OAKLAND (CBS SF) — With the Raiders bound for Las Vegas and the Warriors set to move across the Bay to San Francisco, the Oakland A’s are finally in the driver’s seat to land a new stadium.
Monday is opening day for the Athletics, what looks to be the last professional sports team in the East Bay city.
On March 27, officials raised the team flag over Oakland City Hall at a rally to celebrate opening day being just a week away. It happened to be the very same day the NFL owners approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas by an overwhelming majority.
By the year 2020, the Oakland A’s are scheduled to be the only game in town.
“Looks like Mayor Schaaf is really focused on keeping the A’s here,” said Chris Dobbins of the organization Save Oakland Sports.
“It’s due,” said Oakland resident Sam Molina. “We need something.”
So while team officials for years had pushed to move the franchise to San Jose, the A’s have settled back on Oakland with the goal of building a park with the neighborhood feel of San Francisco’s AT&T Park or Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
“We want a ballpark village. A place where people can congregate,” said A’s President David Kaval.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has been pushing a waterfront park at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. While the site has its appeal, getting there with no nearby freeway access or BART station makes it a challenge.
Much closer to the freeway and BART is a site near Laney College. But while close to the downtown and with a neighborhood feel, it could be tough to assemble the land needed for such a development.
The third site is just across I-880 at Brooklyn Basin. Last but not least is the existing Oakland Coliseum site. While it is right on the freeway and right on the BART line, it is seriously lacking in a neighborhood feel.
“All the sites have positives and negatives. We’re just weighing them,” explained Kaval.
He also said the team was not going to be looking for public money.
“We’re focused on building a stadium like we did Avaya Stadium; 100 percent privately financed,” said Kaval.
The A’s say that fans can expect an announcement on which site the team plans to focus on before the end of the year.