MLB's Rob Manfred: Athletics' New Oakland Stadium Deal 'Needs to Happen Now'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 19, 2022

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 10: Nick Allen #2 of the Oakland Athletics fields during the game against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on July 10, 2022 in Oakland, California. The Astros defeated the Athletics 6-1. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Tuesday that approval for the Howard Terminal Project, which would include a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics, "needs to happen now" and "needs to be done."

"The condition of the Coliseum is a really serious problem for us," Manfred said, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "It is not a major league-quality facility at this point.''

Per Barry M. Bloom of Sportico, an Oakland City Council vote on the project is pending, as is "the shelf life" of the Coliseum.

Per the City of Oakland website, the proposed project would include a 35,000-seat stadium, a 3,500-seat performance venue, up to 3,000 residential units, a hotel with 400 rooms and 1.8 million square feet of commercial development. It would be located at the "Port of Oakland along the Inner Harbor of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary."

The A's are considering a move to Las Vegas a la the NFL's Raiders, who left Oakland in 2020. In May, team president David Kaval said that stadium talks with Oakland and Las Vegas were on "parallel paths," per Kevin Bolinger of Fox5 Vegas.

There have been a few steps of late for the A's to remain in Oakland, though.

In June, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission voted to reclassify the area for the proposed project to mixed-use, paving the way for a ballpark to be built.

The next week, the Oakland City Council voted down a measure that would have put the project up for a public referendum, per Casey Harrison of the Las Vegas Sun.

"[Going to a public vote] could doom our efforts in Oakland," Kaval said, per Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

That won't be an issue, however, and there appears to be momentum for the A's to stay in Oakland.

The Athletics have called the city home since 1968 and have played at the Coliseum the entire time. Prior to their California move, they played in Philadelphia (1901-54) and Kansas City (1955-67).