use his images. I apologize for that in advance, though I also cite fair use as this is a review.

108 thoughts on “Estuary Park Presentation on A’s Fan Radio

  1. Despite it’s flaws, it’s a nice effort (and very pretty design) by D’Sjon and I commend him for that. However, it’s pretty telling that D’Sjon’s idea is now as far along into the process as any other of the countless Oakland sites that have been suggested over the years and years of endless discussion. The MLB delay has given Oakland a second chance to get it’s act together. Instead, Oakland has used this 2nd chance to search for political cover and dig it’s own grave.

  2. Ouch, yes Oakland is using this second chance to stall again, but it is there last chance abd they better put up the money or let the A’s walk to S.J…but that waterfront design looks really good…now that is a Oakland ballpark…

  3. San Jose pols should (respectfully) keep their mouths shut at this point re lawsuits towards the Giants. Things appear to be moving to a head in our favor. Don’t stir up unnecessary crap in the media! It’s not needed at this point!

    • Liccardo has long been the most forceful advocate of the ballpark on the council. He’s also a frontrunner for the mayoral gig in 2014. If he wins the job, don’t expect him to be as reserved as Chuck Reed has been. Resources are already lined up.

  4. Liccardo is my councilman. I’ve talked to him a bunch of times – I might be the constituent who asks him about the A’s more than anyone else. He really wants this move to happen, obviously.

  5. re: Things appear to be moving to a head in our favor.

    …Do they? Or is this just more thumb-twiddling and walking in circles by MLB? 4 years and no approval for San Jose.

  6. @pjk- it usually more important what’s going on behind the scenes than what is going on in the press. Look for the little signs that actually are big indicators- welding company moved (remember they were opposed to relocating), as ML indicated “less trucks” at AT&T parcel, and DiNapoli buying an office tower downtown. ML has said many times nothing will be publically announced until all the ducks are in a row- and final land acquisition in SJ has been one of the key elements-

  7. First off, respect for the topic: nice renderings.
    Now, back OT: I have much respect for Sam, as I’ve “talked” with him many times via emails with my big ideas for SJ. I’m confident he’ll be our next mayor (sorry Dave Cortese, my fellow Evergreenian). When you say your “resources” are lined up RM, is it legal resources to take on the Giants or local potential lawsuits by NIMBYS, etc.?

  8. Didn’t mean to put “your” before “resources”are in last post RM.

  9. Regarding the OP, I applaud the designer’s effort. Sadly that’s all I can really say about it since the flaws of that design and particularly the orientation are self apparent to anyone who views them. An Oakland based ballpark cannot be a bayfront ballpark in the way that AT&T Park is by simple virtue of Oakland being on the wrong side of the bay for it. I know Oakland based designers want to match or exceed AT&T Park for “iconic beauty”, but fact is it won’t happen. Accept it and design something uniquely “Oakland” instead like what San Diego did. They too are on the wrong side of their bay and yet they designed a ballpark that is uniquely San Diego and is IMO the most beautiful park in it’s own right on the west coast if not the US. Far nicer than AT&T Park which too often gets a pass for its obvious deficiencies because of being a bayfront park.

  10. I found it interesting that there were parts of the Estuary idea that Dixon was pushing that were the same parts of the SJ plan that people like the AFNers were hating on: WiFi, small park, gimmicks. I’d have to go back and watch again to remember more. I guess it’s okay this time around because it’s in Oakland.

    I did probably make fun of the idea a little too much last night. Dixon, while definitely lacking in experience, has done more than most people who claim there are plenty of locations in Oakland that would work. For fear of “Beetlejuicing,” I won’t name names, but I can only think of one other person who has a plan that isn’t named Coliseum City that is more flushed out.

  11. Why do we have to copy what the giants have already done?? A waterfront location will only make the A’s look like they are trying to replicate AT&T. That’s not what we need to do fan’s.


    Believe it

  12. Turn the park in that configuration and few if any fly balls will get lost in the sun. Fastballs will, however. I guess the location is close enough to the Lake Merritt BART station, but I don’t see that part of town benefiting much from a park — unlike the Mission Bay side of SF, which was slated for huge development at the same time the Giants staked their ground there. On the other hand, that spot on the other side of JLS — Howard Terminal? is that the name? — a ballpark there would result in a SF-like boom between downtown Oakland and the water.

  13. I can see that this design is faceing West, but I am failing to see how it is faceing Southwest.It looks to me like West to Northwest.I know the parcel may be slanted slightly, but I don’t see Southwest at all.

  14. “Several rules of stadium building should be carved on every owner’s forehead. Old, if properly refurbished, is always better than new. Smaller is better than bigger. Open is better than closed. Near beats far. Silent visual effects are better than loud ones. Eye pollution hurts attendance. Inside should look as good as outside. Dome stadiums are criminal.” – Sportswriter Thomas Boswell in Baseball Digest (August 1979, ‘Certain Ballparks Have Their Own Special Charm’, Page 67)

    yes i am advocating for a smaller stadium. capacity is 38-42,000 without counting suites, hotels, residents, luxury boxes, not to mention all vantage points to watch the game for free around the outfield etc… but thats bigger than san joses proposal which is 32k capacity and my design is on a smaller footprint not to mention its a 365stadium.

    i would beat CEQA!! if san francisco giants can build on liquefied landfill then stadium365 can most definitely be built at estuary park.

    by extending the pier im actually creating more open space, more docks and on bay concerts for boat enthusiast but this design was only started in august and these designs are 4months old now, i have newer images that have not been updated ye, if your are interested i can keep you posted?

    there is 1,500 perferred onsite parking for media like ktvu next door, team buses, ADA, residents, luxury suite owners, vips, etc. BUT only on game days, on not game days then that parking is for the secondary program.

    stadium 365 has a sustainable building performance envelope that is a transit/pedestrian oriented friendly development that encourages the use of parking in the 10,000 underutilized parking spaces within a mile radius of estuary park, appeasing the local mom pop shops to stay open pass 5p on game days in the liking of all the people walking around downtown around the ballpark before, during and after the games.

    lake merritt bart .5miles away, amtrak .25miles away, 880fwy .1miles away, ferry .75miles away, 12th st bart .75miles away. bikes lanes and bay trail is on site to lake merritt

    below grade design, yes! sustainability innovation with regards to solar, wind, water, Yes! sump pump, yes! 100% private financing, yes! expanding & building out a pier on a sturdy land mass foundation that creates more open space that compliments the widening of the canal to lake Merritt & oak to ninth? yes! do i have & know all dimensions? Yes! do i know construction cost? yes! Do the developers know how much it cost? yes! will the a’s talk to the city of oakland about staying in oakland? no!

    the poor aquatic center as you say on twitter will be displaced temporarily and then rebuilt in grand fashion only to be integrated into the new stadiums secondary program that goes along with the design, no one else needs to be displaced like at victory court where they would of displaced peerless coffee.

    but oakland’s jack london square gets to integrate a community within a neighborhood with a new mall, restaurants, aquarium, museum, gallery, wifi to attract people to site, commercial etc. there is no need for a pier if the next door residence sells, but why would they sell if they knew a stadium was getting built next door! i dont need that residence to be displaced in my design for it to work but i do need oak to ninth to allow them selves to be embraced as a baseball community which make them sell out before it was built, thats what i mean when i say thats up to the developer to build out pier or displace residence?

