Back in September the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Oakland Athletics had settled on a location for their proposed new ballpark: the site near Laney College on a piece of land owned by Peralta Community College. The site is close to downtown Oakland between Interstate 880 and Lake Merritt and is near a BART station, so it ticked off almost all of the wishes on the A’s list.
Today the owners of the land — Peralta Community College — told the A’s to look elsewhere. From the Chronicle:
At a closed-session meeting Tuesday, the board of trustees of the Peralta Community College District — whose offices stand where the ballpark would go — directed Chancellor Jowel Laguerre to discontinue “community engagement” talks with the team and to instead focus on what’s best for the college and its students and faculty.
There had been opposition to the A’s plans from faculty, students and staff since the September announcement.
The A’s, who had already engaged a design team for the 15-acre site, released a statement saying that they were “shocked” at the decision and that “[a]ll we wanted to do was enter into a conversation about how to make this work for all of Oakland, Laney, and the Peralta Community College District.” That conversation ain’t happening now.
So it’s back to the drawing board. A board which, in the past, has included possible locations for a new ballpark on the site of the current Oakland Coliseum and at least talked-about plans for Jack London Square in Oakland. The former is convenient but not very sexy. The latter is sexy but not very convenient. It’s still possible that either of those sites, however, could house a functioning ballpark by or before 2023, which was when the Laney College site was supposed to ready for the A’s to begin play.
So the A’s beat on, a ballclub against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.