When Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval announced his plans to launch a potential double play with plans for a new stadium at Howard Terminal and a simultaneous redevelopment of their present Coliseum home site, it sounded like a game-winning scenario of Rickey Henderson stealing two bases with Reggie Jackson up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
What makes this announcement sound believable is their commitment to a privately financed ballpark. In other words they don’t want to be called the “raiders of our city and county treasuries”
Kaval said they had invested more than $10M on preliminary technical analyses and other soft costs. However the Post has taken and will continue to take a
hard look at how their vice President for External Affairs, Taj Tashombe, who as an East Oakland kid played in the shadows of the Coliseum, has engaged some of the best thinking from community-based organizations on how to make the Coliseum a success economic engine for the residents of Oakland. This move shows that Kaval doesn’t want his plan to be considered a cabal.
This community focus on equitable benefits of jobs and housing is a welcomed, contrasting conversation that Kaval and Tashombe are leading when compared to the headlines swirling around the SF Giants these days. The A’s seem to be attuned to how some sports teams have doubly-played us in the past when Kaval said “The community wants real job creation and job training; an inclusive approach to economic and community development; new civic, educational, cultural, and recreational amenities; and a renewed sense of possibility for the residents of Oakland.”
There is no doubt that this vision is bold and could have real and positive impacts on the community. But there’s a long road in between this week’s announcement and opening day.
Kaval proudly says “Let’s Play Ball”. We hope his dream for a double play comes true.