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December 11, 2009

Oakland tosses hat(s) in ring for A's

With media gab about the Oakland A's moving to San Jose reaching a fever pitch, the team's incumbent hometown grabbed some headlines of its own today, offering three new potential stadium sites (or four, depending on whether you count the existing Oakland Coliseum site) for the team's consideration. "We went to the MLB and said 'We want the A's in Oakland,' and we're comfortable with all of these sites," Oakland planning director Eric Angstadt told the San Francisco Business Times. Added planning commissioner Doug Boxer: "We are now in the game. We're in the mix."

The new sites: Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland; Jack London Square North, not far from an earlier site considered by the A's; and Victory Court, just south of Lake Merritt.

Note, incidentally, that Angstadt said "MLB" and not "the A's." That's because Oakland is less concerned here with swaying A's owner Lew Wolff, who has stated his preference to move to San Jose, than with influencing MLB's A's relocation commission, which is scheduled to issue its report to commissioner Bud Selig next month. The real question the task force will be addressing is whether MLB will force the Giants to give up territorial rights to San Jose (and if so, how much Wolff would have to reimburse them in exchange), but given that part of its mission was stated to be evaluating "the prospects of obtaining a ballpark" in Oakland, city officials have to feel like it's not a bad time to put themselves out as a willing dance partner.

Depending on what the report says, then, the A's could be headed to San Jose, a new site in Oakland — or a bidding war between the two. Now, which one do you think Selig would like to see, hmm?


Howard Terminal is not a new site---an old one that has already been rejected because of the cost to move the current port activities---ironic how they can't establish one site only and have made any progress on land acquisition EIR etc---looks to me like a CYA for the Oakland politicians so that they can try to blame Wolff rather than their own incompetence--

Posted by SanJoseA's on December 11, 2009 01:28 PM

Question-given that Oakland is running a huge budget deficit ($100 mil) and is still paying off tens of millions per year in coliseum debt, who do they think would pay for a new stadium? Has the owner of the A's agreed to raise all of the money from non-taxpayer sources? I hope so.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on December 11, 2009 01:57 PM

Looking at the Jack London Square North site, isn't there, um, a lot of stuff there already? I've only been there once, and was a bit too distracted by stuffing my face with farmer's market samosas to pay attention to the geography, but that area didn't exactly strike me as someplace you could easily plop down a baseball stadium, especially if you need parking.

Posted by Neil on December 11, 2009 01:59 PM

Neil--ML will be doing an assessment of each of the 2 new sites--as I understand there are a significant number of private land owners at each location--at least one new garage would be required..but most of the parking would be dispersed throughout the downtown core--which is a good idea--

Challenge I personally see is who wants to now delay the SJ effort while Oakland tries to pull together what SJ has been working on for the past 5 years--not sure MLB or the A's want to wait until 2017+ for a new ballpark---and that's assuming that Oakland could actually pull it together---

Posted by SanJoseA's on December 11, 2009 02:06 PM

SCTaxpayer. The A's owner has not stated if he'd put any private money toward and Oakland stadium. He's already rejected several of these "new" sites and has stated his preference for San Jose. I suspect since Oakland isn't where the A's want to be anymore for good reason. The city has shown no interest in the team in over 15 years now all of a sudden they throw out three sites willy nilly as a PR move.

Posted by Dan on December 11, 2009 04:25 PM

another in a series of laughable tries by a city that doesn't get it.
none of these locations are anywhere near bart and 880 is always clogged at rush hour.
the a's are stuck in the twilight zone of baseball, with chances of emerging anytime soon - remote.

Posted by paul w. on December 12, 2009 03:34 PM

paul w--
If you're going to be critical of Oakland, at least get your facts straight. Granted, 880 is clogged at rush hour, but the sites are all located within 1/2 mile of BART (as compared with SJ which is, what, 30 miles?) as well as Amtrak (Capitol Corridor) and the ferry terminal at Jack London. Because of its position as the transportation hub of the bay area, any site in Oakland is going to be more accessible to a greater number of people than anywhere else due to the freeway access, plethora of BART stations, waterfront, bus system, Amtrak, etc etc etc.

Posted by Chris on December 13, 2009 02:07 PM

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