A's Ballpark Announcement Could Come This Summer; Three Options Still In Play
An announcement confirming the A's new ballpark site "could happen as early as this summer, fueling speculation about a brand-new location, or perhaps" the team building next to its current home at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, according to sources cited by David DeBolt of the EAST BAY TIMES. The club's options include Howard Terminal on the waterfront next to Jack London Square, Laney College near Lake Merritt and a "cozy new ballpark next to their crumbling, current home." The A’s have "done polling on each site, but the allure of a downtown or waterfront park has sucked up the most air in this discussion." A's President Dave Kaval said that all three locations "are in play, and environmental, neighborhood, traffic and other impacts are being evaluated daily." Kaval: "Each site has its unique pros and cons in different areas. We are laying them all out and getting feedback from people in those communities" (EASTBAYTIMES.com, 5/14).
BRING THE PEOPLE IN: In S.F., Branch & Slusser noted the A's new digital $19.99 month-long ballpark pass is the latest move by Kaval to "boost attendance." The team's average attendance of 16,159 is the "second lowest in the major leagues, and most of the seats in the recently untarped third deck at the Coliseum have remained empty." The passes "provide a great value," but also serve as a "indirect statement" about the A’s out-of-date venue and its tenants. A's VP/Communications & Community Relations Catherine Aker said, "I definitely don’t think it devalues our product at all. ... The more people we can get into the ballpark, the better fan experience for everyone involved." The A's are "eager for any new fans, but with its pass, the team is targeting the Millennial mind-set." However, it is "possible that some season-ticket holders who are paying far more for seats could have concerns about how the passes could impact their investment" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/14).