(Lewis Wolff explains that if you don’t close the curtains, the entire stadium can see you fucking)
The Athletics have unveiled their new stadium plans…and incredibly, there’s no mention of breaking ground in San Jose, writes the San Francisco Chronicle’s Glenn Dickey (link courtesy Derek Monypeny) :
A’s owner Lewis Wolff presented plans Friday to build a new ballpark mostly with private funds on a site just north of the Coliseum that would include a hotel or housing along with retail outlets.
The plan, several months in the works, calls for a 35,000-seat ballpark on the site currently home to the Coliseum Flea Market, north of 66th Avenue – – and Wolff would like to see a new BART stop nearby.
The A’s owners would pay a majority of the estimated $300 million to $400 million that the park would cost, Wolff told the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the public landlord of the sports complex. He said the team would not ask public officials for a bond to help finance the project as the Raiders did to expand the Coliseum when they returned to Oakland a decade ago, drawing widespread criticism.
Among the new park’s features would be a hotel or apartment building that would double as part of the outfield wall, similar to Rogers Centre, the Toronto stadium that has hotel rooms overlooking the field.
The proposed site along Interstate 880 is occupied by several small businesses. Wolff said the owners would be offered fair market value for their properties and perhaps a place in a new industrial park. He said the A’s were not talking about using eminent domain, although a recent Supreme Court ruling has expanded the right of cities to claim land that way.
Wolff believes the capacity of the Coliseum, which is 46,000-plus for baseball but which can be expanded by almost another 5,000 seats for big games, hurts the A’s because fans are discouraged from buying season tickets knowing they can get tickets at the last minute for almost any game.
“We have only about 7,000 season ticket holders,” he said. “We have the largest walkup in baseball (as many as 15,000 for some games), but that makes it impossible to plan for how many vendors we’ll need, how many ticket-sellers. ”