For the Oakland A’s to open their new stadium at Howard Terminal in April of 2023, ground will have to be broken by next January.
Typically, projects the size of a new baseball stadium take about 26 or 27 months from first shovel of dirt to first pitch being thrown.
And while the A’s haven’t said anything about any change to that timetable, it seems increasingly likely that an April, 2023 debut is going to be difficult to pull off thanks in large part to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The hurdles in front of the A’s were always going to be legal, environmental, governmental and logistical. That’s true for all projects of that scale. The A’s are trying to put a 35,000-seat stadium on land on the edge of San Francisco Bay, and that kind of project was always going to be a struggle.
Now a public health crisis has been thrown into the mix, and baseball may have to wait its place in line as city, county and state governments direct most of their energy into doing battle with the pandemic.
Between a tightening of what kinds of construction can be done in a time of pandemic, the lack of a final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and pending legal battles, the A’s may need a retrenchment date.