A stadium on a platter


We’re trying to get our headline around a proposal to build a new stadium for the Oakland A’s that would essentially be built on a platform above Interstate 980.

The story recently in the Oakland Tribune (linked here) tries to explain how a local ubran designer and planner thinks a new ballpark can be “built over the depressed portion of I-980 between 14th and 18th streets. In essence, the bridges at 14th and 18th streets would be widened to connect, creating a solid platform where the stadium could be built.”

Grunwald says greenparks have been installed this way in cities such as Seattle and Phoenix to connect neighborhoods.

But the real hangup in all this, the story continues: “Air rights — rights to build above a highway.” The Federal Highway Administration and the California Department of Transportation need to approve it and “it could take years to get those rights.”

Eric Angstadt, planning director for Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Agency, said the idea of building a ballpark on top of I-980 had been looked at when the city and Major League Baseball began looking at sites but was dismissed because it did not meet certain requirements. He did not elaborate on those requirements.

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