    as of now unless the A’s or the developer wanted differ numbers the left line 330′, left line to estuary 420′ splash hit, left center to right center ranges from 390′-410′, right line 310′, right field bleachers 365′, first base 90′ lol

    a beanstalk would save on elevator cost (responding to your twitter feed) but having next to no trash in your stadium bc everything is biodegradable and your stadium is collecting more energy then you need to run it, not to mention grey water system to flush all toilets and run water features, your practically have a net zero stadium that is easily accessible to the public, so magic carpets for the sharks in the aquariums fish tank incorporated in the left field home run wall is not necessary. all that’s needed is just devoted fans, corporations and a community to advocate for one site for the A’s to stay in oakland!

    i dont rag on san jose, howard terminal, or coliseum city, or the city of oakland council. im just comparing apples to apples, oranges to oranges,in my estimate estuary park with my design of stadium365 you get the most bang for your buck on the smallest foot print with the most urban fabric integration not to mention a beautiful back drop and no displacement! lew wolff a real estate guy would and should understand that concept coupled with this is grass roots effort from the bottom up!! no one is paying me to do this, this is all out the passion & my love for the city of oakland to keep all three of their teams, starting with my a’s.

    you want me to do these ideas at another location, ok. but if its not integrated into the urban fabric our doing more for the cities overall idea of how they want to generate revenue for the future of downtown oakland then its just for shyts and giggles; this design is a template, study guide, cheat sheet for the way future cities are thinking like san francisco. my design is real!

    thank you for your article if you want to know anymore ask me?

    • @D’Sjon Dixon – I’d like to do an interview with you to answer some of the remaining unknowns. Are you willing to reveal the financing plan, financiers, and strategy to deal with CEQA? If so, I’m down.

  15. I guess when I look at Google maps and zoom out I can slightly see a Southwest orientation,but mainly West,depending on how they situate the stadium exactly.

  16. Oakland port field > Cisco filed

  17. Whatever you say Berry. (I tend to favor the ballpark that will happen over someone’s idea for one…)

  18. Anybody think the Port of Oakland will be interested in spending tens of millions for naming rights to a ballpark? I don’t think so, either.

  19. @ Berry: Any REAL proposal anywhere in the Bay Area > Fictitious vaporware drawings / announcements.

  20. Would I like to hear D’Sjon defend his plan? yes! Talk to the man, D’Sjon.

  21. Since it’s to small for a ballpark, would a new arena or a MLS sized soccer specific stadium fit at that site? Seems like a nice place for some development like that.

  22. @Ezra – Agreed. While I love the work and effort Dixon has put into this ballpark concept, ultimately I don’t think its going to happen for the reasons ML and others have already outlined. BUT that is not to say that his proposals aren’t transferable to some other kind of smaller development like an arena on that site. Dixon’s got some great ideas that I think could do wonders for an area that has potential and badly needs it.

    I’m interested to hear what more he has to say about his plan in terms of financing and overcoming all the bureaucratic CEQA/NIMBY hurdles. So far its been all talk, but D’Sjon if you can provide some solid details and facts to back up your claims, then perhaps your idea’s got some legs to it(which is more than what we can say about anything the city of Oakland has offered…).

  23. Stop hating on the design fellas … But Mr Dixon i still believe the city of Oakland will have to put xxx,000,000 of costruction costs toward Oakland port field to become REAL….I think Colsieum city is better because it would be cheaper and less hassle with clean up. I’ll call it berry A’s field.

  24. It’s sad to me that the city govt is really pushing Coliseum City, while LGO is pushing Howard Terminal. I am with xoot. The reason I particularly liked Victory Court (before it was $200m just to assemble and prepare the site) was the synergies with an existing Downtown.
    I love the Diridon site because it fits into an existing archetype that has been established in many markets (which is what Victory Court, Uptown, etc. fit into). It is a plot of land adjacent to an existing Downtown that can serve as an anchor to extend Downtown into a part of the city that is a logical extension of that Downtown.
    My favorite parks to visit have all fit into this archetype. Camden, AT&T, Petco, Coors, Minute Maid… It’s an awesome experience when the park anchors an area with a bunch of fun stuff and where ever the A’s end up playing that this kind of experience will exist. I really don’t think that will happen at Coliseum City. It seems to work better as an extension of existing development, rather than creation of a detached island of stuff.
    All that said, I can’t wait to get out to the Coliseum and root for my boys. 2012 was one of the most gratifying seasons of A’s fandom, I don’t expect the same September environment in April, but I do expect it in October 🙂

  25. @Jeffery
    My dream is that the Raiders and A’s get their own brand new stadium right next to each other for the first time…those teams both won multiple championships in that ol’ concrete bowl and I dont want to see them apart. There like “Double Dragon”, or “Iron Man & War Machine”, I think Coliseun City could help bring the vision to get the Raiders and A’s back to their dominating “Oakland style of football & baseball back to the town”….it benifits the teams, the city and of course us the fans…Berry secrest out.

  26. Berry, I am not a Raider fan. I don’t care where they play as long as I am not paying for it.

  27. @berry – It’s not going to help anyone in Oakland or Alameda County if there’s $1+ billion in debt tied to the general fund(s).

  28. Quick editorial note going forward on how we’ll treat Estuary Park on this site – If the site gains traction among pols and business interests to the point of consideration by the City/County and perhaps MLB, we’ll fully cover it from soup to nuts. If it doesn’t gain traction, it’s not our job on the blog to promote the site. This stance is consistent with the one taken with 980 Park, which hasn’t gotten any play since it was presented here and in the Chronicle a while ago.

  29. ML, taking Ezra’s idea a step further, how does the current size fit in for an Arena? Assuming the Warriors were to fail in SF, would that plot fit as an alternative?

    • @dmoas/Ezra – Either a MLS stadium or NBA/NHL arena could fit. Might be tight if it were placed right along the water.

  30. “he knew three people who could fund the ballpark” – Hmm Larry, Mo, Curly? I kid….if he knew such people, he should have them help the city build CC/HT/VC wherever….why only this site?

  31. Interesting about that Business Journal article that there is a GSW connection to Stand Up For San Jose, I hadn’t heard of those two linked before.

  32. @ D’Sjon Dixon –
    I like the idea of placing a hotel (or commercial space?) behind the grandstand at the home plate curve.
    I have problems, however, with the fact that the concept turns its back to the city. Why not rotate it so that home plate faces almost due north?
    The view to the north (Lake Merritt in right field, Downtown in left-center field) would be superior, especially for night games.
    I, too, am a Badger from California (but born in Chicago). Go Bucky!

  33. I wouldn’t mind doing an interview with you Marine Layer, bc its obvious your review needs editing and I would like that corrected.

    But the questions you want to know if thats all you want to know are confidential as of right now you understand I would need permission to release those details to your blog. Fyi the city of oakland knows who would finance stadium 365 copyright 2013.

    It seems like your twitter feed was highly negative towards me on a personal level while I was on A’s Fan Radio, im just a young guy with an idea to help the city, I don’t deserve that backlash. if I do interview I would like there to be positive energy in D’Sjon’s favor, until I see sum pro Positive feedback on what D’Sjon is trying to do for the city of oakland and my beloved oakland A’s on I cant do an interview with you just yet as much as I like and respect your blog.

    Developments are in the making with the city so im sure you will get to cover the blockbuster breakthroughs from soup to nuts as they will be coming public.

    Im still working on the design, its not done yet. If you would like I can keep you updated as much as i can with any non confidential details and if you would like i can grant you the exclusives on new drawings on London Piers at Estuary Park. I could work something out where you could be first to release it.

    • @D’Sjon – If I have to keep stuff confidential, there’s no point. All I hear coming out of Oakland are boasts of this and that, never anything concrete. Let’s talk about something real that can be offered up to fans and citizens. Now, if you want to talk about all of this after the veil of secrecy is lifted, I’ll be happy to do that. Otherwise, I worry that I will be promoting what we call in the Valley “vaporware”. I’m not in the business of promoting anyone’s site, group or cause.

