As ballpark Howard Terminal

Oakland As

Oakland A's Defends Proposed Waterfront Ballpark From Maritime Industry's Criticism

Jeffrey Schaub
April 18, 2019 - 10:43 am

OAKLAND (KCBS Radio) —The president of the Oakland Athletics is defending the club's proposal for a waterfront stadium near Jack London Square from critics in the shipping industry who've said the park could create maritime hazards

A's President Dave Kaval downplayed reports that bar pilots who guide large vessels in the bustling Port of Oakland are worried that stadium lighting could blind them as they steer through the estuary. They're also nervous that fans paddling kayaks or using small pleasure craft will show up to create a scene like McCovey Cove at the San Francisco Giants' stadium. They fear that those boaters will drift into the paths of large cargo ships next to Howard Terminal.

Truckers have also expressed concerns about increased traffic on game days while the Union Pacific Railroad is anxious about the safety of thousands of baseball fans crossing their tracks. 

"I think what we've done to date is we've listened and we've revised our plan accordingly," Kaval told KCBS Radio. "We have a lighting plan for our ballpark now that will ensure that the bar pilots are not affected by the stadium lights. We can incorporate proactive solutions in the plan to ensure the actual turning basin isn't influenced. And we have a plan that we're working on with the community to make sure that the trucks, where they come to and from the port, that happens in a responsible manner, that they don't interfere with car traffic."

Kaval is confident that the stadium will be built and that the A's will be playing ball there in the next few years.

"We're excited about opening a new privately financed ballpark in 2023. We have the support of the political establishment, the mayor, we've been working hand in hand with the Port Commission," he said. "I think that Oakland can have a vibrant and amazing waterfront with the new stadium and also have a thriving port at the same time."

The Oakland Port Commission is set to make a final decision on the As' proposed Howard Terminal park by the end of April.

The A's proposal entails much more than a baseball stadium. It calls for building housing, offices, shopping, public parks and even a gondola that would hoist passengers to downtown Oakland. 

Written by Diana Shook

Related: Oakland A's Claim Gondola Would Bring $685 Million To City