For the moment, the Oakland A’s are holding to the timetable for their plan to be in a new stadium at Howard Terminal north of Oakland’s Jack London Square for the start of the 2023 season.
As time goes by, however, that date seems more mirage than reality. Privately, the A’s acknowledge the difficulty of meeting that timeline.
Henry Gardner, the interim executive director of the Coliseum Authority, which is the overlord of the A’s current home, the Coliseum, isn’t directly involved in the Howard Terminal project. But indirectly, it’s in his realm of operation, and he isn’t shying away from the realities.
“I don’t know what they’re thinking in terms of the time, but you know if you had all green lights today, it would still take you 2½-to-3 years to build the thing,” Gardner told SI. “And, well, we’re halfway through 2020, and they don’t have all the green lights.
“To think that you can have a facility finished in which you can actually play baseball, you’re probably looking at the end of 2024.”
For what it’s worth, there is a history for teams moving into a new stadium mid-season. When the Mariners moved into then-Safeco Field (now T-Mobile Park) in 1999, they played the first half of the season at the Kingdome, which was right next door.
A’s president Dave Kaval, the driving force behind the A’s project to develop a new home, wasn’t available for comment.