On Nov. 17, 2016, David Kaval was named the seventh president in Oakland Athletics history.
As one of the most dynamic leaders currently in sports, Kaval has led a complete transformation of the organization. He has repositioned the internal and external perception of the Club and has driven a number of innovative initiatives to propel the business forward.
In his two seasons as president, he has enhanced the fan experience by making upgrades to the Oakland Coliseum, including the addition of a number of club and premium seating areas, renovating Shibe Park Tavern, and introducing three new fan areas: Championship Plaza, The Treehouse and a kids' zone for the 2019 season.
He has also innovated the fan experience by removing the tarps on the upper deck, introducing a modern version of the beloved mechanical Harvey the Rabbit to deliver the first pitch ball, and naming the playing surface at the Coliseum "Rickey Henderson Field." Last season, the Club hosted the first free game in MLB history for 46,028 fans on April 17, 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the A's first game in Oakland. On July 21, 2018, the A's set a Coliseum record for the largest attendance with a crowd of 56,310 when the team played host to the San Francisco Giants.
Kaval is leading the Club's efforts to open a new ballpark in Oakland. During 2018, Kaval led a team to conduct extensive community outreach, including meeting with more than 100 local and state officials, engaging 80 local community-based organizations, and convening more than 500 Oakland residents. The outreach resulted in the Club assessing the feasibility of Howard Terminal for their new home and the potential redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum. The Club will spend 2019 in the CEQA process, with a goal of opening a new park in 2023. Kaval is determined to make the ballpark project bigger than baseball by generating significant economic and community benefits for Oakland, including job creation, economic development, and new civic, educational, and recreational amenities.
In addition to delivering the best baseball experience for the team's fans, he is committed to increasing the organization's community impact. In 2018, the Club donated more than $2.6M back to the community, distributed more than 100,000 game tickets free of charge to fans, engaged more than 35,000 students in educational initiatives, and provided nearly 10,000 youth baseball and softball players and coaches the opportunity to play.
Kaval previously served as the President of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. He oversaw the business and soccer operations of the franchise and represented the Club on the Major League Soccer Board of Governors. He continues to serve as a Board Member of the San Jose Earthquakes.
During his time with the Quakes, the team won the 2012 Supporters' Shield, which is awarded to the MLS team with the best regular season record. His success with the team culminated in the opening of Avaya Stadium - the Quakes' $100M privately financed soccer stadium - on March 22, 2015. Kaval developed the innovative $20M naming rights partnership with Avaya, which helped create the world's first cloud-enabled stadium and some of the fastest WiFi speeds of any sports venue open today. Since opening its gates, Avaya Stadium has held numerous events including the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, World Cup Qualifiers featuring the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team, exhibition matches featuring U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and the Silicon Valley Rugby 7's Tournament. The 18,000-seat venue also houses the largest outdoor bar in North America.
Prior to joining the Earthquakes, Kaval founded the independent Golden Baseball League (GBL) in 2003. Memorable GBL alumni include Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Daniel Nava, Jose Lima, and Mark Prior. Kaval has also spent time in the Office of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C., where he worked on the National Security budget as part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
He serves on a number of boards, including the Bay Area Council and Rocketship Education, in addition to the National Governing Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).
In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book entitled "The Summer that Saved Baseball," which highlighted a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball ballparks in the summer of 1998. He is also a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) where he teaches sports management.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Kaval earned a B.A. with honors in international relations and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He is a long-time resident of Menlo Park, Calif., and lives there with his wife and two daughters.