That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: What’s Next Regarding the A’s Howard Terminal Park?

Photo credit: bizjournals.com

By Amaury Pi-González

“We’re excited to enter into this next phase of negotiations with the A’s to ensure they remain rooted in Oakland!”

That was the last statement issued by City of Oakland Officials right after the city dropped lawsuit over Alameda County over the possible sale of the Oakland Coliseum to the Oakland Athletics.The team offered to buy out both halves of the 112-acre Oakland Coliseum site, with the goal of building a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.

So what’s next? EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was founded by the US government in 1970 about concern of environmental pollution. They will conduct studies about the location and what challenges they will encounter at Howard Terminal about the environment.

The New York Mets’ City Field was inaugurated in 2009, but was built with the highest environmental standards, with 95% recycled steel and a green roof to decrease energy needs along with water conserving measures like hand-free faucets and automated flush valves that save millions of gallons of water. It is not only the New York Metropolitans, but most new stadiums today are built similarly and the Bay Area is not different,

Earlier this year, KGO reported that the Bay Area is the most expensive place in the world to build. According to a report by United Kingdom-based consultant Turner and Townsend, the average construction cost in the Bay Area is $417 per square foot, surpassing New York’s $338. It is good news because the A’s will privately finance the park, so it will never go to a local election. When that happens here in the Bay Area,and there is an election to approve or disapprove the construction of a professional sports facility. The vote is “no” and you can just ask the San Francisco Giants.

Unlike states like Texas, Georgia or Missouri, the Bay Area is not easy to build a sports facility for a major league franchise. There are many decisions to be made and this is a project that involves hundreds of millions of dollars. This is the only professional big league franchise left in the City of Oakland, a once proud city that was named “City of Champions” in the 1970’s when the A’s, Raiders and Warriors all won titles, respectively. Obstacles remain and we will be talking about this until it happens or not. If the Howard Terminal location cannot be the place, the same place where they have been playing since 1968 to date would be the most sensicble solution for the A’s future. BART and Highway 880 are also not moving.

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