      I looked back at my Twitter feed from Thursday. I wasn’t negative towards you. A’s Fan Radio, yes. City Hall, yes. In fact, I went out of my way to praise you for having real ideas to showcase. That’s a lot better than what we’ve seen previously.

      The thing is that even though I am not an Oakland resident, I’ve gone to enough City Council sessions and small meetings/workshops to know that there are political realities at work that cannot be wished away or pushed aside. I mean, this is the same city that can’t come to a decision on where to place a dog park because of a war between dog and open space supporters. That’s not healthy, and it’s a microcosm for the kind of uphill struggle any stadium effort, not just yours, would experience.

      My criticisms of your plan are simple. You’re either asking the stadium to either displace water or residents. Either one is going to be extremely difficult to do, and faces separate challenges. If Estuary Park were simply large enough on its own, say 600′ wide, this problem would go away. You’d have setbacks and some public space for waterfront access, though you’d still have neighbors complaining about noise. As for displacing residents, how’s that going to work? Buy out condo owners and the building owner? Who’s going to do that? And forget any eminent domain talk.

      Second, you’re calling the stadium a replacement form of open space. Not even the Yankees were crazy enough to do that when they replaced Yankee Stadium. And no, calling it the Stadium 365 won’t help. Any team is going to want full control of the facility whether it’s privately or publicly owned. If you’re going to remove a park, you better find a way to replace it. This isn’t it. JLAC is a resource, not just for the city but also regionally. If you want those who use JLAC on your side, you can’t say that they’ll be covered in a second phase of development. How long will that take? Parks and open space advocates delayed O29 for years trying to get concessions from the developer, only to have the recession make the project infeasible. That’s what happens in Oakland.

      Third, your preso was full of buzzwords for the green crowd: sustainability, zero waste, zero footprint – as if those are novel concepts. Every team and institution is working towards those goals these days because it’s cost effective and extremely good PR. These features are practically de rigueur these days, especially in California. If a team or builder isn’t pursuing those goals, they aren’t smart. The Coliseum has had an excellent and pioneering waste recapture program for years, and it’s not a new stadium at all. If you or someone else starts talking this up without properly addressing the other CEQA issues, you’ll be accused of greenwashing.

      Again, I applaud you for the effort. I’m just pointing out the challenges. If you want to consider that negative, well frankly, you haven’t thought things through enough.

  34. @pudgie

    I frame views of downtown Oakland over the first base line.

    The experience is captured in renders on from the third base lines 3rd tier upper deck!

    the dramatics of that panoramic view are captured by framing downtown oakland between the right field monster and the tower behind home plate. This is allocated bc there is no 1st base line 3rd tier upper deck. Only 3rd base line has the 3rd tier upper deck,which has unlimited un interrupted views of san Francisco to downtown Oakland.

    None of this matters unless lew Wolff returns calls to oakland on this matter.

    Go bucky! Everybody Jump around!

  35. @ Mr Dixon

    Your saying that Oakland leaders have a group.that will privately fund thus project…that means san Jose lied…

  36. That is probably the last time we will hear from Mr Dixon…. ML just asked him the “hard questions” and usually most people don’t respond with an answer… Sigh…my thing is that why is Oakland hiding there ace card, in Sacramento K. Johnson allready has made some guys public on who will help fund the NBA Kings to stay…. Why can’t quan??? Again Oakland second chance of stalling and hoping a owner sells the team is really delaying and hurting the fans.

    Do u know if Oakland leaders are willing to put up the $$$ for the A’S?

  37. I did some playing around with Fenway over top that area and if you reshuffle some of the stands, you could probably fit it on the existing land with slightly less extreme dimensions. And if you were allowed to shift those roads a bit you could do even better. Best solution is if you were allowed to build a second deck over the road (and maybe the tracks). It’d still have some majors hurdles though.

  38. Marine Layer

    I dont think you like Estuary Park… i think you love it; everything im trying to do for our A’s you commend But your scard that London Piers might turn into something that you guys in the “valley” consider to be vaporware? Good, bc no one wants that either, no one i have talked to wants stadium 365 c 2013 to end and nothing I have read on this feed wants London Piers to end either.

    you bring up valid points and its clear because you think its amatuer night in oakland you are skeptical and want to know if i, we have done all of our homework.

    All the things you are inquiring about, so far… Im thinking about admist other things you brought up I need to look further into.

    I think the issues you bring up, you may have considerable solutions for or at least maybe willing to help and can point me in the right direction. If not, then forget covering Estuary Park and everything we the fans want and stand for. I mean, The best point you made to me is we all need to be rallying around one location. You included.

    The city know is focusing on contact with the A’s for coliseum city or howard terminal, that’s where estuary park can comes in, catalyst.

    Ill let you know when im authorized have permission to release delicate sensitive information to this blog so you can pinpoint possible concerns and there resolve.

    You wont hear the last of me, just getting started.

    Lets Go Oakland!
    Go A’s

  39. @dmoas – ML already pointed out in his analysis of 980 Park a while back that simply shoehorning a Fenway-like park to fit a small site would be impractical and less than ideal when you take into consideration all the modern amenities and ADA requirements expected of today’s ballparks. Therein lies a common problem with these Oakland sites like 980, Victory Court, and Estuary Park. You can’t just point at any empty plot of land (or air, in 980’s case) and say, “Here, build here”. With the exception of Coliseum City, no one has identified any site in Oakland that wouldn’t run into major challenges in space and land acquisition. Let alone a solid, realistic plan for dealing with those challenges…

  40. It’s up to MLB if they are still willing to look at the feasibility of other possible sites for a ballpark in or around Oakland. In addition to the already discussed concerns with the Estuary Park site, the funding issue still looms as the most difficult problem. If anything, MLB could be using any of these proposed Oakland area sites as an opportunity to further put off having to make a decision on an A’s move to San Jose. On the other hand, MLB may feel it’s not necessary for any further delay, since any move to San Jose will now have to take some time, too.

  41. @JL, hence the “major hurdles” I mentioned. It’s not really a matter of would it fit. It really could be fit on the existing land. It’s more a matter of a *should* it fit and equally important, what are the costs of making it fit and what are you giving up to make it fit.

  42. @Dixon and ML

    I knew he would dance around the financing question…LOL..sigh another Oaklander with a well…really great idea, just no money to pay for it and that is the sad honest truth…I don’t blame Oakland for wanting a free stadium, but that is not how the game works…Jesus Mr Dixon, why can’t our city leaders understand this and just come out with their mystery man billionaire

  43. Nice work D’Sjon! I love the drawings!!

  44. “MLB prefers its ballparks to face east or northeast.”

    ML, do you think that whole visit by the MLB committee to Oakland back in August was a hoax then? I remember reading that the committee “preferred” an Oakland waterfront stadium. Seeing as all of Oakland’s waterfront faces west, do you think the visit was just one whole set up?

  45. @D’Sjon – What I love is your passion and exuberance. I hope you don’t lose it, and please don’t be discouraged by what I write. I’m just trying to inform readers (and you, I suppose) about what’s out there.

    @BayMetro – A hoax? No. I think they actually did the work, if only to appear like they were doing work.

