The Oakland Athletics Have Settled on a Site for a New Stadium
Oakland has lost the Raiders to Las Vegas and the Warriors to San Francisco. If the East Bay city wants to keep the Athletics, a new stadium is an absolute must. Such has been known for years, but an important step toward a new ballpark was reached on Tuesday: a preferred location has been selected.
[video:The Oakland Athletics Have Settled on a Site for a New Stadium]
“Finally, we’ve got our site,” team President Dave Kaval told the Chronicle. “It’s really the strongest location when it comes to private financing, and that’s really an important component to be successful.”
The Laney College site was selected over a site near the Coliseum and one on the waterfront near Jack London Square.
There are multiple hurdles the A's must clear if the stadium is indeed going to be built. The preferred site is owned by the Peralta Community College District, and the district's headquarters are located there. The A's will have to cut a deal in order to acquire the site, and the organization will have to find a new location for and finance new headquarters for the district. Additionally, the A's are proposing new housing and commercial developments near Laney College with the intention of funneling money from them to Laney.
If all goes to plan, a best-case scenario would be to begin construction in 2021, with the stadium opening for play in 2023 at the earlist, reports the Chronicle.
The location was selected for a multitude of reasons. It is directly off Interstate 880, though providing convenient vehicle access will require a multimillion dollar investment in freeway ramps, which will require public funding that will have to be approved by the Oakland City Council. The site is also close to the Bay Area Rapid Transit train system.
As part of the proposal, the Coliseum, built in 1966, would be repurposed as a community sports park and urban youth baseball academy, per the Chronicle. When the A's move out of the Coliseum, it will no longer have any professional sports tenants, with the Raiders set to move to Las Vegas in 2019 or 2020.
Any new stadium deal will have to be approved by the nine-member elected Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority.