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For new ballpark, Oakland A’s hire design firm responsible for SFMOMA expansion

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New stadium could include centers for wellness and culture

Aerial view of the Oakland Coliseum stadium. 
Aerial view of the Oakland Coliseum stadium. 
Photo by trekandshoot/Shutterstock

The Oakland A’s plan on ditching their current concrete confines for more contemporary grounds. The baseball franchise just hired four noted design firms to helm their upcoming ballpark at the Peralta College site near Lake Merritt.

Snøhetta, whose daring 2016 SFMOMA museum expansion led British architecture design critic Oliver Wainwright to call it “a gigantic meringue,” is among the four teams called to the bullpen, joining Sasaki, Studio TSquare, and HOK.

“Our goal is to create the best ballpark experience for our fans, players, and community,” said Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval in a written statement. “It is critical for our ballpark to truly integrate into the fabric of Oakland.”

While the concrete design of the the Coliseum does have its merits, it is currently the fifth oldest stadium in the country hosting a Major League Baseball team. In fact, the Athletics have been trying to get out of the Coliseum for decades.

The exterior of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The facade is white and contoured giving it a wavy appearance.
Snøhetta’s glorious SFMOMA expansion in San Francisco.
Photo by Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that the 51-year-old stadium is in such bad shape that poor plumbing flooded the player’s clubhouse with sewage on several occasions. Nasty. And then there’s Mount Davis, a circa-1995 section of 20,000 capacity seating, that blocks of the Oakland Hills. The clumsy expansion has become one of the ballparks many, many love-to-hate design elements.

But the new ballpark will cleanse A’s fans of all that.

Regarding the new ballpark. Chek Tang, president of Studio T Square, said, “Our design mission is simply: to bring the A’s motto ‘Rooted in Oakland’ to reality by featuring the history, legacy and winning tradition of our beloved Oakland A’s and proudly celebrate and display the cultural diversity, community pride, true grit and natural beauty of Oaktown.”

Fans cross the pedestrian bridge to the Oakland Alameda Coliseum in 2008. Photo by BrokenSphere/Wikicommons

The new proximity to downtown will also offer more options of visitors, including possible centers for wellness and culture.

“With its new home closer to downtown Oakland, the project will re-invigorate the relationship between the A’s and the city as a new kind of ballpark that acts as a center for sport, wellness and culture,” says Craig Dykers, Snøhetta partner-in-charge.

According to rough estimates, the new ballpark would seat 35,000 people and cost roughly $500 million. No design specifics or construction dates have been announced.