SBD/August 8, 2012/Facilities

Waterfront Site In Oakland Could Re-Emerge As Viable Option For New A's Stadium

Howard Terminal was one of the first sites considered over a decade ago for the A's
A shipping terminal "long ago consigned to the dustbin of Oakland A's stadium sites has re-emerged as one of Oakland's two most viable options to keep the team from fleeing to San Jose," according to Matthew Artz of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Oakland officials last week during "their first meeting in two years" with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's blue-ribbon committee "presented two ballpark options -- the well publicized Coliseum City concept in East Oakland, and Howard Terminal, a waterfront site a few blocks north of Jack London Square." The committee also "met with San Jose officials last week, and while Mayor Chuck Reed wasn't forthcoming with the details, he did say Oakland's latest plan doesn't worry him." But San Jose's plan "is facing scrutiny from the state over the legitimacy of a deal that city officials made in the fall to sell downtown land for a ballpark to A's co-owner Lew Wolff." Oakland's 51-acre Howard Terminal "was one of the first sites considered more than a decade ago for the team." Sources said that the site, "while flawed, could make it harder for the team to leave town." Artz notes if the city can "show that it has a viable waterfront site with business support, it could make MLB owners more reluctant to revoke the Giants' territorial rights to Santa Clara County and grant the A's organization its wish to move to downtown San Jose." But Wolff "remains uninterested in the site." He said Sunday, "We have analyzed Howard Terminal upside down and sideways, and it has no ability to be implemented for a ballpark" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 8/8).

LOOKING AT EVERY OPTION: The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami said of the MLB committee is "exploring every option possible because they obviously have gone very slowly through this process.” Kawakami said they “will make a decision at some point and they want every number, every line, every box, every option, every reason lined up before they have to make the decision.” Kawakami added, “That’s what this process has been for 41 months.” But the Oakland Tribune’s Monte Poole said the A’s “have made it clear they don’t want to be in Oakland anywhere,” and if the option to relocate to San Jose “is off the table, they will sell the team.” Poole: “They don’t want just a ballpark. They want a ballpark village. They want condos, they want retail" (“Chronicle Live,” Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 8/6).
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