The Athletics, the last professional sports team in Oakland, has found itself playing more defense—and little to no offense—in its grand plan to build a new stadium.
When the team first announced plans to build a new baseball park and relocate from the Oakland Coliseum—the stadium it has called home since it moved to California in 1968—in the mid-2000s, the A’s owners have been on a whirlwind run around California, looking for the perfect spot for their grandest project yet.
The team finally settled on the Howard Terminal in Jack London Square, some 5.5 miles northwest of their current home, where they are planning to put up a ballpark at an estimated cost of between $600 and $700 million.
“Our Jack London Square Ballpark returns the baseball experience to the roots of the sport… a ballpark within a park,” the team says of the square on its website.
“They should do it in East Oakland,” said Mike Jacob, vice president and general counsel of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) and member of the anti-ballpark coalition that has formed in recent years.
The coalition believes the City of Oakland would benefit more if the A’s build their new stadium at their current home.
The Howard Terminal project began as early as 2014, but it was not until 2017 that the A’s expressed interest in the site. The team made its official announcement of the project in November of 2018. Now, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the team’s fortunes on and off the baseball field.