Photo of Oakland Athletics players on the field.

Image Credit: KA Sports Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Oakland Raiders were unable to secure a deal for a new stadium in Oakland and will flee for Las Vegas, Nevada after the 2018 NFL season. The Golden State Warriors will also be leaving Oakland in the near future for a new arena in downtown San Francisco. Now that Oakland, California has lost two of it’s professional sports franchises, Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are scrambling to find a location for a new ballpark. For several years, Jack London Square had been rumored as the most desirable spot for the team’s new home aside from the current site on Coliseum Way. Relocating the Athletics  to San Jose, California had also been a topic of discussion before the Oakland Athletics fell under new ownership.

Oakland Athletics president David Kaval went on record to say that the organization wants a mixed-use development outside of their new ballpark. The development would ideally resemble Wrigleyville outside of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, or Ballpark Village outside of Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. These types of areas typically offer a mixture of living space, bars, restaurants, hotels and retail shops and are very popular gathering places among baseball fans.

Three new locations that could potentially become the future home of the Oakland Athletics have entered the discussion; Howard Terminal, Laney College (Lake Merritt) and the Brooklyn Basin area. The Howard Terminal site has poor access to the local freeways and is inaccessible by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) but has a sizable plot of land. The city of Oakland will provide the Oakland Athletics with $200 million to build pedestrian bridges over the railroad tracks at Howard Terminal if they decide on that location.The Laney College area doesn’t have much space for a stadium but has the neighborhood feel that the team wants and is close to public transportation and freeways. Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, is afraid a ballpark at Lake Merritt would lead to raises in rent for the businesses that are located in the area at the moment. The Brooklyn Basin site is near I-880 and is a site that hasn’t been discussed much.

Photo of Jack London Square in Oakland, California.

Image Credit: Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0)

Jack London Square is no longer an option as a potential location for the new ballpark. With the imminent destruction of Oracle Arena in coming years, the Oakland Athletics would have plenty of space for a new ballpark and additional retail, restaurants, etc. However, the area is largely undeveloped with no neighborhood feel although it’s accessible by BART. There is also plenty of pressure for the area surrounding Oakland Coliseum to be converted into a residential area with condos and apartments due to the housing demand in the Bay Area.

Team president David Kaval said the chosen site and timeline for the stadium’s construction will be announced by the end of the 2017 MLB season. Kaval has also said that no public taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the new ballpark. And that’s a breath of fresh air; Bay Area residents pay enough in taxes as it is.




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