A's representatives tour Port of Oakland for possible new stadium site

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- The Port of Oakland is hosting representatives from the A's Thursday afternoon. 

The vast Port of Oakland has some very large, underutilized spaces that could be used for sport venues and the Oakland A's have confirmed that Howard Terminal, on the estuary next to Jack London Square is one of the sites under consideration.

Drawings from Manica, a Kansas City architectural firm, envision two pairs of cargo cranes framing a waterside venue.

"There have been numerous expressions of interest in the Howard Terminal. Right now, it's used for Maritime related purposes such as drayage truck parking," said Mike Zampa, chief Port spokesman. "And the Port will listen to any appropriate use that makes financial sense and sounds good for the community and for Port operations."

There are reports that the site will be examined this week by A's majority co-owner John Fisher and perhaps Mayor Libby Schaaf.

"This is not the only one that they're looking at. But, they've gotten very serious (and) they're only looking in Oakland," Schaaf told KTVU. "We're gonna keep our A's in Oakland."

Though large enough, the Howard Terminal site has pluses and minuses that could sway any decision.

The negatives include:  the absence of direct freeway access to already congested Port and Jack London Square streets and the distance to an existing BART station. But the positives include direct ferry access on a

"I think it would be for the community and the team overall," said A's fan Larisa Jones. "I think it would draw in a new fan base and keep the old fan base as well."

"Obviously they need a new stadium and (if) in order to keep them from moving, we build a new stadium for them, I think that's a great thing," A's supporter Brian Early said.

"I think they need a new park because there's not enough people coming to these games right now," says fan Westin Stewart-Tennes.

"The thought of having a stadium in Oakland, regardless of where it would be in Oakland, that's a good thing to me," says fan Ian Lituchy.

Steve Guilday said the team's supporters would still manage to attend games if the stadium site isn't near a BART stop or inaccessible to current freeways.

"We just went to Chicago and there wasn't a freeway or a station there and people got to the stadium," he said. "So, there will be a way."

by KTVU reporter Tom Vacar.