With the Golden State Warriors set to move to San Francisco next season and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders relocating to Las Vegas in 2020, the MLB’s Oakland Athletics are that city’s final hope of keeping a professional sports team.
There is, however, darn good news on this front. The A’s have unveiled a plan to build a state-of-the-art venue at the famed Howard Terminal location. Said plan has gained a ton of local traction.
Now, according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, there’s growing optimism that said plan will come to fruition.
Manfred says he is “very optimistic” that the A’s and Oakland can work through the issues at the Howard Terminal site, including some of the toxic/hazardous substance issues recently raised by an @sfchronicle report by @KVeklerov.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 19, 2019
These issues just came to the forefront recently and could delay any groundbreaking.
“But underneath the asphalt of Howard Terminal, on the Oakland Inner Harbor, lies a buried legacy of industrial use going back a century,” a previous report from Kimberly Veklerov of the Chronicle noted. “A Chronicle review of regulatory documents found that soil and groundwater on the site contain hazardous and cancer-causing chemicals that would need to be remedied before a ballpark could be built there.”
The A’s have now been attempting to get a new venue built in Northern California for the past two decades. Their current stadium remains the most rundown in the entire sports world.
Manfred’s optimism is nothing new. Former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig expressed the same belief multiple times during his tenure.
The issue here has been local politics and the environmental impact. Even more so than other regions in the United States, the environment certainly plays a role for local Northern California leaders.
Should nothing come to fruition at the Howard Terminal, relocation of the A’s becomes more realistic.
Both Portland and Las Vegas have been bandied about as potential locations in the past. The A’s Triple-A team just relocated from Nashville to the outskirts of Las Vegas.