  46. ML I thank you for all the great info you put on this website. Mr. Dixon your stadium renderings are the best I have seen yet. Seeing that wolf does not want to stay in Oakland and that our politicians are incompetent idiots, the only way the A’s stay in Oakland is if the fans do something about it. Money talks and BS walks, what if money was raised to this end. A major funds drive from fans and investors that made pledges towards a stadium in Oakland. If televangelists and preachers raise millions of dollars towards big huge mega church buildings why cant a devoted passionate community?? The A’s are more than a sports team but a city icon and a rallying point for eastbay fans. 82 games a year in a beautiful site like Mr.Dixon proposes would do wonders for a city in need of something positive and to be proud of. Once again thanks ML and Mr.Dixon

    • @GoA’sDubsRaiders – Save Oakland Sports will soon release an app for organizing and fundraising purposes. It should help fund activities, but let’s be realistic about what it’ll do for a stadium. Even if they raise $10 million that’s not much of a dent – and I don’t expect them to raise anywhere near that amount.

  47. @ Go A’sDubsRaiders
    -For real amen….

  48. ML, I know its an uphill climb but I believe that a united group of people can accomplish anything. Limitations are only in our minds. Under the old economical environment stadiums were built with public money and the cost were passed on to taxpayers, obviously those are not options anymore because people who dont care about sports see so many needs and reason that money is better spent on schools, police etc etc. Which in a sense is true, however for most fans sports is a release, a recreation, a rallying point, a civic pride, a way to connect with friends and families. As a business owner raised in Oakland any investment I made goes far beyond just ” stuffing the pockets of selfish millionares” or helping ” corrupt politicians” but its an investement towards the future of my city , children. Every summer I take my kids, friends, business partners and vendors to a ball game. I have friends who feel the same way. There are alot of A’s fans out there who can bring great contributions to a real movement to get A’s to stay in Oakland. We need to identify people who can contribute money first and foremost but also who are the people that can bring various gifts, talents, connections to the table. Mr Dixon obviously has a unique and quality gift as well as you, web designers, visionaries, communicators ( because just because you have a great plan or idea does not mean you can communicate it properly) investors, accountants with integrity to oversee the collection of finances, etc etc. One of the problems is that the people who can make a difference are not always aware that there are movements out there to keep A’s in Oakland or are not informed well enough. I just recently was made aware of your website and it has brought me alot of awareness to the happenings of the A’s stadium situation. Once again thank you so much for your contribution to getting the A’s a stadium.

  49. GADR, You have seen that this approach is already in place? SOS (Save Oakland Sports) has already started working on donations?
    Also, this is pretty much what a “privately” financed stadiums are. There is a loan taken by the team, but the down payment comes from fans and corporations prepaying for seat licenses and season ticket packages/sponsorships.
    The way to keep the A’s in Oakland is to prove that there is a place to build a stadium (despite the drawings in this post, Estuary Park is not going to be a site where a ballpark is built). One that isn’t ridiculously expensive (as Victory Court and Howard Terminal are) and is in an area where the team wants to be (which Coliseum City is not).
    Next, you have to prove that it is financially feasible to build a stadium. This isn’t just coming up with $500M to build the place… It means coming up with $500M to build the place and proving that the business model exists to pay annual mortgage payments, AND in crease revenues enough for the A’s to play with the big boys.
    It takes more than a “movement” which has been in existence with LGO for 4 years… It take more than buzz words and PR solutions to practical problems. This is 15 years in the making… fresh insight s welcome, btu it isn’t simple and/or easy.

  50. At jeffrey, True, True, True on all your points. Obviously it will take more than just a “movement” or just money. A project like this requires alot of things to come together. In the case of a “privately funded stadium” it is the teams who are out there pitching the vision, talking to politicians, selling psl’s, naming rights, finding investors, finding the objections and coming up with solutions, etc etc. Case in point 49ers and giants. Obviously the A’s dont believe Oakland can be a viable long term solution, for many reasons. I know how incompetent oakland officials are and how many agendas they serve. Im sure wolf is sick of ideas and delays so as a business man I can see how he has given up any hope but as a business man if somehow some way a legitamate solution is given as well as a huge amount of financial support he has to listen to the ideas offered up. If somehow, someway we can “flesh out” our visions he will have to comeback to the table to listen. It is time to put pressure on our petty elected officials and to make enough noise to make both parties take it serious. Case in point last year they refused to open up the third deck until the world series but enough people made a fuss and they changed tracks and said they would open up the third deck to fans for ALCS if played. If a city were to build a stadium with public money any owner would rather get a free stadium than pay for it. Knowing that a public stadium is not an option wolf wont make any effort to put his own money or man power up but if a real alternative were presented like a coalition of fans and investors who “fleshed it out ” in place of the city and organization to bring tangible results to the party, I know things would change. Wolf knows that san jose is still 10 years away at least. Even if MLB gave A’s permission, the giants would take em to court and that process can drag on a long time. Its time for us as fans and a community to take matters into our own hands before our A’s are contracted or moved out of state.

  51. I was going to let GADR rant in peace until he (or she) started hating on San Jose in the last post. San Jose 10 years away? More pro-Oakland wishful thinking of the Giants obstructing the move? Reality check: you need 3+ years of catching up to do, so start reading up on this site. You’ll then realize that OAKLAND ISN’T HAPPENING for the A’s. Sorry for being so blunt GADR. Oh and by the way, welcome to the blog.

  52. BTW,
    The best stadium renderings you have seen yet? WOW! Really? (They’re computer generated models IMHO, not true renderings ala Cisco Field at Diridon; now those are sweet 😉

  53. @Tony D – Settle down.

  54. Tony D thanks for the welcome and I do appreciate bluntness, sometimes there is no nice way to say things especially hard realities. Btw I am not opposed to a move to san jose and I would rather see that then seeing A’s leave state or being contracted. 10 yrs was a bit of hyperbole so bear with me. My problem with this entire situation is that both parties are not being honest with the public. Oakland officials have not brought any real solutions and have not put thier best foot forward even though they say they have. And Mr.Wolf has wanted to leave Oakland and has gone out of his way to alienate the fans. We all know the challenges, old stadium, scarce crowds, etc etc. But Mr. Wolf goes out of his way to take jabs every chance he gets. Oakland and San francisco were in the same boat before AT&t and the giants were on the verge of moving until they got a committed ownership who had vision and invested in the team on the field and off the field. You reap what you sow. You dont look at a bare plot of ground and say ” if you give me fruit then I will plant seed” you cultivate the ground and sow seed in expectation of a harvest. Thats how nature works and thats how business works. The A’s , Raiders and city officials have not even had the decency to buy a real jumbotron. That thing we have is a joke. If they put the stadium in a good location I know Oakland can support this team. I would love to model our organization after the cardinals. A small town with a great fan base and a rich baseball history.

  55. @RM, point taken.
    @ GADR, my apologies for the blunt opinion. You seem like an ok person with that last post. You obviously have a lot of civic pride for Oakland which I commend. I feel the same way towards San Jose, as I am a resident and proud native. We both want what we think is best for the A’s and our cities. I’ll just leave it at that. Peace..

  56. In my opinion, Oakland had its best chance to get an ideal site for a new A’s ballpark when the Uptown site was being considered. Mayor Jerry Brown could have been able to use his political clout and business connections to get a combination private/public funding plan for the proposed Uptown ballpark. Unfortunately, Jerry Brown was, and still is as Governor, dead set against providing any support towards the building of professional level sports facilities. In the case of the Uptown plan, then Mayor Brown had put all his efforts on getting that site built specifically for housing.

  57. As a San Jose partisan, an Uptown Ballpark in Oakland would have been awesome. I was a huge supporter of that HOK proposal/concept. Alas, the boat has sailed on (as llpec stated) Oaklands best chance for a new A’s ballpark..

