OAKLAND (KRON) — The Oakland Athletics have settled on a site for their new ballpark.
The team wants to build a privately financed 35,000-seat ballpark in downtown Oakland next to Laney College.
The land sits between Lake Merritt and Interstate 880 and includes commercial warehouses, parking lots, and administrative offices for the district.
The A’s delivered a letter to the board of Laney College indicating that the 13-acre location is their preferred site.
The A’s said in the letter the location presents an opportunity to keep the city’s “last professional sports team in Oakland for the long term.”
“The A’s need a modern venue so that we can put the most competitive product on the field and provide the best experience for our fans,” the A’s wrote. The team has been playing at the Coliseum since 1968.
They want to collaborate with the city for a mixed-use development at the site. They also say they want to improve utility, transportation, and other infrastructure projects in the area.
The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968.
The run-down Coliseum, shared with the Raiders and the last venue with both Major League Baseball and football, had multiple sewage problems in 2013 that caused damage during games.
The deal requires approval from the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority.
— Oakland A’s 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) September 13, 2017
A’s President Dave Kaval made it official in an email to fans:
Dear A’s fan,
After an exhaustive process that included input from loyal fans like you, we have announced that our vision for the new A’s ballpark will be the Peralta Community College District. We wanted you to be one of the first people to hear about it, and I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey with you.
This project will strengthen our organization for the long term, both on and off the field. Our aim is to build a ballpark that respects and celebrates Oakland’s unique culture and diverse neighborhoods.
I’m excited to engage in a dialogue with you on how to develop an amazing ballpark and surrounding development for the city of Oakland. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Oakland A’s President
— Spencer Blake (@spencerjblake) September 13, 2017
But the proposal is already facing opposition.
At a Peralta Community College District board hearing Tuesday evening, residents of nearby neighborhoods, and faculty and students of Laney College protested the proposed stadium hours after the team handed off the letter to college Chancellor Jowel Laguerre and district leaders, the East Bay Times reported.
Kaval was hired last year in a restructuring of the A’s top ownership and management team. He holds the same position with the MLS San Jose Earthquakes. There, he pulled off the development of the Quakes’ state-of-the art Avaya Stadium, which boasts the largest outdoor bar in North America.
The small-budget A’s won consecutive AL West titles in 2012 and ’13, losing in five games of the division series to the Detroit Tigers in both years. But they still consider a new ballpark the top priority to be a regular contender.
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