20 July 2005

Lew Speaks

During the A's superb 3-0 victory over the The O.C., A's managing partner Lew Wolff sat down with A's TV broadcasters Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse to discuss the team's resurgence and the recent front office moves. The highlight of the discussion was a new set of details about the new ballpark plans. As usual, Wolff didn't get too specific, but he at least gave viewers some nice details to chew on.

"We're very close to sitting down with the city and sharing some ideas. I hope there's some leadership there that can help us. We can't do it alone."

"We need some vision in the community and some vision in ownership."

"As you know, I'm no fan of the Coliseum."

"We need some vision in the community and some vision in ownership."
New details:
  • Compact stadium, 32 - 35,000-seat capacity
  • Each area in the ballpark will be a neighborhood
  • 40 four-person boxes (minisuites) at the 12th row
  • Trying to make everything in the ballpark lower (suites, seats) for a better fan experience
  • Trying to avoid having to build a third deck (the PNC Park model)
  • Condominiums overlooking the outfield, around 20 units (sample outside Wrigley Field)
  • There is a focus on both enhancing the fan experience and keeping it affordable
  • The team is about a month away from meeting with the city to discuss plans
  • The condo talk was surprising. If that doesn't get people talking about a ballpark village concept, I don't know what will. That's why it's important for Wolff that the eventual site is not just any site. It needs to be one that is attractive not just to the team, but to other developers to invest in the ballpark village or neighborhood.
  • By not having to build a third deck, construction and materials costs could be cut by $50 million or more.
  • So far, I like what I'm hearing. I look forward to interviewing some of the design principals when the time comes.


Kenny said...

2 deck ballpark, like PNC. I remember reading years ago how somebody suggested how PNC park would be a great model for a new A's ballpark.

danny said...

what is the timeline the A's are facing to get a new park built? Does thier lease run out in a few years?

I recently moved to Jsack London so I'd love to see something go in down near the eastuary. but I imagine they'd ahve to fight the state waterfront commission...

Marine Layer said...

The lease runs through 2007, with one year options from 2008-2010. The team has an exit clause in the lease in which they have to give 120 days notice and pay any unpaid rent plus $250,000. The A's have one of the cheapest lease agreements in the majors. This year they're paying only $500,000.

Wolff gave himself a year from last March to get a stadium plan together.