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Monday, December 16, 2013

Oakland ballpark backers tout waterfront site

Clorox: A bright way out of a jam.

Imagine AT&T Park flanked by giant shipping cranes - that’s pretty much the vision A’s boosters have for a 38,000-seat ballpark at the Port of Oakland, just west of Jack London Square.

The $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.”

...And though it’s too early to say if public money would be required, there has been talk of the port providing the land for the ballpark at nominal cost in hopes of spurring economic activity in the area.

To call Wolff skeptical of the Howard Terminal idea, however, would be an understatement. “It would be easier to build on Treasure Island,” he told us.

“All I care about is getting a new home for the A’s in the best possible circumstances - and under any circumstances, Howard Terminal would be as close to impossible as anything,” Wolff said.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2013 at 06:45 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland

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   1. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4618881)
I don't see building a new BART station, but a 1-mile walk from 12th Street or Lake Merritt is not bad. About the same distance from BART to PacBell Park in San Francisco. Sortof sketchy area though.

Not that it matters with Lew "anyplace but Oakland" Wolff.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4618885)
I had to laugh at O.Co Coliseum yesterday. So they built a huge upper deck, killing the baseball atmosphere, then the football team drapes huge tarps over it because no one goes to their games. Hilarious.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4618890)
A waterfront stadium near Jack London would be pretty great. If they called it Jack London Stadium it would be even better, but I realize that will never happen in a $million$ years. If Fisher and Wolff are so dead set against an Oakland stadium, maybe they could sell the team to someone who will.
   4. Squash Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4618892)
I don't see building a new BART station, but a 1-mile walk from 12th Street or Lake Merritt is not bad. About the same distance from BART to PacBell Park in San Francisco. Sortof sketchy area though.

Well, they also have the MUNI train which drops off literally right in front of the stadium which you can transfer to easily from BART and is about a 6 minute ride. Those trains are absolutely packed before and after a game.

What makes the BART walk functional (though many, many more people use the MUNI or park at the stadium than make the BART walk) is a) you're walking through San Francisco, which is awesome, and b) there was a lot of commercial space available in a neighborhood that was already turning cool thanks to the tech boom, which has turned into restaurants, bars, etc. to make the walk more pleasant. The walk from Lake Merritt station to Jack London Square is never going to be pleasant. 12th Street would be better, but you're still not going to get a really great vibe. Oakland just isn't especially metropolitan, particularly at night.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4618894)
BART does, in fact, go right through the area. It's not impossible to think they could add a station. Ignoring the red tape, money etc problems that would be involved.
   6. dr. scott Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4618924)
There is an Amtrack station there also so people from SJ could easily go. Unfortunately Amtrack does not run after the games, so they could not go back home.

Ive never tried the walk from Bart to Jack London as I always bike from the station, which is less than 5 minutes. There is also a ferry terminal right there which we sometimes use. I imagine with a new waterfront stadium, lots of folks would come from SF on the ferry in the beginning at least, and for all yankee and Red sox games...
   7. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4618977)
I had to laugh at O.Co Coliseum yesterday. So they built a huge upper deck, killing the baseball atmosphere, then the football team drapes huge tarps over it because no one goes to their games. Hilarious.

Believe it or not, I've been to Raiders games at that stadium that were actually sold out. Of course, they were playing the Broncos (but they were playing Kc yesterday.. should be a sellout) and it was like in '96-'98. The Raiders were in a downswing back then, but it wasn't prolonged once Gruden came around. Now it's like Raiders have been on a permanent downswing since that beating they took against TB.

Plus, even back then, tickets were expensive for nosebleeds. We paid $60 to sit in nosebleeds and I would imagine they haven't gone down in the last 15 years. And they are the kind of seats the casual fan buys for the most part.
   8. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4618991)
The walk from Lake Merritt station to Jack London Square through SOMA to Mission Beach is never going to be pleasant.
Let's do the timewarp again!
   9. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4618996)
Oakland has something of an uphill battle convincing MLB or anyone else with a lot of money and no local ties that it's a city worth looking at for any kind of business. Of course the same could be said of Detroit but the Tigers are the only game in town they've been there 113 years. I'd be amazed if the A's are still in Oakland in 20 years.
   10. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4618997)
Oakland has something of an uphill battle convincing MLB or anyone else with a lot of money and no local ties that it's a city worth looking at for any kind of business. Of course the same could be said of Detroit but the Tigers are the only game in town they've been there 113 years. I'd be amazed if the A's are still in Oakland in 20 years.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4619011)
And though it’s too early to say if public money would be required, ...

Is it ever too early to state unconditionally that millions of public tax dollars are "required" for any sports venue?
   12. GregQ Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4619024)
It has seemed to me that the key to getting Wolff to sign on is that he wants extra real estate that he can then develop and sell as part of the deal. At least that has been my impression. I think a park at the waterfront would be great and would draw a lot of fans.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4619033)
Of course the same could be said of Detroit


The suburbs of Detroit are quite affluent and populous (4.2 mill in greater Detroit). I wouldn't be totally surprised to see the Tigers out there someday. Comerica is still a nice park in what is still a nice part of town in downtown Detroit though.

The rich people with local ties to Detroit seem to really love Detroit despite its flaws, or at least love the idea of Detroit (while living afar in Grosse Point or Livonia). Does Oakland have that kind of civic love?
   14. theboyqueen Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4619076)
Lew Wolff wants to tear down a baseball stadium and build a mall. Contrast this with the Sacramento Kings who are tearing down a mall to build an arena. If Lew Wolff wants to build a mall why doesn't he buy a fricking mall?

Does Vivek Ranadive have enough money to buy the A's? That would be pretty awesome.
   15. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4619092)
The rich people with local ties to Detroit seem to really love Detroit despite its flaws, or at least love the idea of Detroit (while living afar in Grosse Point or Livonia). Does Oakland have that kind of civic love?

Not really.

A huge difference is that Detroit doesn't have to compete with San Francisco for civic love. The vast majority of affluent people living in Bay Area suburbs love the idea of San Francisco, while paying virtually no attention to Oakland.

The residents of Oakland itself (in the non-ghastly neighborhoods, at least) as well as in closely-neighboring Alameda and Berkeley demonstrate a genuine love for Oakland. But your typical resident of Concord or Santa Rosa or Fremont or Palo Alto or Cupertino doesn't give two sh!ts about Oakland.
   16. Hank G. Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4619117)
Does Oakland have that kind of civic love?


“There is no there there.” -- Gertrude Stein
   17. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4619124)
Does Oakland have that kind of civic love?
Yeah, but not from rich people unfortunately.
   18. Morton's Fork Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4619126)
One data point: in the last 35 years I've lived in Alameda, El Cerrito, Daly City, San Mateo, and West Oakland (all "East Bay" or "Peninsula," and each within a mile or two of San Francisco Bay) and I'd say yes, there is a ton of "civic love" for Oakland on the part of locals (excepting, apparently, from Lew Wolff). Agreed that there is an "ugly step-sister" attitude given the proximity of San Francisco, but I'd say that's more on the part of outsiders (and I'd include in that group those from the aforementioned Concord, Santa Rosa, Fremont, Palo Alto, and Cupertino).

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