A Tale Of Two Cities: Oakland And Tampa And Baseball Parks

Meanwhile, they are still thinking.


The 2019 Major League Baseball season has started and two problems have not been solved. There seems to be no resolution for the ownership groups of the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays in their quest for new ballparks. The stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa were supposed to be resolved by the end of December 2018.  Major League Baseball would then be free to find two expansion sites with Montreal the overwhelming favorite to get one of those slots. But the present Oakland ownership seemingly in the same position as prior Oakland ownership groups since 2001. The owners are seeking a stadium to replace the Oakland Coliseum. Present A’s ownership has identified an Oakland waterfront area a potential ballpark site but there is a major traffic concern and no one knows how many toxins are in the ground as the property has housed a gas plant, a charcoal plant and oil tanks. The Port of Oakland has been monitoring ground water at the site since 2002. Oakland ownership wants to move into the waterfront stadium by 2023 but there are many environmental tests to come and eventually a site cleanup. A’s ownership also wants to build housing on the site but because of the probable toxins in the ground, there is a prohibition of constructing housing on the site. A’s ownership is also facing opposition from unions and an environmental group over its plans.

St. Petersburg officials are waiting to hear from Rays’ ownership about future stadium plans. Rays ownership has a deal with St. Petersburg to play in the city stadium through 2027. A proposal to move the team to the Tampa side of the bay fell through last year. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman claims there is money available through the local Tourist Development Council for a stadium but it won’t last forever.

Oakland Coliseum