A’s get an early Christmas present from Oakland

As rumors and nostalgia swirled around the Raiders and what might have been their last game at the Coliseum, the City of Oakland provided some news on the ballpark front as well. According to BANG’s Matt Artz, a 21-page report detailing several potential ballpark sites was sent to A’s ownership for their review. (PDF download)

City staff apparently scoured the city limits looking for sites. Some of them had already been studied in the past. Others haven’t been studied, though we have covered them here sometime in the past. The study is in an early enough stage that many property owners haven’t been contacted about land availability. It’s quite likely that many sites in the current study will drop off quickly, while others have yet to be discovered. Regardless, this is an exciting development that should hopefully lead to some productive talks.

From the quotes and the tone of the article, I expected little more than a rehash of previously dismissed sites. While that’s all there (Victory Court, Howard Terminal), the City included a total of 10 sites, including a couple of alternatives that have been mostly discussed on this blog and not much elsewhere. To me that’s a huge positive, because it shows that the City is willing to consider sites outside the normal developer/booster group focus. It’s a necessary step.

oakland

Four of the ten ballpark sites highlighted within Oakland

We’ll go over all of these in detail. But first I want to spend a moment discussing the USPS site in West Oakland. The 22-acre sorting facility, which you might see as one of the first things in Oakland as your BART train exits the Transbay Tube, is not going to happen. As noted in the document, the USPS site is not for sale. It might only be under consideration because of a twice-delayed initiative by the Postal Service to reduce the number of retail locations and sorting facilities like this one.

In the Bay Area there are a handful of these facilities in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Richmond, and Petaluma. A list of closure candidates indicated that if any facility were to be eliminated or consolidated, it would be Petaluma. Oakland or Richmond could then benefit as it took on Petaluma’s capacity. In any case it’s highly unlikely that the Oakland facility would close down, making the site unavailable for future development.

Over the next few weeks you can expect a few hundred words on every site, including sites I’ve already written about several times. At the same time, keep in mind that unlike the Raiders’ situation, there is no deadline to providing anything to the A’s or MLB. The process is expected to work out much more slowly, which, quite frankly, is the only way to do this right.

P.S. – Bonus points for anyone who can identify a site in the list that I proposed a while back.

30 thoughts on “A’s get an early Christmas present from Oakland

  1. My favorite ballpark idea remains the “over 980” lot that was floated a couple of years back. I can’t believe that never got any traction.

  2. I have said many times that Laney College is my dream site. Great freeway and BART access. Close to restaurants and bars. The view would be incredible, with the DTO buildings looming over 3B/LF side of the park and Lake Merritt (& the Oakland hills!) beyond CF/RF. Somehow incorporate the HJKCC and repurpose it as an Oakland baseball/A’s franchise museum and restaurant.

  3. This all sounds great, but didn’t MLB spend several years looking at sites in Oakland and not find anything workable? Is this really a step toward a new ballpark for the A’s? Maybe it is. Or it could just be more re-reviewing already-reviewed-and-rejected sites in an effort to send the A’s elsewhere so the Raiders can have the Coliseum site. I hope this is a positive development for the A’s but I have my doubts.

  4. I’m highly skeptical, but ML if you believe that this is progress, I will as well.

  5. Feasible is a funny word. I have a feeling that it means different things to different people. If Wolff deemed any of the sites feasible I’d be jumping for joy right now especially the Laney college site, but I think we all know that will not happen because of eir, lawsuit, moving existing facilities, and other unforseen hassles, you could be looking at 10 years for any of the downtown sites. Wolff doesn’t want to wait that long he is 81 years old.

    This feels like a nobody can say we didn’t try to keep both teams type of thing. Why was it important for someone to leak this to Matthew Artz at this preliminary stage. The fact that the A’s are reportedly asking the city for information about the downtown sites feels like the A’s are playing along but really are waiting for January 12th and 13th.

  6. Let’s see… all of the sites listed as “non-feasible” have “parking” as an issue. Wasn’t that one of the main non-starters for C.C.? A lack of surface parking?

    Oh and, yeah, let’s just go ahead and relocate an entire college to make room for a new stadium. Who on earth is going to pay for that???

    Besides, we still all know Oakland can’t really afford to keep both teams… so how does this play out? if the Raiders stay, they get coliseum site and then what’s the point of finding another home for the A’s then because they have to go? If the Raiders go and the A’s stay, they can have coliseum site… soooo….. what’s the point of all of this again? I don’t get it…

    unless…

    It’s just politicians hitting the snooze button, nothing more. Saving face so that on election day everyone can say “but we did all we could. It’s not my fault they left.” Either that or they want to live out this nightmare for just another 10 more minutes… or years… or whatever…

  7. I believe the Uptown Broadway site is your auto row site. Merry Christmas.

  8. Howard Terminal and Brooklyn Basin are the best sites for an A’s ballpark…period.

  9. hmmm, just by going with those 4 sites.

    howard terminal-non starter, who the hell wants to spend a billion dollars prepping and then building a baseball park on that site? visually it’d be by far the most appareling but financially it’s a non starter.

    laney-as mentioned above i doubt the college is going to want to give up that site for a park.

    brooklyn basis-if i’m not mistake isn’t that site being prepped as of now for condos and commercial development? http://brooklynbasin.com don’t know why it’s even on the list?

    west oakland-note for sale as the post initially said so why is this even an option on the list of sites?

