Oakland unveils new A's ballpark proposal

December 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Oakland has announced a new 39,000-seat proposal for the Oakland A's ballpark. The ballpark and mixed development would be near Jack London Square in Oakland.

Called Victory Court, supporters of the proposed site hope there is something in a name. For the first time, Oakland planning officials are going public with their plan to build it.

"We have a site in an urban environment that can catalyze development in the area as well as provide the team with a money-making opportunity," said Oakland Planning Commission chair Doug Boxer.

The meeting at Oakland City Hall marks the first step in a lengthy process. The initial effort will be to decide what goes into the environmental impact report, including a traffic study that could initially cost the city several hundred thousand dollars.

Besides the stadium itself, the project includes 700 condominiums and more than 700,000 square feet of office and retail space. All that would replace what's already in the Victory Court area, including the fire department training facility and 16 longstanding Oakland businesses, like Peerless Coffee and East Bay Restaurant Supply.

East Bay Restaurant Supply owner John Breznikar told ABC7 the family-owned business has been in Oakland for 76 years, 35 years in its current location on 4th Street. The company has 120 employees.

"We're not sure. We're not sure what it means," said Breznikar. "We're told we'd have to move. We're not sure where we'd move to. We'd hate to leave the city of Oakland. I'm not sure we can stay."

Amid the uncertainty, there's zero commitment from the Oakland A's themselves. Majority co-owner Lew Wolff has said repeatedly he has no interest in staying in Oakland.

Wednesday, team spokesman Bob Rose told ABC7, "The Oakland A's will refrain from any comments regarding our new ballpark efforts until Major League Baseball's Committee has completed its study."

The crowd of mostly hardcore A's fans at Wednesday night's zoning commission meeting was told to keep any biases private. The commission wanted serious feedback to improve the proposed 39,000-seat stadium.

Kaplan says the A's would likely shell out approximately $500 million to build the stadium and Oakland would pay about $120 million to rebuild the streets and utilities.

Council member Ignacio De La Fuente says the city should not spend the taxpayers' money on an environmental impact study until it gets a commitment from the A's and Major League Baseball, but it looks like it's going to go forward. The next opportunity for public comment is on Dec. 9.

Alan Wang contributed to this report


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