It’s what I’ve been advocating ever since I was a newspaper Oakland A’s beat writer back in the day: a small, baseball-only waterfront stadium near the Port of Oakland and Jack London Square. I was just a couple of bucks short of making it happen myself (moths fly out of wallet).
And now, look … we have artist’s renderings! And you know what that means: the next step could be, preliminary discussions! Which could lead to … an environmental review!
It’s as if I’m sitting in the new stadium gazing at giant shipping cranes right now.
A 38,000-seat, $500 million waterfront ballpark is being proposed by a team led by Clorox chairman and CEO Don Knauss and former Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream boss T. Gary Rogers — with the blessing of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
“It’s one of the two sites we promised Major League Baseball we would offer, and it will be available early next year,” Quan told us Friday — the other being the current Coliseum site.
“Trust me, Oakland is hot now,” Quan said, “and a lot of developers would love that (waterfront) site if it doesn’t become a baseball stadium.”
It would pretty much be a mirror image of the Giants’ AT&T Park, which sits on the other side of the bay. Actually, the proposed A’s stadium would be situated on the Oakland Estuary (see slideshow below), because putting it on the edge of the bay would be gross. Especially at low tide.
But it would be right off the freeway, close to downtown and Jack London Square, and would be by all accounts just terrific (if you don’t mind parking in Richmond). And it would mean that the A’s stay in Oakland, which is as it should be. Sorry, San Jose.
So far the only tangible component here, beside the drawings, is the existence of an actual planning group with money. The Save the A’s folks include the aforementioned Knauss, Rogers and Mayor Quan, plus Doug Boxer (son of Sen. Barbara Boxer) and Mike Ghielmetti of the Signature Development Group. The only people missing are (checks notes), someone from the A’s organization.
The idea is to entice A’s owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff to join the plan — or, failing that, to get Major League Baseball to see Oakland as a viable spot for a new ballpark and kill the A’s hopes of moving to San Jose once and for all.
“The group envisions itself as a caretaker during the period it takes to get the A’s to come to the table,” said one knowledgeable source, who asked not to be named because of the delicacy of the talks involving MLB.
My plan is to buy a home on Treasure Island and take the ferry back and forth to A’s and Giants games all summer. I see no way this can be a bad idea.