You’re looking at a rendering of a potential new ballpark for the A’s that was unveiled Monday, as reported by the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross. The proposed $500 million, 38,000-seat waterfront stadium would be situated at the Howard Terminal site near the Port of Oakland, which has been a popular choice for the team’s new home among A’s fans not named Lew Wolff and John Fisher, the team owners who are still grinning and rubbing their hands together all Mr. Burns-like at the thought of moving the team to Silicon Valley.
Of course, the A’s have no official part in this and it’s all still in the earliest of grassroots stages. But what should have A’s fans giddy over this latest proposal, apart from it meaning the A’s would not be going anywhere, is that there are deep-pocketed, fat-cat backers genuinely attached—mainly Clorox CEO Don Knauss and former Dreyer’s ice cream head T. Gary Ross, in addition to having Mayor Jean Quan’s approval. That stands out from the city’s other option, the proposed Coliseum City, which for now only has the mere expressed interest of venture capitalists and Middle Eastern investors.
This proposal comes on the heels of a report that MLB over the summer rejected the team’s latest proposal involving San Jose. According to Matier and Ross, the hope is that this most recent proposal will once and for all snuff out Wolff and Fisher’s wet dream of moving to San Jose, either by wowing them enough to back the ballpark (LOL) or by showing MLB that Oakland has a serious option for keeping the team, which keeps in line with the league’s ultimate desire. The Chronicle says that if Wolff and Fisher don’t hop on board, Knauss and Ross would put together a team that would attempt to buy the A’s from them. If I were either Wolff or Fisher, I would demand them to pay me entirely in ice cream.
But all of that is miles in the future. There’s still a ton of political and environmental hoops that need to be jumped through. For now, however, A’s fans—or at least the ones from the East Bay—can hope and pray to the baseball gods that this works out. For one, it would finally give the long beleaguered franchise the home it deserves and give the city the new sports venue it needs.
But also, look at it. It’s (enter any synonym of “beautiful” here)! Importantly, at its core, it’s quintessentially Oakland—it manages to remain intimate and refined without doing anything gaudy or too over-the-top. And by cleverly incorporating the port cranes, it gives the place an authentic and unique Oakland twist. Sure, you can find shipping cranes in any port city, but people in Oakland have adopted those landmarks as unofficial mascots of “The Town.” People will naturally try to compare it to its swankier counterpart across the water, AT&T Park, but that doesn’t matter. I think it’s a stadium that Oakland can and would be proud of.
[via SFGate; photos via MANICA Architecture]