A’s owners said to prefer teeny-tiny stadium site at Peralta Community College

There’s a new reported frontrunner in the search for a site for a new Oakland A’s stadium: The site of Peralta College’s administrative offices:

This is immediately south of the Laney College property that was previously considered (Laney is one of the four Peralta Community College campuses), but now seems to have fallen out of favor because Laney College wasn’t too thrilled with it. And, er, now that you mention it:

But there are challenges.

For one, Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre says Laney’s faculty and students would probably put up a fight.

“I’m afraid of the aggravation we may create for ourselves and then nothing happens,” Laguerre said. “I am personally praying for one of the other sites to work out.”

Now that’s an endorsement!

The Peralta site definitely has advantages for the A’s — it’s right near both the Lake Merritt BART station and I-880, though it looks like it might need some highway ramp improvements to handle all the fans attending A’s games at once. More to the point, though, it’s tiny — only 13 acres and only about 500 feet wide north-to-south, making it even smaller than the Laney site that seemed arguably too small — which will present more of those challenges. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing — the San Francisco Giants have done great with a cramped site on the other side of the bay, for example — but it is a red flag to watch out for.


23 comments on “A’s owners said to prefer teeny-tiny stadium site at Peralta Community College

  1. But look at that! There’s already a field there…just put in 7 stories worth of corporate suites & call it a day!

  2. I guess a baseball-only retrofit of the Coliseum is out of the question? Because there’s no existing infrastructure there or anything. The A’s could play a year in Sacramento, which may be the better market for them anyway and Raley Field could be temporarily expanded with outfield bleachers. Oakland is next-to-last in MLB attendance this year, so it’s not like people there would notice the A’s missing for a season.

      • Let me try again: With the Raiders bailing, the Coliseum could be retrofitted as a baseball-only stadium (including a badly-needed playing surface re-do), with the A’s spending a year in Sacramento while Coliseum renovations are being done. In other words, fix the ballpark you’ve already got. That makes more sense to me than what’s being proposed.

        • There’s definitely merit to that idea. Apart from age concerns (which can be addressed with a serious modernization), the Coliseum was a good place for baseball prior to Mt. Davis’ arrival.

          There are some fundamental things that can’t be easily changed in any 50 year old structure, but you know if the owners were really using “all” their own money they would look at modernization before demolition.

          Even if they want all new, they could take the common “build in the parking lot and then make the old stadium site the new parking lot”, and still maintain the transit infrastructure and whatever “ballpark community” has grown up over time (probably less of an issue in Oakland than in some other places, but still).

  3. Looks like a full redevelopment of the coliseum site is in store with all 3 teams moving out.

    Wait, someone call MLS, there’s space available in Oakland for extortion!

  4. Does anyone know how many acres the baseball field across the street takes up? I don’t see how they can put a comparably sized field, plus 40,000 seats on the proposed plot of land.

    • A playing field itself is typically about three acres. Add in the grandstand, food courts, etc., and you’re typically in the 10-15 acre range.

      The real problem is less the size than the shape, unless they want to put up a super-close Green Monster down one foul line or something.

  5. This is the mockup from when this site was proposed back in 2001.

    http://www.oaklandfans.com/ballpark/parks/laneyCollegePlan.JPG

    To me, if they would rip out the buildings that are south of 8th St anyway (7th St in the photo I posted) they could always reroute the street southward to give the ballpark site a little more room.

    • Thanks, Brian! That’s the Laney site, though — my understanding was that the Peralta administrative site is the section south of the road? That’d be an even tougher fit.

      • Looking at the jpeg of the Laney proposal there seems to be no way that stadium would fit south of the road–it’s not just an odd shape but the area looks smaller overall. And the existing ballfield and track (along with the street) don’t seem to give them any space to expand that site.

        What exactly was the college’s problem with that Laney plan? Because in that plan they would have gotten new offices plus a new track and ball field. In this new plan it’s still on their grounds but all they’d get are new offices–presumably in the same location as was proposed in the Laney plan.

        • what was the problem?
          a baseball stadium was going to destroy their campus.

          i mean, i know they get new offices and a new ball field, but that seems hardly adequate compensation for destruction of the campus.

          • That’d be a fine answer–if this new plan wasn’t also destroying the campus. And if that was their rationale why is this new, very similar plan even being considered?

            This stadium would totally take over that entire area–no matter what side of the road it was built on. If it’s going to be there at all it seems like the best outcome would be replacing everything you could so at least you had new facilities.

  6. Yech, no way you could fit a stadium in there. If the plate is in the southwest corner the distance down the left field line is a good 75 feet or so shorter than the 309-foot right field line and stadium at AT&T (according to my not-so-scientific measuring-on-the-computer-screen method). You’d have a little more room if you had the field face due north or south but then fans in the pricey seats are going to have the sun in their eyes.

    • It would love to see a mock up of what they think can fit. There is a lake/basin/body of water on the west, an elevated highway to the southwest, and bending roads on the north and east. It would have to be the oddest looking thing.

      • OK, I did a couple of low-tech mockups (printing google maps of the site and AT+T Park and literally cutting and pasting with actual scissors).

        This one is with the plate facing mostly south and slightly east which is more or less a perfect fit for the site. However, much like Comerica Park, the seats in the left field corner are going to be looking straight into the sun, and the view of the freeway and island of Alameda is probably not what they have in mind.
        http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/manimal0/media/Peralta/Untitled_zpsuddsekok.png.html

        Then I made this one with the plate facing east. I flipped the image of AT+T so that the right field arcade seats are actually in left field so that it would almost fit the site, and trimmed some of the bleacher sections (which are the left field bleachers at AT+T) so that they would fit. I did not trim the arcade seats, and as you can see they spill into 8th St. The only way to fit a MLB field in there may be to jettison the left field part completely and have no seats or concourse in that area, forcing fans to go all the way around to get from center field to the left field foul line. A tight fit to be sure, but the view over the small or non-existent left field seats would be of Lake Merritt, the city, and the Oakland http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/manimal0/media/Peralta/Untitled2_zpsqzd3d0jm.png.html

        • I wonder how close they can put a wall to the lake. I don’t know the terrain or the local building codes, but it would stand to reason it wouldn’t be much closer than the current walkway. Similarly with the elevated highway, I’m sure there is some reason most structures aren’t directly next to an elevated highway that has massive trucks going 70-80 mph.

        • I actually like the 2nd attempt because it gives a view of downtown as well as a view of the lake. But the nasty river is in the way. I think the site the A’s want is actually just north of the target property.

  7. from the sfchronicle article: “…it has the neighborhood feel the A’s are looking for…”

    Really? Looks like a light industrial area to me. Maybe that’s the kind of “neighborhood” they’re looking for?

    Seems like you have to work real hard to believe this is a significant improvement over the current Coliseum site.

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