One obstacle to a new stadium removed.
The Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball franchise ownership got a big win last Wednesday. A lawsuit aimed at blocking the construction of a stadium near the Howard Terminal area on the Oakland waterfront not far from Jack London Square was dismissed. That decision will allow the A’s owners to submit an environmental impact study which is another step in the stadium building process. In February, 2020, A’s ownership was putting the finishing touches on a baseball park and surrounding village proposal. At the time, A’s ownership was trying to gain approval from various local and state agencies to build the stadium by 2023. That 2023 deadline will be impossible to meet as the court case held up the approval process. A’s ownership was also looking at the Oakland Coliseum-Arena sports complex land as a fallback option to build a ballpark should the waterfront stadium plan fail. In the fall of 2019, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred turned up the heat on Oakland officials saying that without a new stadium, A’s owners could move. COVID-19 became an obstacle last March.
The fallback option may get a bit more complicated. A’s owner John Fisher purchased Alameda County’s portion of the land that the Coliseum and the Oakland arena sits on for $85 million. The other portion of the property is owned by the city of Oakland. That piece of property seems to be available and Fisher may have some competition from other groups to buy that property. Fisher wanted the land for either a stadium, if the Howard Terminal project had failed, or some sort of urban development plan. But others have that eye on the property including one-time A’s pitcher Dave Stewart who has a group that is looking into building affordable housing, nice restaurants and shops and maybe a ballpark on the land.
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