  58. This site is extremely unviable. The best waterfront site in Oakland is HT and that’s that. I’ve talked to the guy who designed this and he really doesn’t seam like he knows what he’s talking about. He gets mad if anyone criticizes (even if constructive) his ideas.

  59. Not saying Howard terminal is viable but location wise it is MUCH better than this site. Secondly, D’Sjon doesn’t understand that you can’t have his idea because it faces the sun. He won’t listen and he’s critical of any other ballpark plan. I really hope estuary park doesn’t happen. Way rather have cisco field.

  60. Hasn’t MLB looked at every site in Oakland since 2009 and not found any to its liking?

  61. There is Pjk.. where you been?? vacation…

  62. I don’t think its ever really been about “site” in Oakland; JLS would be awesome for an A’s ballpark. It’s the financials and proximity to SF/AT&T Park that have really made Oakland a no go: lack of public funding, corporate support, high-end incomes for premium seating, need to privately finance a venue, etc.

  63. So it seems like every months its “Wouldn’t a new ballpark look great at this site in Oakland!” Even if the statements are true, the issues of how to pay for it don’t just go away. I think a Mercedes Benz would look great in my driveway, if only I had the cash to pay for one. What’s the point of even daydreaming about it if the means to pay for it aren’t there and won’t be there?

  64. The problem with a fundraising effort is that I would assume there is not a huge portion who would be considered pro-Oakland. I must say, what I am continuously impressed with is the passion and pride that Oaklanders have. As a former East Bay resident, I totally get it. But at this point, the best fundraising probably should be in the form of ticket sales. To this end, there are 81 opportunities annually to prove how viable a team connects to a region. That hasn’t been totally impressive, but I am hopeful the attendance improves greatly this year. But if the A’s falter in the early season standings, you might see a repeat of attendances past.
    I know it’s not scientific, but there was that SFGate poll that more folks wanted the park in San Jose. Perception or reality, that’s a hurdle. You don’t need to be for any side to see San Jose has done a lot more to court the A’s. The latest pr flub from Santana, Blackwell and Quan trying to get tough with Lew Wolff only to have to retract their statement and apologize doesn’t help in the perception department.
    Kudos to Mr. Dixon for doing some nice out-of-the-box thinking.

  65. Before the current Giants ownership bought the team they faced the same challenges Oakland faces. Bad attendance, no public money to finance stadium, not alot of viable locations for a stadium, poor attendance, etc etc. They buy the team and commit to S.F and then go and get a top tier free agent who becomes the face of the franchise. They get a stadium built and turn an old beatdown area of the city into what it is today. It was all a snowball effect, it did not happen overnight. The A’s have had lots of years of 2 million plus attendance. Suppose anownership

  66. A 2 million-attendance figure would put the A’s near the bottom of the pile in attendance. The Giants were able to harness the Frisco name and corporate $ that’s not there in the East Bay.

  67. GoA’s: See the latest report about the NFL being concerned about the wide gulf in what the Raiders can charge for luxury seating and what the 49ers are getting? Should tell you something…

  68. Suppose ownership was committed to Oakland and continued the momentum of the haas family and got a stadium built and put a good product on the field, I know for a fact that fans would cone out and businesses would want to get suites. There are so many things that contribute to the messy situation in Oakland. As fans we get attached to players emotionally and while beane and co have a good model that keeps team competitive the constant player turnaround is crushing to fans who fall in love with players. Even if we kept 2 guys that we can connect with and call our own that would do wonders to keeping fans engaged. I went to safeco and they have life size banners of thier players outside the stadium and through out the streets. The Giants do that as well. I know that is a bit off topic but I can point to a bunch of slaps in the faces to the eastbay community and Oakland in particular from ownership, not just wolff but schott as well. Oakland is a beautiful city that has been neglected by its city officials and thier lack of vision. We have beautiful hills, beautiful shorelines, a beautiful bouquette of different races and cultures but people always want to point at the negatives and dont do anything to help better the city. Having said all that I am accutely aware of the uphill climp Oakland faces in getting a stadium built for A’s but it aint over til its over.

  69. The A’s long history of weak fan support in Oakland is well-documented. It was that way most of the time even when the team had great teams and what was considered one of the better ballparks. In 1974, the A’s won the World Series and were almost last in attendance. At what point do we decide that it’s never worked all that well in Oakland? (The Haas family sold the team after losing lots of $$, BTW. Don’t wait around for a new ownership that’s willing to do the same.)

  70. GoAs: I don’t mean to rub noses in what the history has been. But if you’re a bank being asked to underwrite this $500 million+ project, are you going to look at the 44-year attendance and financials history or a dream of what might be? (FWIW, a lot of the Giants’ poor attendance at Candlestick could be attributed to, well, Candlestick. Freezing in July.)

  71. First let me say that I understand the sexiness of moving to SJ and if that is truly the only option I will 100% continue to support My A’s in the south bay. Having said that I unlike many Oaklanders do not put the blame solely on Lew Wolff. There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides. I own a Trucking and Logistics business in Oakland and I know first hand how difficult our city officials are to work with. I have seen the recent petty jabs aimed at Lew Wolff, I hear the hot air and fantasy Island thinking of Mayor Quan, I saw Jerry Brown completely close his mind towards doing anything about the A’s situation, I have seen the in fighting and posturing of De la Fuente and company, I saw city officials sell their souls and destroy a nice little park in order to bring Raiders back. I can go on and on. I have also seen Schott after getting a discount to buy the A’s and keep them in Oakland start making public statements about leaving Oakland, same with Lew Wolff who goes out of his way to bash Oakland. Both sides have served their own interests and have had no regard for the citizens of Oakland. Die hard fans like myself and most of you will support team no matter what, but fringe fans want all the fluff, the bells and whistles, the show. Same goes with corporations. No fan base can go through what we have gone through and keep attendance and revenues high. That is why my original post had to do with getting the community involved and taking matters into our own hands. At the end of the day things will play out and a decision will be made I just hope that every effort was truly made to keep team in Oakland and some real tangible plans and financing options were offered before the team leaves.

  72. What specifically has Wolff said that constitutes bashing Oakland? He has said all options in Oakland have been exhausted. MLB has not found anything so far that contradicts what Wolff has said, after looking for 4 years. (BTW, your post from the words petty jabs through to Jerry Brown to bringing the Raiders back really nails the history there)

  73. at PJK, you are absolutely right but I liken the A’s situation to a business who has been badly managed and neglected. The whole thing needs fresh vision. IMO the only way the A’s stay in Oakland is if a legit grass roots effort was made to do the work on behalf of the city. a fan coalition that #1 Raised significant capital # 2 found all the necessary parts that must be in place to do a project of this kind. Web designers and people who are tech savvy to get info out to A’s fans quickly and accurately, etc etc. It has to be a private venture composed of thousands of people. In many cities where teams have been relocated the ground was already prepared in advance so that once the team committed to go there the ok was given and construction began. We need to do the legwork and start pushing towards what seems impossible. If we wait on the city or lew wolff to change his mind we might as well kiss the A’s good bye. City officials keep saying how lew wolff does not want to sit with the city and talk but I believe he is tired of hearing plans, visions, and projections with a bunch of ifs around them. We need to tell Mr.Wolff that we have 2 or 3 viable locations in place and he can take his pick as well as the financing and hard timetables. I understand its easier said than done but nothing is impossible when people are united and committed to get something done.

  74. For Oakland, the A’s “working with the City of Oakland” always means the A’s pay 100% of construction. Wolff has looked at this and hasn’t found a way to make it work financially. If it could work, MLB would tell him to build there or sell to someone willing to do so. It hasn’t done so.

