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MLB Team Hires BIG for New Field

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

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Architecture firms Bjarke Ingels Group and Gensler have both been tapped to develop a new ballpark to replace the current home of Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics, though funding for the project remains uncertain.

BIG, working in collaboration with Gensler on ballpark design, will be spearheading master site planning, with the site itself likely located at either the team's current home, the Coliseum, or the Howard Terminal. Gensler’s previous Bay-area work includes the Golden State Warriors’ new Chase Center arena in San Francisco.

BIG Ballpark

These plans, which are part of the team’s endeavor to replace the 51-year-old Coliseum, are not set in stone, however: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf recently raised concerns with local business leaders in a private meeting over the fact that the city reportedly does not have the money to buy out Alameda County’s half-interest in the Coliseum site. Schaaf told the San Francisco Chronicle that the general picture is a bit complicated.

Kawouter, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These plans are part of the Oakland A’s endeavor to replace the 51-year-old Coliseum.

“We are fully committed to buying out the county’s share of the Coliseum land, but we will not repeat mistakes of the past by being financially irresponsible when it comes to sports teams,” Schaaf said.

In May, the Oakland City Council voted to grant the A’s a nine-month purchase option for the Coliseum site. A’s President Dave Kaval declined to comment on the mayor’s private remarks, but did note that the team’s original $137 million offer for the Coliseum site still stands.

As for choosing BIG and Gensler, Kaval said “we wanted a design team for not just a ballpark but a ballpark district that's best for Oakland.” He also noted that the A’s wanted “this to lead to something that's more transformative for Oakland.”

The stadium is to be privately financed, but the team hopes to negotiate packages for infrastructure and related work around both sites. The A’s are currently leaning toward building at the Howard Terminal, but are also looking to acquire development rights for the other property to help finance the waterfront ballpark.

   

Tagged categories: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG); Project Management; Renovation; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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