November 28, 2018
Announcement follows yearlong technical analysis and community engagement process
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland A's intend to build a next-generation urban ballpark at Howard Terminal, the Club announced today. The A's also plan to pursue a second project to redevelop the Coliseum site. The two-project approach will create significant economic and community benefits for West and East Oakland.
"We are excited to build a bold, iconic ballpark at Howard Terminal. This design will allow us to blur the boundaries of a traditional ballpark and integrate into the surrounding neighborhood," said Oakland A's President Dave Kaval. "However, this undertaking is bigger than baseball. In addition to developing at Howard Terminal, we plan to redevelop the Coliseum to help that site realize its full potential for the residents of Oakland for the long-term. We look forward to continuing our work with the community to develop both projects."
"We've spent the last year engaging in community dialogue with over 100 public officials, 80 community-based organizations, and 500 Oakland residents and community leaders. Our conversations with leaders in business, labor, government, and faith, in addition to neighborhood residents, have underscored the desire for this project to deliver real economic, civic, and cultural benefits, including job creation and training opportunities; an inclusive approach to economic and community development; and new civic, cultural, and recreational amenities. We are also committed to delivering a baseball experience for our fans like no other. Our proposed two-project approach will enable us to deliver on our promises to both our fans and community," said Kaval.
The A's ballpark at Howard Terminal, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), returns the baseball experience to the roots of the sport, while reimagining the ballpark anew. A "ballpark within a park," the intimate stadium is nestled carefully into its urban surroundings.
To create the most intimate experience in baseball, plans call for a total capacity of around 34,000-including fixed seats and general admission experience areas-to be arranged in the closest configuration possible to home plate, along with an elevated park that wraps and frames the bowl, coming down to meet the waterfront. The square block of the ballpark district will sit neatly within the extended urban fabric of Oakland, transforming the ballpark's concourses into street, and concessions into restaurants. Diverse programming embedded within and around the ballpark will ensure the ballpark, and the park that sits atop it, are active on game days and non-game days alike.
"Our design for the A's new home at the heart of Oakland's revitalized waterfront seeks to return the game to its roots as the natural meeting place for the local community," said Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner of BIG. An elevated tree-lined promenade frames the ballpark on all sides, dipping down to meet the public square and open the field to the water and city views. The perimeter park connects a cascade of social spaces for the fans to enjoy the sport on game days and extends the urban fabric with a neighborhood park to be enjoyed 365 days a year. In other words-we are putting the 'park' back in 'ballpark'."
The privately financed ballpark will anchor a new, vibrant, waterfront district that will feature housing, including affordable housing, restaurants, retail, small business space, and public gathering spaces.
At the Coliseum site, the A's seek to transform the current site in ways that will address several specific community needs and opportunities expressed by East Oakland residents. Working with public agencies and community residents, the A's plan to revitalize the Coliseum by pulling the adjacent neighborhood fabric into the site, and creating new economic, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Preliminary plans include a large park, surrounded by substantial new housing, including affordable housing, a skills center, community gathering space, office and retail developments, and restaurants. The new park will be anchored by the two focal points of Oakland sports history: Oracle Arena, repurposed as a concert and cultural events center; and the original Coliseum baseball diamond, preserved to inspire the next generation of ballplayers.
As a next step in this process, the A's will embark on a "120-Day Action Plan" focused on five key items: (1) gathering additional community feedback; (2) beginning the environmental review process at Howard Terminal; (3) negotiating an agreement with the Port of Oakland; (4) developing a framework with public officials for the Coliseum redevelopment; and (5) developing a framework for an economic and community benefits agreement.
The ballpark is set to open in 2023.