  75. Just came into this long thread late, but can’t resist commenting when someone likes to point out of the “long history of weak fan support in Oakland…” and use that as a justification for moving to San Jose.
    First off, before even getting into the numbers, just imagine the decades-old Coliseum anywhere, and tell me that fans would be lining up for games there. Regardless of the criticism of local officials, corporate backing, etc., fans buy tickets to sit in a stadium, and the Oakland Coliseum in its current state does not attract fans. That fact should not be used to criticize fans in Oakland or say they’re not supportive of the team.
    Second, to criticize “weak fan support in Oakland” based on attendance numbers is not a defensible argument. I’ve posted this before, but I guess its worth posting again:
    SF Giants attendance at Candlestick park from 1970-1999, per season average: 1,337,113.
    Oakland A’s attendance at Oakland Coliseum from 1970-1999, per season average: 1,369,960.
    (figures from
    If we’re looking at historical trends of “fan support” based purely on attendance, it should be quite surprising that a brand new downtown waterfront ballpark has been so successful for the Giants. Clearly it just “never worked out that well” in the 70s, 80s and 90s in SF, yet a new facility has proved to attract fans.
    Long story short, blame city officials, blame lack of big corporate money, blame lack of a feasible site. But if you’re relying on the argument that fans are to blame for not buying season tickets at a 50 year old stadium, or to support an owner with one foot out the door, you’re not going to get very far in convincing anyone.

  76. at PJK, you are right my friend and with that being the case nothing will get done. I am not going to invest in something I had doubts about. Obviously a public option that requires tax payers money will never happen so that is why I am proposing a fan coalition comprised of business men, fans, investors, and talented people who love the A’s and want to keep them in Oakland to arise. The City of Oakland needs the A’s more than the A’s need us so it is in our best interest to find a solution to this problem. Impossibilities and obstacles are the breeding ground for innovation and great ideas. Oakland needs to think outside the box.

  77. re: SF Giants attendance at Candlestick park from 1970-1999, per season average: 1,337,113.
    Oakland A’s attendance at Oakland Coliseum from 1970-1999, per season average: 1,369,960.

    …So attendance was about the same despite 4 World Series titles for the A’s in that time period and none for the Giants, and the A’s having a pleasant ballpark experience for most of that time versus a miserable experience for the Giants…I’m not understanding your notion that fan support cannot be gauged by looking at actual attendance figures.

  78. re: I am proposing a fan coalition comprised of business men, fans, investors, and talented people who love the A’s and want to keep them in Oakland to arise.

    …Isn’t that what the Knauss “coalition” was about last year? Looks like it’s been all talk and no action thus far. Did Knauss/Clorox offer to match the Cisco naming rights deal? Did we ever get the names of these investors supposedly interested in buying the team and building in Oakland?

  79. @PJK: fair enough, we can agree to disagree.
    If you think that the A’s (City of Oakland average population1970-2000:350k) attracting more fans per season over a thirty year period than the Giants (City of San Francisco average population: 700k) means they have been LESS successful in fan support, thats your choice.
    And if you think that games at Candlestick were that remarkably worse than games at the Coliseum (I’m not sure how many night games you’ve been to at the Coliseum in July), also your choice.
    But even some of your most diehard SJ supporters on here have admitted that if somehow a stadium could be built on the water or in downtown Oakland, fans would show up. Just like they’ve shown up to PacBell/AT&T in SF. But if you need to cling to the thought that there are simply no fans left in Oakland who would buy seats to a new downtown stadium (again, putting aside the myriad of issues related to city leadership, corporate backing, etc.) to convince yourself that SJ is the only option, again thats your choice.

  80. Sigh 2013 season will tell a lot about the future of the A’s and Raiders. Since this is both teams last year under the coliseum lease , it is important for both the A’s and Raiders to win on the field this year. It probably would be the only way the Raiders and A

  81. At JH510-Well said and thanks for the statistics in attendance.
    At-Berry, be of good cheer as appealing as S.J is to Wolff it is obviously not a slam dunk. I remember going to the bash brother era A’s games and that place was packed and electric. Last year’s buzz in October was unlike anything Ive ever seen. Raiders superbowl run in 2002 or we believe warriors could not compare to the unreal vibe at O.CO. Even East bay hater Tim Kawakami alluded to this in his article posted on Oct 3rd 2012 when he said” There is something about an Oakland Crowd that just sounds different, when the moment is electric, than anywhere else. It’s the underdog sonic blast, the brawler’s spirit, the explosive feel of sports revelation.” Delmon Young, Jim Leyland, and the entire Tigers team mentioned to A’s players and the media that they have NEVER seen anything as loud or electric as our fans. Last year was about more than a young team coming out of nowhere but it was about Hope, a ray of light, a sudden revelation of our love for our A’s inspite of the perceived sabotage being worked upon us. It was about a team of underdogs and misfits who we as a community could relate too, even Giants fans who I know rode that wave because everyone knew there was something special. It became an event and the trendy place to be. That is what a new stadium in a good location would do for attendance on a yearly basis. Imagine the momentum that a new stadium would have gained during the big three era from 2000-2004 and again on 2006? What if we could have kept huddy and Tejada? So many factors have worked against the east bay/ Oakland fan base and yet and still after all that there they were leaving the stadium with hoarse voices after a magical October. I know that with a committed ownership with vision working together with politicians who want to draw out Oakland’s tremendous potential that a stadium could be built that makes us all proud and we could become the St,Louis Cardinals, a winning program with great fans and a rich, iconic tradition that is celebrated and championed. I want to see Banners of Cespedes and Reddeck on our stadium and on our city streets, I want to see a beautiful stadium at howard terminal, the estuary or across the street from the coliseum where the lexus dealer currently sits. I want to sit in a stadium with views of the bay and the Oakland hills all the while cheering with the loudest fans in the country, all the while looking at those 4 championship flags waving in the air.

  82. re: I want to see a beautiful stadium at howard terminal, the estuary or across the street from the coliseum where the lexus dealer currently sits. I

    …haven’t all the Oakland sites been looked at over and over again by MLB for many years? Howard Terminal has huge environmental and railroad obstruction issues. Who pays the many millions to fix all that? A’s owners?

  83. JH510, the challenge with a waterfront ballpark isn’t that folks won’t show up. I think it’d be hugely popular for at least the first home stand, probably the first 3 seasons or so. It’s how often and for how many seasons, and how much are people willing to pay up front in order to have that stadium built in Oakland that matter. Seat Licenses is some form or another will be part of building the place.
    A’s attendance, historically, has been really bad. They have been over the median MLB attendance just 7 times in the 44 seasons they have played in Oakland. Consider that they have been in the playoffs 15 times in that span. They have been a bottom half of attendance and in the playoffs more than they have been above the median and in the playoffs. It is not my argument that they can’t ever draw people in Oakland, but it is ridiculous to say “They drew 2 Million a bunch of times, this is a baseball goldmine.” The truth is, the A’s have only been above 2M fans in 1/4 of their seasons in Oakland. This is a time that spans 4 distinct ownership groups.
    You are 100% right that you can’t look at a single factor (like total attendance) and draw quick conclusions in a vacuum. Attendance is not as large of a portion of annual revenues as it used to be. Look at the 49ers presale tickets. Stadium Builder Licensees in the cheapest part of the stadium have to pay $6k per seat, up front (financing is available) in order to get the right to have a season ticket. Some seats have SBL’s that cost around $80k.
    The real challenge is just that. If you look at how the Giants paid for their stadium (roughly 50% came from naming rights and Charter Seat Licenses), figure that stadium construction will be around $500M, and do back of the envelope math… Presales of seats will have to generate around $125M (assuming the A’s can get $125M in naming rights money plus a loan of $250M to basically mirror the Giants deal, which is probably bad assumption but not horrible). The A’s current season ticket base is about 9k. If you double that number and everyone pays $7k up front, you get to about the right number. And, they have to keep coming for 20 years to pay off the mortgage.
    That’s the hurdle. There are a lot of other data points to consider. Median income in the potential season ticket buyer space is a good thing to understand. Knowing that most season ticket holders come from within 21 miles of a stadium you can make fair assumptions about the target populations ability to average $7k in prepayments over 18k seats.
    This is oversimplified. I agree. That said, a long time ago I looked at all the markets, their attendance since 1968, how new stadiums impacted overall attendance in a given market, etc. San Francisco is an exception. There are many markets that built something awesome in the same city and haven’t seen sustained attendance gains. It almost always comes down to how the team is doing on the field. In Oakland, that hasn’t always been the case (winning means more attendance) and it is reasonable to at least consider that the trend will continue in a new stadium, water front or not.

