Oakland A’s hires architects, to change ballpark design

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Oakland Athletics hires Architects Image: Oakland Athletics

Architect firms Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Gensler have never designed a stadium before. But American professional baseball team Oakland Athletics is banking on the reputation of the firms in the world of architecture to design their new ballpark.

According to a Forbes report the Oakland A’s are hoping that BIG will bring something entirely new to the Major League Baseball stadium landscape. “The team selected them to help break the mold of baseball venues,” Oakland A ‘s President Dave Kaval told the media.

“BIG pushes the boundaries and creates iconic designs globally,” Kaval was quoted by Forbes as saying. “We are thrilled to work with a world-renowned team to build a game-changing ballpark for Oakland,” he added.

Locked into one of the worst professional stadiums in the country at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and with over a decade of wheels-spinning plans to move out of Oakland, relocate within the city or build on the expansive 130-acre site next door to Oracle Arena, the A’s have big plans to make what will soon become a one-team city into the most innovative around, Forbes reported.

A’s are now in the process of determining the final site of the two being considered. One site is Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the team’s current home. The other is Howard Terminal on the edge of downtown Oakland, near the city’s waterfront.

Team officials told the media that the hiring of BIG and Gensler won’t have any impact on its association with HOK, and particularly the veteran sports architect Brad Schrock who is a principal with the firm. Schrock has been working on a ballpark project for the A’s over the past 15 years, first with 360 Architecture and later HOK. He remains involved as a design consultant for the privately-financed facility, officials said.

As the process unfolds, the two architects are teaming up to design separate ballparks for each site. The A’s hope to reach a decision on the site by the end of this year and anticipate opening a new ballpark in 2023. For both sites, the A’s are planning the venue as part of a larger mixed-use development, Kaval said.

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