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Oakland A’s reveal new shape for waterfront stadium

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Bjarke Ingels Group’s second draft comes with a new circular shape

Much ado arose when the Oakland Athletics announced plans for a new waterfront stadium on the Howard Terminal in November. Conceived by Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (Google’s North Bayshore campus expansion, NYC’s Tetrahedron), the new ballpark, a square “jewel box” design that would host, among other things, a gondola, received mixed reviews from critics and fans.

This week the A’s revealed new renderings and plans for their proposed stadium, a second draft aimed at appeasing naysayers. Among the biggest changes to the 34,000-seat stadium: a more circular park.

A’s president Dave Kaval sent out the following statement Monday, which, in part, reads:

Back in November, we were thrilled and humbled by the initial positive response to our preliminary concepts for the ballpark design. Fans and community members alike expressed excitement about the design. Since then, we’ve continued to meet with public officials, fans, and community members to gather more input and refine our designs.

One key update to our design: a more circular shape. This geometry offers four key benefits over the initial concepts:

- Better ability to capture fan energy inside the ballpark for a more exciting and intimate experience

- A continuous rooftop park for use by fans and the community

- Better views of the water and Oakland from inside the ballpark

- A more seamless, efficient, and fluid access to the ballpark from the surrounding neighborhood

We’ll expect more refinements and improvements as we move through the design process, and your continued feedback will be essential. Please feel free to email me at president[at]athletics[dot]com.

Behold, a side-by-side comparison of the new and old stadium renderings:

Left, February 2019 rendering; right, November 2018 rendering.
Renderings by Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of the Oakland Athletics

The East Bay baseball franchise’s ambitious plan would dismantle the current A’s home, a Brutalist behemoth aesthetically annihilated by the ravages of time and the 1995 addition of Mount Davis. The A’s plan to relocate to the waterfront would also transform its current home into a tech and housing hub, keeping the Oracle Arena as is, while turning the Oakland Coliseum into a low-rise sports park and amphitheater.

While the team hopes to start the project by 2021, the A’s have yet to acquire Howard Terminal or Oakland Coliseum sites, which, according to CBS, are operated by Alameda County and the city of Oakland.

Left, February 2019 rendering; right, November 2018 rendering. (Baseball fans, note the removal of the World Series banner in the latest image.)
Left, February 2019 rendering; right, November 2018 rendering.
Coliseum at night.