  84. The only thing I want to make clear with pjk, is that the only thing he or she is right about is “Oakland’s part of the funding”. Yes pjk I believe that Oakland should help pay for the project , I mean anything from clean-up to construction, Oakland city leaders really expect the A’s owners to pay for every little detail…no I don’t think its fair to even Lew Wolff or any “new” ownership will expect Oakland to pull their weight. Mr dubs…how do we get our city leaders to listen to us? I have been really frustrated when I talk to Chris dobbins, Rebecca Kaplan Secretary or just any pro Oakland group and these guys get upset when I ask them about “their share”…that what makes it hard to argue against the pro-san Jose camp on this site. Our city leaders are failing “us” and I kinda have given up some hope….do u really think Mr dubs that there are enough supporters both fans and corp to try to save the A’s ourselves???

  85. At berry, I feel the same way as you do and thats why I am proposing that we find other solutions. My business requires me to do alot of networking so I have the privealage of talking to alot of people and many of the business owners I speak to feel like we do. People just want something real not just hollow talk. All the talk about moving really does affect the bottom line. I have a buddy who owns a construction company who had season tickets on the third base line for years. And he would always take his vendors, employees and partners to games and he has been griping about the situation since the schott days. Last year after what appeared like a full fledged white flag with the trades of cahill and co he got fed up and did not renew his tickets. On the other hand I have started reading up on some of the save oakland sports stuff and it seems like they tend to side more with city officials and are not calling them to account as much as Id like. Both sides are to blame city and team officials. I know that there is plenty of support in oakland and the east bay we just need someone with the necessary people skills and connections to put it together and unify us. The only way the city officials will listen is if enough people raise an outcry against thier incompetance and neglect in this matter. Politicians only move to the winds of the loudest outcries.

  86. Btw, the only thing most politicians are good at is posturing and covering thier own behinds, so when I hear all the excuses and demonizing of Lew Wolff I dont buy it for one second. Not letting wolff off the hook just syating the facts. Look at major kevin johnson, now that guy can honesy say that he is doing everything in his power to keep the kings.

  87. Bingo Mr.dubs…we do need a Kevin Johnson type to really bring people together..its sad we have to do our city leaders work , but it is what it is. I was born in Oaklabd and raised between Berkley and Oakland (well south Berkeley and north Oakland along Alcatraz) same block different city. Lol but I’m a huge Raider fan and A’s fan. So glad you from where I’m from. Anyway u can email me if anything pops up. Maybe we can go to SOS meeting, get a chuckle out of that. But on the real my concern is that I do question the support some ppl from Oakland have for our A’s…I agree we need to keep players in order to have that connection with fans. I would be really upset if we lose Yohan anytime soon, that guy has star potential and really surprised the A’s got him. Even Yankee fans would take this guy….anyway Mr dubs hope to see u at the A’s and Raider game this season because it is crucial both teams do well to give even the pro Oakland camp some ammunition to show the NFL and MLB leaders that THEY SHOULD INVEST IN OAKLAND AND IT will be profitable for everyone

  88. I want to see 1B in the bank before any drawing or talk of new park.
    Someone please deposit 1B tomorrow

  89. Good Lord, how many more times do we have to go around the attendance carousel ad nauseum? Frankly, fan support and attendance figures only make up a small, red-herring part of the ballpark equation. Legitimate claims and doubts can be made about both Oakland AND San Jose with respect to that, but the bottom line is that for any ballpark to happen, it will first and foremost require MONEY and POLITICAL WILL above all else. No debate about attendance and fan support will change that.

    San Jose has certainly demonstrated CONCRETELY that it has those two.


    As an Oaklander myself, I believe that yes, it can be done. Under the right circumstances, a ballpark here can and would work and be successful. But lets get real here: Oakland has been at its 11th hour for the better part of six years and counting ever since the Fremont plans were announced, and what does it have to show for itself? A handful of press conferences? A bunch of sound bites and rah-rah from political, business, and community leaders? Aborted stadium “proposals”? And now a pie-in-the-sky dream called Coliseum City?

    Go ahead, blame Wolff, blame City Hall ineptitude, and say all you want about a grassroots movement being the solution (because gee, Lets Go Oakland and Save Oakland Sports apparently isn’t grassroots enough). Fact of the matter is, EVERYONE involved in the Oakland “effort” so far has been guilty of all talk and no action. Time is rapidly running out, and if nothing short of a miraculous change happens, THAT, more than anything else, is what will have doomed the A’s last chances of staying in Oakland, and what will be on the verge of doing to the entire future of pro sports in Oakland…

  90. JL, couldn’t have said it better myself.

  91. …if the A’s financed 100% in Oakland and the corporate boxes and sponsorship sales were underwhelming (a very likely possibility), what kind of team do we think the A’s could field, given the massive mortgage obligation and disappearance of revenue-sharing? It would be even worse than it is now – get good young players and let them leave.

  92. PJK… no arguments from me. I liken it to someone who has a great sales pitch but never hits the streets or the phones to make the pitch. JL was right in his previous post. We can come up with viable solutions and great ideas but if no one is executing them then it becomes a moot point. I won’t lose faith and now that I am more aware of the information that is out there I can start doing my part and raising a fuss, attending meetings, and getting the word out. Very interesting read…





    Kevin Christopher Alexander Bigaignon Estuary Waterfront Project
    ( +
    Architectural Counter-criticism, first draft, 23-26 February 2013

    Currently a lot of attention and passionate debate is being mustered around the choice of a new home for the 49ers with hope of a new stadium that will define the landmark football team in the San Francisco Bay area.

    No more so than with Marine Layer’s recent criticism of California College of the Arts graduate D’Sjon Dixon ‘s Estuary Waterfront Project. Even although some of the arguments might be constructive criticism, there are certain key points one has to dismiss simply as fallacious or more politically correct, half truths.

    I somewhat disagree with what Marine Layer, regular critic on the website, has to say on the Estuary Waterfront Project especially with regards to building on sea water being a form of Bay Area heresy.

    She alludes the fact that building on sea water is an “unorthodoxal approach”, and insists there is a local tradition that “people and groups will defend” the bay for stopping Bay fill by any means necessary.

    This is simply not true.

    We don’t have to look far, or shall we say, dig deep to find old shipwrecks under the very city center of San Francisco and under busy Market Street matter of factly.

    There have been several successive waves of claiming land over the sea throughout the SF area for over a period of hundred and sixty years. Precisely from 1851 to 1869 with ships unearthed from 1890 to 2005. ( + article “Gold Rush-era ship found in San Francisco”, 2005, source: ).

