Oakland pushing waterfront site for new ballpark

Oakland pushing waterfront site for new ballpark
December 16, 2013, 10:45 am
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A’s managing partner Lew Wolff reportedly does not find the waterfront proposal realistic. (Manica Architecture/SF Gate)

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A group looking to keep the A’s in Oakland has released new plans for a $500 million ballpark at the Port of Oakland, just west of Jack London Square.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, Oakland leaders – including mayor Jean Quan -- see the proposed site as the best option for keeping the team from leaving the city and moving to San Jose. Leading the proposal for the 38,000-seat waterfront ballpark is Clorox chairman and CEO Don Knauss and former Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream boss T. Gary Rogers.

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“It's one of the two sites we promised Major League Baseball we would offer, and it will be available early next year,” Quan told the Chronicle.

The other is the current Oakland Coliseum site.

They hope to persuade A’s ownership to get on board with the idea, which may be a tough sell. A’s managing partner Lew Wolff reportedly does not find the proposal realistic, telling the Chronicle that "it would be easier to build on Treasure Island.”

But the Oakland group wants to show Major League Baseball that keeping the team in Oakland is a better option than allowing it to relocate to San Jose, as Wolff and principal owner John Fisher desire. The group hopes that Wolff and principal owner John Fisher will join the Oakland effort, according to the report, but if they don’t, the leaders of the proposal are willing to form an ownership group of their own to buy the team.

Wolff has stated repeatedly that he and the other A’s owners are not looking to sell the team.

One hurdle to the new proposal is getting the Port of Oakland to hand over control to the 50-acre Howard Terminal site, which would be part of the ballpark plans.

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