A's new ballpark site talks break down
Owners of preferred area for proposed stadium cease discussions with team
OAKLAND -- Plans for the A's to build a ballpark near Oakland's Laney College have been derailed, after landowners of the selected site decided to halt talks with the team.
It's an unfortunate and unsettling development for the A's, who just three months ago unveiled Laney College as their preferred site for a privately financed stadium, laying out a timeline that had them breaking ground in 2021 and opening the doors in '23.
A's president Dave Kaval was expected to spend much of the next year negotiating with the Peralta Community College District to purchase the land. But the governing board of trustees ordered the chancellor to discontinue conversations with the A's in a meeting Tuesday, per a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The A's expressed their disappointment in a statement released Wednesday: "We are shocked by Peralta's decision to not move forward. All we wanted to do was enter into a conversation about how to make this work for all of Oakland, Laney, and the Peralta Community College District. We are disappointed that we will not have that opportunity."
Despite growing opposition from Laney students and activists in recent months, the A's had hoped to appeal to them through a robust community engagement process, with plans that would include affordable housing and workforce training, among other ideas to generate revenue supporting the college.
It's unclear what the A's, who had recently named a design team for the proposed ballpark, will do next. They have played at the Coliseum since 1968, and rebuilding on the same site -- a seemingly easier plan to execute -- was one of their original options, before Laney won out.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf voiced through Twitter that "Oakland remains fiercely determined to keep the @Athletics in Oakland. It is unfortunate the discussion w/ Peralta ended so abruptly, yet we're committed, more than ever, to working with the A's and our community to find the right spot in OAK for a privately-financed ballpark."