OAKLAND -- The A's unveiled their latest plans for a new ballpark on Wednesday, making public their desire to build at Howard Terminal and maintain their original timeline of a 2023 opening.
This expansive project is two-fold: The A's also plan to redevelop the Coliseum site, which they've called home since 1968, in a way that will benefit the community while simultaneously providing resources for the team's privately financed, 34,000-seat ballpark.
It's a massive, ambitious undertaking, and A's president Dave Kaval calls it "bigger than baseball." Costs have not been disclosed.
"We are excited to build a bold, iconic ballpark at Howard Terminal," A's president Dave Kaval said in a statement. "This design will allow us to blur the boundaries of a traditional ballpark and integrate into the surrounding neighborhood."
The proposed ballpark will anchor a waterfront district that features housing, restaurants and retail, among other amenities. Renderings of the space, designed by the Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group, can be found at oaklandballpark.com.
The A's are old pros at renderings, of course, only to continuously and frustratingly see plans disintegrate. They struck out at sites in Fremont and San Jose and, just last year, their attempt to build a ballpark near Laney College following an elaborate announcement embarrassingly crumbled within months.
They've since been steadfast in their desire to remain in Oakland -- as the Golden State Warriors leave for San Francisco and the Oakland Raiders for Las Vegas -- and Kaval believes this go-around will be different. That he had an array of local support accompanying him at a press conference Wednesday -- including Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf -- suggested as much.
"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," Kaval said. "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."
Kaval and the A's will formerly begin a yearlong, state environmental review of the Howard Terminal proposal, a critical component of this process. They must also negotiate an agreement with the Port of Oakland to either lease or purchase the 55-acre property.
At the Coliseum site, which spans 100-plus acres in East Oakland, Kaval envisions a low-rise sports park in place of the existing monstrosity, in addition to a tech hub and housing. Oracle Arena, which will be vacated upon the Warriors' departure, will remain in place as an events center.
"We plan to redevelop the Coliseum to help that site realize its full potential for the residents of Oakland for the long term," Kaval said.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred offered his support for the proposal in a statement, saying, "We are excited about the A's plans at Howard Terminal, not just for the club but for their fans, who deserve a first-class venue to support one of the most competitive franchises in Major League Baseball. The organization has been consistent in their desire to thrive in the city of Oakland and we are glad that those plans are moving forward toward the opening of a new ballpark in 2023."