A's Officials Tour Waterfront Site For Potential New Ballpark | NBC Bay Area
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A's Officials Tour Waterfront Site For Potential New Ballpark

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    Oakland Athletics officials on Thursday took a tour of the Howard Terminal, the waterfront site in Oakland being considered for a new ballpark. Elyce Kirchner reports. (Published Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016)

    Oakland Athletics officials on Thursday took a tour of the Howard Terminal, the waterfront site in Oakland being considered for a new ballpark.

    About 2:30 p.m., a shuttle carrying team officials, including co-owner John Fisher, pulled up to the Port of Oakland. They checked out the cargo loading area at the port as well as the soil and sea wall. The tour was led by representatives from the port’s commercial real estate division, engineering division, and the maritime division.

    "What they saw was an active terminal with trucks going in and out and then temporary storage containers at this facility," port spokesman Mike Zampa said.

    Zampa and other port representatives escorted A's officials, including majority owner Fisher, through the 50-acre site.

    "I think why today is a pivotal is today is the first time you're hearing the the silent partner, if you will, Mr. Fisher, who actually has the funding," said Chris Dobbins, co-founder of Save Oakland Sports.

    Dobbins said if the A's do execute a move to the waterfront site, it could also help keep the Raiders in Oakland.

    "By them moving out of the Coliseum, it's going to allow the Raiders to have the whole site to themselves," he said.

    It was unclear whether city leaders joined the tour, but Mayor Libby Schaaf has been a longtime proponent of the terminal site as a home for a new A's ballpark.

    “It’s a beautiful site. It’s close to the water, to the amenities of Jack London Square,” Schaaf said Wednesday.

    City leaders have touted the site in the past, only to have discussions stall because of environmental hurdles, the lack of parking and distance from public transportation.

    The proposed new ballpark would be about a mile from the nearest BART station, which is closer than AT&T Park is to the Embarcadero station.

    A's owners are "also still interested in building at the current Coliseum complex," team officials say.

    Schaaf agreed with Dobbins, saying one advantage to getting the A’s off the Coliseum site is it gives the Raiders an opportunity to build a football-only stadium – meaning, a solution that could keep both teams in town.

    But port officials said a waterfront ballpark still is a long way off, at this point.

    "At this stage, there is no proposal here," Zampa said. "Again, this was an exploratory visit today. There is no telling what it leads to."

    The Howard Terminal site was last proposed for a new A's ballpark in 2013.

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