Here’s your drone’s eye view from Peralta

About a month ago ABC7 producer extraordinaire Casey Pratt asked for a few estimates of heights for a potential ballpark at the Peralta site. I told him he should aim for three different heights: 40-50 feet above grade for the rim of the second deck, 70-80′ for the upper deck, and 100′ for the top of the stadium. He had his drone videographer check out the site. Some clips of the drone footage ended up in sports anchor Larry Beil’s comment about the Coliseum and the Raiders. No matter. We got a vista, and it’s the right vista.

Peralta site view north towards downtown and Lake Merritt. (Click to view larger)

Not only is this the right view, it’s angled almost exactly north and situated approximately where I envisioned home plate in my mockup. The banner at top left blocks some of the skyline, but you already know what that looks like. You can see Lake Merritt in the center and Laney’s ballfield in the foreground. That brings to mind this observation – has there ever been a non-spring training MLB park that has another baseball field in the background? I can’t think of one. Now imagine all the buildings in the foreground replaced by some grandstands and as Barbara Manning once coined Seals Stadium, one perfect green blanket.

To confirm my projections, A’s COO Chris Giles answered some questions as part of an all-day Q&A on Twitter, including this one about the park’s orientation:

Folks, if this thing is built you’ll be using that Panorama mode on your camera a ton.

As part of the A’s rollout of Peralta, they released a video, narrated by team President David Kaval, with numerous clips of the city and soundbites from locals, including pols such as Mayor Libby Schaaf and Cprominent developer and unofficial “Mayor of Oakland Chinatown” Carl Chan.

Chan wants to build housing to revitalize Chinatown. The neighborhood is quite fragile, though, and has vocal activists working constantly against the threat of gentrification, which has visibly touch several Oakland neighborhoods in the last several years.  Finding a balance there is going to be difficult, and it seems strange that the A’s ballpark could be in the middle of any plans. Considering the rather large scope of the A’s initial plans, the A’s may be biting off more than they can chew, even though the ultimate goal is merely a ballpark on 13 acres. That deserves a much lengthier post, so for now let’s look at the broad timeline Kaval released today.

Assuming that everything goes well, a 2023 opening is reasonable. If the A’s can’t get local stakeholders on the same page, the one year will elapse and the team will likely fall back to the Coliseum. The two years of permitting and environmental review is right, as long as the team gets legislation enacted to limit legal challenges to the EIR, the same kind the Warriors and 49ers received. That would put clearing the site in late 2020 and groundbreaking in the spring of 2021. If Peralta doesn’t get support, the A’s could shift to the Coliseum and move forward without requiring an EIR since the complex is already entitled for a stadium. In full Lew Wolff tradition, the team is not talking about a backup plan. For now it’s Peralta or bust.


P.S. – Thanks Casey for getting the drone footage!

14 thoughts on “Here’s your drone’s eye view from Peralta

  1. It’s a dang beautiful. I hope it happens, I think it will.

    • It’s been such a long wait (still is), I almost don’t want to allow myself to get too happy, but this is great.

      And, you pretty nailed called it…

      Still a long way to go, but hell we have never been this far along, at least not in Oakland, perhaps in Fremont but a lot of work still ahead.

  2. To me, I really don’t have a preference between the Coliseum site or Peralta. I was hoping for HT. I do think that if Peralta fell through, I really wouldn’t be too upset if they went back to the Coliseum site. In some ways the focus now shifts to the quality of the stadium itself and how much room there is to be creative.

  3. ML I could be wrong, but wouldn’t the Laney field be obstructed by the bleachers or outfield seats? I don’t think we would be able to see it because it is too close to the stadium. I honestly hope that’s the case. As interesting as it is having a college baseball field next to a professional baseball field, I think seeing another baseball field, while looking at a baseball field, is an eye sore IMO.

    Other than that you can’t ask for a better view in Oakland. Peralta was my pick of the 3 and I’m glad the A’s stuck with it. I’m a little surprised at the amount of criticism they’re getting already. People are just giving knee jerk reactions and aren’t thinking clearly.

    HT isn’t fiesable for 35,000 people with those railroad tracks as is, the infrastructure cost would be astronomical, and Bart is just a little too out of reach. Plus the main draw for HT was waterfront but the view was never going to face that way. You would get a close view of DT but it would be obstructed by 880. Peralta is still close to JLS and also to the lake so it’s proximity is superior.

    The Coli would be the easiest/ fastest to build by far but it’s just a terrible site for a modern day baseball stadium. Even with a “ballpark village” we’re still talking about East Oakland and location is everything. Putting a nice village in the heart of an industrial/low income zone just doesn’t make sense. As someone who grew up around the corner from there, I would like to see that land used for something that would have a direct benifit to the community. New industrial campus or a tech campus, affordable housing, or even a small university would be a more appropriate use for that space. Tear down the stadium and arena when everyone is gone and leave a commemorating statue, plaque, or some kind of art honoring the past but MOVE ON! The arena won’t be able to keep up with Chase Center since it’s so close and the second options are HP and Golden 1 center, so move on from that place too! We have the beautiful Fox and the upcoming renovated Kaiser Center and should focus on smaller more intimate events. (That seems to be the way the A’s look at it and it makes sense for the city as a whole)

    Anyway, glad we can have actual conversation again about progress! Let’s get this done!

  4. The A’s have chosen the path of most-resistance. But if it’s all about private financing, and this site can get it, then they didn’t have much of a choice.

  5. The A’s did their homework in selecting this site, and it shows. By incorporating both the near downtown Oakland and the ballpark experience into one, it is to the mutual benefit of both.

    • I read the East Bay Times column today and thought… what the even heck is this dude talking about?

      I will say, Libby Schaaf’s response so far is pretty uneven and disheartening. Step it up guys… full court press. The A’s are doing exactly what the Raiders refused too and just because they don’t want to be at your albatross of an idea at Howard Terminal you shouldn’t be looking a gift horse in the mouth.

  6. I would like to see the A’s lock down the Peralta site and then get Schaaf gets Amazon’s new HQ built at the Coliseum site

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