Monday, April 30, 2007

An update on Cisco Field in Oakland

The more we look at the plans for the proposed new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics, the more excited we get. Imagine an intimate 32,000 seat venue with state of the art technological enhancements.

Says A's owner Lew Wolff, "In the batter's-eye area in center field, that will open up into a public park where fans can look into the stadium before the game and watch batting practice. At game time, the area will close up and we'll provide either a feed of the game if it's sold out or a movie for people to enjoy. The area will also open up to our version of Yawkey Way, about a half-million square feet of shopping areas."

Cisco Field will provide a cellphone system fans can use to purchase tickets and upgrade them on game day. There will be digital signs everywhere and embedded cameras around the ballpark to promote amenities and goings on. "If we have a surplus of hot dogs, we'll use our digital signs to reduce the price so we can get rid of them," he said.

The other thing is, you'll be able to literally live at the ballpark.

The Baseball Village will include 3,000 townhouses of various styles and prices ("We'll even let non-baseball fans buy them," said Wolff). Income from the residential portion of the project will help pay for the ballpark, which is expected to cost $400-$500 million, not including the land.

The ballpark will be cozy, with comfortable sight lines, little foul territory, and the feeling of being on top of the field, an idea Wolff proudly says was stolen from the Red Sox and Cubs but with the benefit of modern architecture. "It will be a complete departure from what we have now at the Coliseum," Wolff said. "Our pitchers are good. They'll have to be even better."

Complete information on Cisco Field including renderings are on the team's website.

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