    Land, it seems, was reclaimed with a historical consistency that defined San Francisco’s building history. One of the world’s most defining, bustling and artistically creative cities in the world.

    The only difference between those days and today might be the public deficit.

    Can we afford the slightest publicly funded concrete outpour on water? This might not be an issue for private endeavours and probably was not an issue in 19th century San Francisco.

    Noting that Los Angeles’s Staples center is a privately owned endeavour we should consider what the “we” alludes to with regards to Layer’s appropriation in her remarks with, what seems to be, a blending of public and private practices which all have their respective realms. One is not the other.

    Actually, D’Sjon Dixon vision is deeply rooted in what can be observed as a mirroring of the San Fransisco Bay area’s historic tradition of adding value over water and applies this to the site as we shall see.

    Also, with regards to the “people’s and group’s” efforts through the “Save the Bay” mentioned by Marine Layer as an argumentative zeitgeist that pertains to the notion that there is an unequivocal and automatic bloc against Mr D’Sjon’s project is to be simply dismissed as carefully measured distorted half truth and quite simply untrue.

    Set forth, the projects mentioned by Save the Bay on their website ( arguably defend projects that are not comparable in scale such as with runways and big salting industries.

    The impact of a stadium on the ecosystem is not comparable to that of a runway or that of a re-salting plant. The activity is simply not comparable in its scale, nor visually, nor audibly with regards to direct (i.e pouring concrete) or indirect (i.e air pollution) repercussions to the bay’s aesthetic and natural qualities.

    100+ Decibels and air pollution are the main contributors to the argument that led to the runway win for Save the Bay. Probably the victory will be theirs with respect that their current set goals and arguments are aimed at big polluters that would affect local bay wildlife and fauna.

    Preserving the environment from big pollution seems to be a wild card that have led them with a win-win situation. And rightly so.

    Secondly with regards to the CEQA argument mentionned in Marine Layer’s critique against Mr D’Sjon let’s look at it more closely: According to Wikipedia’s quoted introduction it states that it “does not directly regulate land uses, but instead requires state and local agencies within California to follow a protocol of analysis and public disclosure of environmental impacts of proposed projects and adopt all feasible measures to mitigate those impacts”.

    This mission statement is not incompatible with Mr Dsjon’s project. As we shall see.

    If we were to compare apples and oranges, there is a big difference between a runway, an industrial salting activity and a stadium over leaping a few meters built on the fringe of the Bay urbana.

    With regards to CEQA their affiliates at the Bay Area Quality Management District “typically acts as the responsible agency for setting CEQA air emission thresholds within the San Francisco Bay Area Air Basin”. (

    I am positive that they just might see favorably Mr D’Sjon’s Estuary Waterfront project as it mitigates car use with wide pedestrian access and the planting of oak trees around the “ballpark and surrounding areas”.

    Furthermore they just might fully endorse the project as Mr Dsjon’s clearly mentions on the project’s website statement that it fully implements, quote, ” a clean, renewable energy field by powering the stadium on wind and solar energy”.

    Adding to this, Mr D’Sjon’s website statement clearly focuses on what “[t]he natural beauty the waterfront site provides as well as the already functioning Estuary Park and Oakland Aquatic Center, gives the estuary location an advantage as a constant attraction over other proposed ballpark sites in the city.”

    D’Sjon ‘s project clearly focuses on the site’s natural beauty, it’s preservation, it’s natural enhancement and clean energies.

    As a conclusion, the core of the project’s intent is very much green oriented pressing alternative energies and has not only the potential to be LEED platinum prone but CEQA approved.

    Finally, worth considering is that this project was done entirely by one person and his passion alone merits credit. The consistent work output and quality of renders can be compared to that of a small practice of several architects which are also subjected to the same critical eye.

    In the dismal, or should we say abysmal, situation people face in the world now, with shameful underemployment and rampant unemployment that pales in comparison the Great Depression of the 1930s, this project is synonymous of extraordinary will power.

    This Great Recession impacts people to such a scale today, especially young graduates ( young graduate architects included), that the first word that might come to mind with this project, and it’s consistent efforts, is heroics.

    The Estuary Waterfront Project’s impromptu dismissing by Marine Layer with half truths and historical dismissal can only be conclusively considered as a kind of vitriol, or more politically correct a well written but haste criticism than ran afoul with at least two key inconsistencies.

    Overall the key words of this counter-criticism with regards to the Estuary Waterfront Project stadium’s criticism can quite conclusively be summed up as vitriolics facing heroics.

    • @D’Sjon Dixon – You and Kevin wrote all of that, I think, in an effort to point out something I wrote incorrectly. You’ve wasted all of our time doing so.

      Did you and Kevin follow the progress of Oak-to-Ninth? Local preservation groups are on board now because they negotiated major concessions from the developer. The project was first proposed in 2004. The much revised project didn’t get approval until 2011, after special legislation written by then-Senate leader Don Perata was passed. And that was for only about 40 acres. It took seven years and two lawsuits to get that point, and ground hasn’t been broken yet. In the past few years the developer has looked for ways to get rid of the land because it’s turned into a money-loser given the scope and scale. Now that the economy is rebounding it may finally be time to get it going.

      I attended a session for O29 several years ago. I asked about the placement of a ballpark on the site. They asked me to explain what it would look like. I said it would be at least 100 feet tall and take up 8-12 acres. The attendees told me it would be tough to pass in part because it people in the hills like the shoreline unspoiled. A ballpark, especially one sitting right on the waterfront, would spoil the waterfront, especially the views of it from the hills. Sounds selfish, but that’s what I was told.

      Talk of shipwrecks and remaking the SF waterfront is moot because it predates CEQA. Let’s talk about the current era. What will it take to build at Estuary Park? It appears that your collective understanding of CEQA is limited to a surface-deep reading of that Wikipedia page. Sorry, but that won’t cut it. Read some EIRs. Attend study sessions. Talk to interest groups. Then you’ll get a feel for what it takes. Better yet, find a recent example of a successful bay fill project and track what it took to reach success. It may sound vitriolic to you. You’d be incorrect in saying that. I suggested the concept might work better in a less difficult site with fewer potential challenges. If you disagree, explain why I’m wrong about my assessment. Stop with the endless platitudes. This is about a ballpark. The main beneficiaries will members of the “1%”, not the residents of Oakland.

      BTW – I’m a he, not a she. “Marine Layer” is a nom de plume, people.

  94. Bravo…. Applause to you Mr.Dixon in your efforts, devotion, passion and will to bring a contribution. That cant be said of most who desire an A’s stadium in Oakland and most importantly turning Oakland into what God originally intended it to be which is a beautiful, thriving, hard working city of many cultures and races. Thank you Mr. Kevin for your contribution to the cause as well.

  95. wow. what a load of uninformed bullshit.

  96. My question to D’Sjon is why did you choose this site for your project? Why not use this software to design a park at Howard terminal, a site the city is actually heavily considering? Your proposal is AWESOME but there are too Many improbabilities. If you really want to be the architect behind the Oakland athletics next ballpark, scrap this project and start designing a park on Howard terminal.

  97. @ML

    appreciate the link; interesting article! If you see any other leads that can point me in the right direction, and you see them as beneficial let me know!! remember, im doing this all by myself but if we all are for a better ballpark then its not just one, its united we stand!

  98. How about this idea, fix their staddium that is faling apart and create quality open space/nature for people and animals using the green space. It is a wast of resources and will bring “tons” of traffic to that area of Oakland and it is not equipped for that, not to mention for those who live in close proximity and will be subjected to a substantial increase of noise and air pollution.

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