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.