A's new ballpark site talks break down

Oakland A's new stadium up in the air after community pushback. The current Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, edited by AN

The Peralta Community College District's board of trustees decided in a closed-door session Tuesday night to break off discussions between Chancellor Jowel Laguerre and the A's, who were hoping to build a privately financed stadium on land owned by the district.

The A's in September announced that their preferred site for a new stadium was the one owned by Peralta and located near Chinatown, Lake Merritt and the San Antonio neighborhood.

Sasaki, Snøhetta, and Oakland-based Studio T-Square would have led master planning and urban design efforts, alongside building out a community engagement process.

The A's expressed their disappointment in a statement released Wednesday morning: "We are shocked by Peralta's decision to not move forward".

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"We are disappointed that we will not have that opportunity", the A's said. Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo told ABC7, " We have a coliseum site where they can continue to play baseball now and not miss a game, don't miss a beat and continue to build a brand new stadium right on site".

The news appears to have come as a major surprise the A's.

But the team had always faced an uphill battle in choosing the site at Laney. Besides needing to finalize land negotiations with Peralta, the team had been facing ardent pushback from Chinatown locals anxious about gentrification, from the Audubon society over the impact that development would have on bird migration patterns at the nearby Lake Merritt, and from politicians raising other concerns from their constituents. Part of the problem was internal opposition, with students and administrators voting no on the idea. In a statement, Mayor Libby Schaaf also said, "Oakland remains fiercely determined to keep the A's in Oakland".

"The Coliseum site already has a BART station with large capacity, and the pedestrian walkway could be improved, both to make it larger, and to make it more attractive and welcoming", Kaplan said.

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