According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been hired to lead design for a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics baseball team. The decision comes after months of speculation over the team’s future in Oakland as the Oakland Raiders professional football team moves forward with a deal to abandon the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum—currently shared with the A’s—in order to build a new $1.8 billion stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, designed by Manica Architecture. A handful of plans have been proposed over the last 18 months for the baseball team’s future home, including purchasing the Coliseum site outright from the City of Oakland for $135 million. But the team is keeping its options open: Aside from the Coliseum bid, the team is currently pursuing plans for a brand new ballpark in the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal. https://twitter.com/davekaval/status/1019773158843281409?s=21 The plan for the Howard Terminal site is reportedly favored by Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, as it would allow the city to buyout Alameda County’s stake in the jointly-owned Coliseum site. The arrangement would give the city control over a centrally-located public amenity that is already connected to mass transit while passing on the costs of redeveloping Howard Terminal to private coffers. Despite Schaaf’s intentions to purchase the park, however, the mayor recently announced that the city does not have the money to make the purchase itself and is unwilling to commit public funding for the plan. In the past, the A’s were also considering a potential partnership with the Peralta Community College District nearby for a new standalone ballpark, though that fell through earlier this year due to community opposition. Previously, it was thought that HOK was on board to design a new A’s stadium, but the latest announcement seems to have scuttled those ideas. Now, it’ll be BIG, Gensler, and James Corner Field Operations working together to craft the new ballpark and the surrounding areas. “We are honored and excited to team with the Oakland A’s to help imagine their future home where sports culture and local community culture unite as one," Bjarke Ingels told The Architect's Newspaper. "We envision a stadium district that will be active and inviting 365 days a year for athletes, fans, and Oaklanders alike.” Announcing the new design team, A’s president Dave Kaval told the Chronicle, “We wanted a team that could look at the ballpark with a fresh perspective…and this is really a game changer.” https://twitter.com/oakstadiumwatch/status/1019785475555450880?s=21 The announcement was somewhat expected, especially for anyone who has been keeping close tabs on relevant social media channels. Earlier this summer, amid a trip to the Bay Area to check in on construction for the forthcoming Googleplex headquarters, BIG’s founder, Bjarke Ingels, took in an A’s game with Kaval. A flurry of Twitter selfies and Instagram stories from the pair hinted at a potential partnership. BIG is no stranger to working in the Bay Area. As mentioned above, the office based in New York City and Copenhagen is currently working with Heatherwick Studios on a new tent-inspired headquarters for Google. The firm also recently unveiled a scheme to reurbanize sections of Islais Creek with Sherwood and ONE. A planned 242-unit mixed-income housing complex in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood designed by BIG is under construction, as well. Designs for the BIG-led proposal have not been released, though Kaval has stated that the new stadium will be privately financed and will open in time for the 2021–2022 season.
Posts tagged with "Oakland A's":
There is hope yet that despite losing the Raiders to Las Vegas and the Warriors to San Francisco, Oakland will be able to keep its professional baseball team in the city over the coming years. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaff signed a select agreement today with the Oakland Athletics that would position the city to deal exclusively with the team as they look for a new home somewhere along the Oakland waterfront. The agreement was announced during a press conference attended by the mayor and team president David Kaval. The Oakland Athletics are currently in the process of figuring out what to do and where to go as their aging stadium—currently shared with the Raiders—prepares to lose the football team in either 2021 or 2022. “We are trying to make sure we retain as many options as possible so we can remain ‘rooted in Oakland,’” Kaval said, according to Mercury News. The city of Oakland currently owns the site of the Oakland Coliseum, the last remaining dual-purpose professional sports stadium in the country, which the Athletics are interested in purchasing outright. The team has expressed interest in the 120-acre site, including the adjacent Oracle Arena basketball stadium, in an effort to establish ownership of their playing facilities. The current facilities are easily accessible to the region’s mass transit system and feature extensive surface parking. Estimates put the cost of buying the property at $135 million. But the athletics are also interested potentially in relocating entirely to a site roughly two miles away called Howard Terminal. Howard Terminal is an existing shipping port that is due for redevelopment. The team has been scoping out a variety of sites in the area as well, including a recently abandoned plan to potentially relocate to the nearby Peralta Community College campus. The scheme was abandoned when its announcement drew forth a great deal of heated opposition when first made public earlier this year. The city’s exclusive agreement allows the municipality to help the Athletics pursue both options concurrently. After today’s meeting, Schaaf said, “I am so excited to be supporting exclusive negotiating agreements at both the Coliseum and at Howard Terminal so that we double our changes to [keep the team].” City and team leaders are hoping to have a final purchase agreement for one of e sites by the end of the year.
The Oakland A's are the best team in baseball this year. Maybe that's why they're considering a move from one of the sport's most outdated stadiums, the Oakland County Coliseum (AKA the Overstock.com Coliseum). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, A's owner Lew Wolff has begun talks with an architect to build a stadium at the Coliseum site. The team just signed a 10-year contract with the Oakland Coliseum board to stay on the site at least through 2018. "I've always loved Oakland. I love our fans. But we need a new venue," Wolff told the Chronicle. Other groups of investors have proposed stadia at Howard Terminal on the Oakland waterfront and in San Jose, but the new contract seems to solidify the team's presence in its current location. Wolff has so far declined to name the architects he's working with on the new stadium. Built in 1966, the Coliseum was last renovated in 1995. The facility, and adjacent Oracle Arena, sit on 132 acres, including 10,000 parking spaces. The A's are one one of a handful of California teams moving, or on the lookout for a new stadium in either football or baseball. The San Francisco 49ers are first: they're moving into their new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara this fall.