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06 June 2005

Neil Hayes' call for ideas, and my own

Neil Hayes' new column posits the idea of an East Bay ballpark serving as a place that serves the community and salutes the East Bay's unique history. Since it appears that an Oakland location is no given, it makes sense to go this route. I especially liked the mention of the almost mythical Neptune Beach, which was once Alameda's bayside response to SF's Sutro Baths or the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

There are ways for a ballpark to accomplish these objectives while maximizing revenue streams. The best way is to limit the size of a ballpark. I just finished a conceptual drawing of a 38,000-seat ballpark that fits on only 10 acres. It's not really site-specific, so it should fit on a roughly square or rectangular lot. Features include:

  1. 53 midlevel suites, 10 dugout suites, and 3 party suites
  2. 3,320 club seats on two levels, mezzanine club level restaurant with field view
  3. A simplified design that reduces costs by limiting ballpark's footprint
  4. Outfield bleachers on two decks similar to old Comiskey Park and Tiger Stadium
  5. Restaurant/bar in left field that seats 200+
  6. Picnic seating in right field
  7. Field set 23 feet below street level, main concourse on street level
  8. Children's play area that could be placed in outfield (upper or lower) or near main gate
  9. Pitcher-friendly dimensions with fences that could be moved in
  10. Next-generation grass technology that allows for easy conversion for non-baseball events such as concerts and soccer/football games
  11. Flexible seating plan that allows for up to 1,000 extra temporary seats to be installed for high-demand or playoff games
  12. A grass berm in left-center for general admission patrons
  13. At least 1.5% of seats are ADA-compliant
  14. Dramatic entrances in centerfield and home plate that contain monuments and a museum devoted to A's history
For a messy conglomerate view of this concept, click here to download a graphic. Over the next few days, I'll put out other level-by-level drawings that detail all of the ballpark's features. One thing I could certainly use is some advice or help on doing artist concept-type drawings. This is not my strong suit, so any assistance would be much appreciated.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the general idea and framework.

What I dont like is that soccer field outline you've got on there. I don't even want to entertain the idea of a new stadium that's going to be used for other sports.

Zonis said...

The Soccer Field is a no-no. The entire point of getting a new stadium is it being Baseball Only. If a Soccer team moved to Oakland, they'd go to the then vacent Coliseum.

As for the field, I think the A's should bring the Right Field wall in a bit. The A's, as an organization, are very left hander heavy, in the Majors and Minors, so we might as well take advantage of that. Make it a Left Hand Hitter's park, but a pitchers park overall by limiting Right Handed hitters, sort of like Fenway in a bit of that aspect.

Overall, I'd say its a decent design, but it looks like you modeled it after the Coliseum too much, and tried too hard to make it be able to support a 2nd sport.

Marine Layer said...

I figured the soccer and football field would elicit a certain type of response. Believe me when I say that overlaying them was a complete afterthought. I only put them there to show that the it was possible, though I have to admit that the seating arrangement is anything but ideal for soccer or football. It is truly a baseball stadium. You can't rule out the possibility of having to use the venue for other types events, whether it's soccer or concerts. The Giants are able to pay down their debt by having a bowl game and summer concerts at SBC, and I as a taxpayer wouldn't complain if the public share was lessened by alternative uses.

The dimensions comment is interesting. The curve in rightfield is partly there to accommodate a curved street, but also to show that a pitcher's park could be done. Bringing the fences in would add seats and allow the footprint to be made even smaller.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Neil Hayes' idea for the "East Bay" A's. It's a givin that A's fans come from the entire region. This is the case for all of the Bay Area's teams and also for every pro team in the country. To now somehow try to rationalize that it's acceptable to relocate the A's within the region because A's fans come from all over the "East Bay" rings hollow for me. First of all, "East Bay" is a cheesy term used by municipalities which have no identity and want to attach themselves to SF. The "East Bay" is an offensive term for me as an native Oaklander. It may be OK for Concord, or even pretentious Walnut Creek, but not for a an independent and proud city with a great history and its own institutions like the great City of Oakland.

Also, Hayes' idea of having the San Francisco skyline as a backdrop for an Oakland A's ballpark only shows once again that Neil Hayes doesn't get it. Oakland builds a ballpark to promote San Francisco! WOW!

Mr. Oakland said...

I don't like Neil Hayes' idea for the "East Bay" A's. It's a givin that A's fans come from the entire region. This is the case for all of the Bay Area's teams and also for every pro team in the country. To now somehow try to rationalize that it's acceptable to relocate the A's within the region because A's fans come from all over the "East Bay" rings hollow for me. First of all, "East Bay" is a cheesy term used by municipalities which have no identity and want to attach themselves to SF. The "East Bay" is an offensive term for me as an native Oaklander. It may be OK for Concord, or even pretentious Walnut Creek, but not for a an independent and proud city with a great history and its own institutions like the great City of Oakland.

Also, Hayes' idea of having the San Francisco skyline as a backdrop for an Oakland A's ballpark only shows once again that Neil Hayes doesn't get it. Oakland builds a ballpark to promote San Francisco! WOW!

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