Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Oakland Stadium Update

A group of influential Oaklanders is coming back together to put a new baseball only stadium plan in motion.

I think this is the closest thing to a "Perfect Storm" as we can get. Sure the site's not ideal (I was hoping for Jack London Square or Downtown) but the people surrounding this project is sure making me optimistic. For example:

Glenn Isaacson, his company is building the $100+ million new cathedral for the Catholic Diocese of Oakland; the Cathedral of Christ the Light (as a Catholic, I'm kinda dismayed that my new cathedral will have a name that sounds like a generic Lutheran Church name). And according to the SF Chronicle, Isaacson also had previous dealings with potential (presumptive?) new owner Lew Wolff with a development project at Times Square, in New York.

Michael Dean, a real estate attorney with experience in redevelopment projects in Downtown Oakland.

Steven Douglas, owner of Douglas Parking, which means he should have deep pockets?

I presume that the stadium with be built without public funds. Oakland and the rest of Alameda County got burned last time we put money into a stadium, thanks Al Davis. I'm not even going to start on Al Davis.

The new plan includes getting grants for redeveloping the area around the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station, possibly doing the same thing with the Fruitvale Station and build an upscale transt village and a shopping district. I think tying the stadium with a redevelopment project is the only way a new stadium is going to be built in Oakland. It worked for San Francisco and their (Insert Phone Company Name Here) Park. Who wanted to be in South of Market/China Basin back in those days?

The only downside? Wal-Mart is going to be the anchor of the new commerical district around the Coliseum Station. As long as Wal-Mart keeps their greasy fingers off the namig rights of the new stadium, I can tolerate Wal-Mart.

Here you have a group that can attract private funding, have the experience to at least get the project started, and can deal with Lew Wolff.

As I said, it's a Perfect Storm.

I don't think Wolff would have excercised his option to buy the team unless he had a sure thing going for him. It looks like the sure thing is a new baseball stadium in Oakland, where the A's belong.


Post a Comment

<< Home