Clock ticking on A's Howard Terminal ballpark dream, and stakes couldn't be bigger | San Francisco Chronicle

A Bay Area swim coach used to explain to her swimmers the most important principle of their sport by using this timely reminder:

“Ticky-tocky goes the clocky.”

That should be the A’s mantra for their efforts to build a new ballpark.

Last week the A’s appeared to clear a big hurdle in their quest to build a future home at Howard Terminal. A judge dismissed a lawsuit that would have bogged down their stadium timeline.

Hurdle skimmed? Sort of. Except that the group of entities filing the suit, which includes Schnitzer Steel, immediately appealed the ruling. Even if the A’s eventually prevail, the appeal could be another setback to their construction schedule.

Schnitzer is the massive and messy steel-grinding/recycling plant next door to the A’s proposed ballpark. Schnitzer and the A’s are the Hatfields and McCoys of West Oakland. Maybe the two families will make peace and become good neighbors. That will leave only about 50 major hurdles left for the A’s to skim.

I am on record as opposing the A’s plans to build at Howard Terminal. I have given my reasons, mainly how long the project would take. But for the moment, let’s just say I have been dead wrong.

Let’s say Howard Terminal is a dandy idea, that a waterfront ballpark would be way cooler than a new ballpark at the Coliseum site.

Let’s say all the hurdles I have outlined in the past are garden-variety bumps in the road for any construction project.

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