The Transportation-oriented post will come later this week. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed (by the post, at least).
For now, I’m afraid we have to feed the beast. You see friends, when a team releases renderings or the rare instances when a city releases an EIR, there’s always a surge of new info. Included in that dump are always new renderings. So let’s take a quick look at these and see what’s changed.
The first look is the one that’s probably getting the most attention. Unlike the previous renderings, the two-sided centerfield scoreboard is now gone, placed under the roof in the left field corner and apparently expanded. The roof slopes down from both left (long) and right (short) to a plaza in right field, which should allow for the installation of a normal batter’s eye instead of the “garage door” vision in center. Most of the other stadium details are the same. The transformation effectively takes the roof deck and rotates it 30 degrees clockwise while the second and field levels remain intact. As this is 40-55 acres we’re talking about, the park dimensions should remain fairly normal and shouldn’t be hemmed in by lot constraints. The club/press box area behind the plate stays where it is, creating an asymmetry when viewed from inside the bowl.
I imagine that some of the feedback was from fans who didn’t want to be sequestered in the upper deck if they had a low-cost ticket or pass. Moving the plaza to right field provides a new viewing area with a mild amount of terracing made necessary by dealing with sea level rise. It’s a good compromise, though the idea of a bustling area running from centerfield to Jack London Square is no longer a given thanks to the modified fan traffic flow. Naturally, there aren’t many seats in right field anymore. It’s unclear where the RF bleacher crew would be relocated. Keep in mind that this ballpark will have 15-20,000 fewer seats than the Coliseum, so relocations are inevitable.
I can’t tell what those smaller disc-shaped things are on the roof deck. Concession stands? Cabanas?
While RF is reduced, LF is expanded. Will lower LF be a premium section as seen in most new ballparks? Or a traditional general admission bleacher-type section? Perhaps RF is the bone thrown to the cheap seat fans: Yes, you can sit or stand here with your flags, but you will be further away from the action. Cost of doing business, sorry.
There’s still a bunch of high-rise buildings behind (to the west) of the stadium. The A’s remain committed to creating a buffer between that residential/commercial district and Schnitzer Steel, which recently went through its own drama. I still think of a hypothetical sales pitch in one of the high rises:
SALES GUY: So you’d like to check out one of our units?
PROSPECTIVE BUYER/TENANT: Yes, one with a view of the ballpark.
SG: Oh, sorry, those were all reserved in the first phase. Would you like to look at a unit on the other side facing west? It has great views of Alameda and San Francisco
PB/T: Doesn’t that face the scrap metal recycling facility?
SG: It sure does. Just pick a unit high up and don’t look down from the balcony. But if you do, there’s a nice grove of trees to act as a buffer.
PB/T: A buffer from what?
SG: Oh, nothing.
PB/T: Where do I sign?
Do you know of luxury housing that’s a deep fly ball away from a recycling plant? Because I would love to know about it.
There’s more to discuss in the coming days. Besides transportation, I’ll cover the façade, the theater component, and site cleanup.
Until then, watch Brodie Brazil’s “tour” of the renderings.