OAKLAND — The elephant has left the room.

After months of speculation, the A’s announced they want to leave their Coliseum home of 50 years for new digs near Laney College, promising fans a short walk to BART and stadium views of the Tribune Tower, the Oakland Hills and Lake Merritt.

The historic baseball ballpark relocation toward downtown — something city leaders have talked about for decades — would leave the Coliseum empty; the Raiders and Warriors having already made plans to exit Oakland.

An excited A’s President Dave Kaval, in a team video released Wednesday, said the franchise “wants to build a ballpark bigger than baseball, a gathering place to bring our community together” akin to Camden Yards in Baltimore and Fenway Park in Boston.

“The weather at that location is very nice. Oakland baseball is about being in the sun,” Kaval said. “And it’s really a magnificent backdrop.”

But the team’s bold proposal to plop a 35,000-seat stadium near a community college and neighborhoods that are home to renters and a sizable immigrant population drew a lukewarm response at best from two city leaders and immediate pushback from neighborhood activists.

Kaval, in an interview Wednesday, cautioned that the long-awaited announcement is no shovel-ready, done …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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