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.