    …really at this point it’s the coliseum site or bust for the city of oakland in terms of a VIABLE and REALISTIC location to build a baseball only park for the a’s.

  10. I’ve always been curious about the area generally bordered by 980, 880, and Market St. There you have an empty lot, a few buildings, and a strip mall. Surely that area would have fewer owners than Victory Court, Auto Row, or the ill fated Coliseum North.

    • You’d need slightly closer BART access (infill station probably) but it’s basically a residential area at the moment

  11. Wolff will be able to take this study to MLB and note that the city still is trying to steer him to other unworkable sites, even after MLB and the A’s have made it clear it’s the Coliseum site or nothing. And of course, there’s been no offer by the city to help pay the massive costs that would be incurred to develop any of these sites for a ballpark.

  12. This news is old news. All these proposed ballpark sites have previously been fully studied as being unacceptable, for one reason or another. The only reason why Oakland is putting these sites back on the discussion table is the realization that the NFL could very likely not approve the Raiders to move to LA. As a result, a new or partially rebuilt Coliseum will be the only stadium option acceptable to the Raiders. This will leave the A’s with no choice but to find a new Bay Area location for their own new ballpark. With all proposed Oakland ballpark sites having been previously rejected, San Jose would be the only realistic Bay Area new ballpark location option suitable for the A’s. What Oakland officials are doing now is trying to convince MLB that Oakland still has viable new ballpark location options for the A’s. This is all a delaying tactic by Oakland to get MLB to continue blocking the A’s from moving to San Jose. Thanks to the decisions of the NFL, MLB could finally be forced to make the only right decision and to approve the A’s to move to San Jose.

    • The NFL may reject the Raiders’ move on the notion that there is in an existing state-of-the-art facility in the Bay Areat that the Raiders can use in Santa Clara. As for the A’s, MLB will once again get the loud and clear message that the A’s are NEVER going to be Priority#1 for Oakland as long as the Raiders are still in town.

  13. Didn’t you also recommend razing the Henry Kaiser Hall at the shores of Lake Merritt?

  14. While this seems very preliminary and not a lot of “new” news, it was nice seeing the email exchanges between the A’s (assistant general counsel Ryan Horning) and the City of Oakland (Claudio Cappio, Assistant City Administrator) appear to be very cordial in nature.

    Whether that is all a ruse for both sides to just “show good faith” – especially if both knew their correspondence would be released to the press – is nonetheless encouraging.

    At least there is dialogue going on, and a tacit confirmation that the A’s are at least engaged in listening to what the city has to say (and vice versa).

  15. Off-topic, but very sorry to hear about Dave Henderson. I met him at an A’s event once and asked If I could see the A’s ’89 World Series ring he was wearing. Then, other fans wanted to see it, too. I asked him how many diamonds were in it, but he simply had never counted them.

  16. Broadway, Laney College, whatever… if it takes 10 years and that’s the result it would be much cooler than having what exists in Philadelphia in the Coliseum parking lot.

    Either way, I’m going to any new stadium over and over. I’d love it to be in the next few years, but if I have to wait 10 for something that is fantastic, I’ll wait 10 for something that’s fantastic.

    • I agree it should be done RIGHT. But if it means the A’s will receive $1 less in profit it’s not going to happen.

      • That’s called private enterprise. You can say the same about every professional sports team around the globe.

      • What I mean is that for the A’s to be successful in Oakland they have to recapture the East Bay Family Market that has been lost to the Giants. That is a BIG IF.

  17. More sad off-topic news: Meadowlark Lemon has died.

  18. Will someone please refresh my memory here? What’s the problem of having both a baseball and football stadium at the Coliseum with more surface parking added at the old Malibu/HomeBase(or White Front for those than remember) site? I still see this as the solution.

    • The problem is privately financing both facilities, which would be competing for the same limited amount of corporate dollars. Oakland can’t pay for stadiums with public dollars and the owners are not just going to donate these stadiums. So private money has to be found to pay for them. Corporate support for the A’s and Raiders has always been weak. Cries of “Let the rich owners pay out of their own pockets” will fall on deaf ears. Oakland is not convenient for big Silicon Valley companies and tech startups, which Oakland seems to be getting, are not the kind of ventures that pay Big $$ for luxury suites.

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