When we started Baseball Oakland years ago, all we ever wanted was for the A’s to stay in Oakland, a city whose rich baseball tradition teems with championships and legends.
We’ve always believed the city of Oakland was a huge strength of the Athletics franchise. From the Mustache Gang to BillyBall to the Bash Brothers to Moneyball to the rising young stars of 2017, we believe Oakland’s blue-collar soul has informed the colorful spirit and edgy, offbeat swagger of the Athletics franchise of the last 50 years. Losing Oakland as its home, in our opinion, would weaken the A’s franchise. It’s the main reason we formed this group.
Well, now, if recent news articles are true, Oakland’s baseball tradition – thankfully – will continue. The Athletics will announce a new Oakland ballpark site sometime between now and the end of December, according to new A’s President Dave Kaval. At most, that’s just three months away. (Or the announcement could come even sooner.)
Even better, Kaval has pledged that A’s owners will pay for the new yard with private funds. In California, where a housing crisis is the top issue and land is at a premium, it’s never easy to build something as big and consequential as a 35,000-seat stadium. Even if it’s privately financed, there will be debate over it, as there should be. That’s true for most cities and Oakland will be no exception. Still, we’re excited for Kaval and the A’s to clear this next hurdle.
You probably already know that the three sites considered by the A’s are:
1. Howard Terminal;
2. Laney College/Peralta Community College District offices; and
3. the Coliseum.
We’re excited to learn which Oakland neighborhood the A’s will choose to build their privately financed park. The Athletics’ ballpark saga is now 22 years old and we can’t wait for the city and the franchise to benefit from a new park that will end the franchise’s uncertainty, and let fans get back to just enjoying the baseball without worrying if the team will move. As the A’s go forward with their plans, we also will encourage Kaval and the franchise to do all it can to enhance the Oakland neighborhoods near the new ballpark.
Constructing a ballpark won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. But if recent news articles are true, it’s been half a century since we’ve been this close to having a new Oakland Athletics home; a home that will give the franchise and long-suffering A’s fans the stability they need to thrive. It also will remove one of City Hall’s longest running headaches. It’s a level of success and harmony that has been too long coming. Oakland deserves it. A’s fans deserve it. The city’s residents deserve it.
After two decades of fighting to keep our team, an Oakland site announcement will put us one step closer to the finish line. Whenever it comes and wherever the address, that will be a great day. And we look forward, as a group, to doing whatever we can to help city leaders and the A’s franchise make the new ballpark another Oakland success.