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New A’s stadium at Oakland’s Howard Terminal clears Senate, moves closer to reality

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Bonta’s bill wins unanimous vote

Artistic rendering of a modern, open-roof ballpark surrounded by trees, buildings, and a harbor.
Second design of new A’s stadium along the Howard Terminal.
Renderings by Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of the Oakland Athletics

The plan to move the Oakland Athletics from the beloved but battered Coliseum into a new Bjarke Ingels Group-designed park at the Howard Terminal, right on the waterfront north of Jack London Square, cleared a major hurdle Monday night. Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s (D-Oakland) AB 1191 passed the Senate 34-0.

The bill would help facilitate the project by authorizing the city of Oakland “to acquire reclaimed tidelands around Howard Terminal by trading other properties to the State Lands Commission,” according to Press Democrat.

The bill now must go before Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

After the bill passed the Assembly in May, Bonta said, “This project is a win for Oakland and the East Bay. It will create strong union jobs that provide good wages and benefits.”

He went on to claim that the ballpark will help alleviate the housing crisis: “It will create badly-needed affordable housing and will keep the A’s rooted in Oakland for years to come.”

A figure denoting exactly how much housing might accompany the ballpark and retail mixed-use has yet to be determined.

The 34,000-seat stadium received a tepid welcome when plans were revealed in November 2018. The first iteration, that of a square “jewel box” design, received mixed reviews from critics and fans.

In February, a second draft, aimed at appeasing naysayers, showed a smoother and more circular stadium.

The East Bay baseball franchise’s ambitious plan would dismantle the current A’s home, a Brutalist behemoth crumbling due to the ravages of time (not to mention the ill-advised 1995 addition of Mount Davis).

The A’s plan to relocate to the Howard Terminal along the waterfront would also transform its current home into a tech and housing hub, keeping the Oracle Arena in place, and re conceive the Oakland Coliseum into a low-rise sports park and amphitheater. This is, of course, all tentative as of now.

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