Athletics Unveil Plans to Build New Stadium to Open for 2023 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22:  General view of the Oakland Athletics logos in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics are going to have a new home.

On Wednesday, the American League West team announced its plan to build a new ballpark at Howard Terminal:

Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics

💥 here it is: our plan to build a new ballpark at Howard Terminal. https://t.co/vLuiX01aT0 #RootedInOakland https://t.co/HtI7zEhrfV

Ben Ross of NBC Sports noted construction is slated to start in late 2020 for a park that will open for the 2023 season. The park will contain 34,000 seats and be located near Jack London Square on the waterfront.

"I think the urban downtown location right on the waterfront is really a game-changer for the A's and for Oakland," team president Dave Kaval said, per Ross. "It's just a tremendous site. Having the connection to the water, the connection to Jack London Square, it's a tremendous location for a ballpark."

The Athletics announced the park will be privately financed and serve as the focal point of a redevelopment of the area that will also include affordable housing, small businesses and restaurants. There will be an Open House on Thursday from 6-9 PM to discuss the projects.

The team has played in the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum since its 1968 move from Kansas City, and part of the project is to redevelop that stadium as well. The Athletics explained they will "address several specific community needs and opportunities" with moves that will include a park, affordable housing, restaurants and community gathering spaces.

The team shared a look at some of the plans and noted Oracle Arena—the current home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors before they head to San Francisco next season—will be used as a concert and cultural events center.

What's more, the original baseball diamond of the historic Coliseum will be preserved:

Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics

The ballpark at Howard Terminal returns the baseball experience to the roots of the sport, while reimagining the ballpark anew. A “ballpark within a park,” the intimate stadium is nestled carefully into its urban surroundings. https://t.co/vLuiX01aT0 #RootedInOakland https://t.co/ZjTXknlU1A

Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics

“We are excited to build a bold, iconic ballpark at Howard Terminal. This design will allow us to blur the boundaries of a traditional ballpark and integrate into the surrounding neighborhood.” - @DaveKaval https://t.co/vLuiX01aT0 #RootedInOakland https://t.co/g46FK7N2ny

Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ @Athletics

The new park will be anchored by the two focal points of Oakland sports history: Oracle Arena, repurposed as a concert and cultural events center; and the original Coliseum baseball diamond, preserved to inspire the next generation of ballplayers. https://t.co/vLuiX01aT0 https://t.co/QuYThO6nhG

Ross noted there have been roadblocks to a new stadium before, including last year when the team thought it was primed to build a park near downtown's Lake Merritt. However, landowners stopped those talks before plans were finalized.

Oakland made the playoffs during the 2018 season for the first time since 2014 thanks to a 97-65 record. Despite the success, it was still just 26th in the league in attendance per game at 19,427 while playing at the Coliseum.

The new 34,000-seat would be a smaller and more intimate venue as the Athletics look to improve their attendance totals and establish themselves as regular contenders in the AL West.