If They Build It, I Will Go

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Mark Anderson

If the name “Mark Anderson” sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s because I’ve featured him on Uni Watch a couple times before, but not for several years — admittedly, we both lost touch — but over the summer, Mark began tweeting some graphics of a ballpark he was hoping the Oakland Athletics might someday build (if they ever leave the Coliseum). At first I thought it was just for fun, but after speaking with Mark, I realized the proposal was more than just some pipe dream (though it may ultimately end up being just that). But he went from dream to almost-reality with this, and I asked him if he’d share a pretty incredible story about his vision for the new home of the A’s.

It’s a bit long (but in a good way) and it’s a GREAT read, complete with amazing graphics, all below. Enjoy!

• • •

A Vision for a New Oakland A’s Ballpark
By Mark Anderson

The Building Boom

When Oriole Park at Camden Yards (OPACY) opened in 1992, it blew everyone away. It instantly rendered Comiskey Park II (now Guaranteed Rate Field), completed just the year before, obsolete. The design, largely credited to Janet Marie Smith (then vice president of planning and development with the Baltimore Orioles) brought back a lot of the classic elements, the brick façade and backstop, wrought iron details, the scoreboard clock, green seats and more.

The design also updated a new revenue stream, the luxury suite, which for a time gave the Orioles a competitive advantage. Soon, every team in baseball wanted their version of Camden Yards and the building boom began. The problem, the firm (HOK, now Populous) that built OPACY also did the vast majority of all the new ballparks, offering little innovation or variation to the Camden Yards design. OPACY essentially ended the era of the cookie cutter multipurpose stadium and started a new cookie cutter era of it’s own image. Even the Mariners, who went with NBBJ, one of the few teams that used a different firm than Populous, didn’t change the mold. Mariners executives, when planning for Safeco Field visited three of the newer ballparks and it is easy to tell which one was their favorite, because if you follow the grandstand from foul pole to foul pole, Safeco Field is almost identical to Coors Field. It’s like the Mariners executives said, give me Coors Field, switch up the outfield stands and bullpen a bit and add a retractable roof.

The flaw in the Camden Yards Design and the Best Seat in Baseball

Every ballpark built since OPACY is better than the one it replaced with exception of maybe Comerica Park, which replaced Tiger Stadium. The OPACY design put as many seats in the lower bowl as possible, with little shade and added the mid-level suite and club level deck. By doing this, it pushed the upper deck further back and higher up. Fans that claim that their home ballpark does not have a bad seat in the house never made it to Comiskey Park or Tiger Stadium. Had they, they would know that even the “Uecker seats” were better in comparison to today’s upper deck limits.

The last row of the upper deck at Comiskey Park was closer to field than the first row of the upper deck at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which sat upwards of 80k, last row of seats were closer to the field than the last row at Progressive Field, which currently seats just over 35K.

Athletics Ballpark, Support poles, and Design.

In middle school and high school when my friends were doodling Metallica and other band’s logos on notebook paper, I was doodling ballpark designs (badly). Ever since then I wanted to see my vision for a ballpark come to life, The problem is that I’m not an architect or engineer and I’m not very good at drawing and have zero graphic design skills. This summer, when I was sharing my ideas on Twitter someone mentioned I should talk with Oakland Athletics president David Kaval about their new ballpark design. I replied back saying that I would love to have lunch with him. To my surprise, Kaval entered the conversation and we exchanged email to set up a time to meet. While I lived in northern California for close to a decade, I now reside near Savannah, GA so; I had to arrange a time to get out to Oakland. In the meantime, I wanted more than just some bad sketches to show my ideas.

In the late 1980s when the White Sox were looking to replace Comiskey Park, a group put together a ballpark plan called Armour Field, which would have been the first retro ballpark. Jerry Reinsdorf, the White Sox owner, ignored it. A couple years ago, an engineer in Chicago by the name of Matt Bond sent me an image of Armour Field that he constructed using Google SketchUp. I reached out to Bond and asked him kindly if he could help me come up with a couple images I could use in my discussion with Kaval. After sending Bond some badly drawn images, I hoped to get a cross-section out of it. I was shocked to see most of the grandstand built. The more we worked on it the further I wanted to take it. I was lucky to have Bond volunteer his time and continue to work on it.

Then Kolin Schmidt, an architect from Cedar City and another one of my Twitter followers entered the fray. He volunteered to render what Bond had done in vRay this time.

What I wanted to show Kaval was a forward thinking ballpark in which there was no middle deck, like at PNC Park, but with the upper deck brought closer to the field. Every time I tweet out a picture of Tiger Stadium, I get inundated with replies from fans that miss that place and the feeling of being right on top of field. The idea was to come up with a grandstand similar to that of League Park, Tiger Stadium and Comiskey Park without the view obstructing support poles, a 360-degree open concourse, and with the suites on the roof.

The best seat in baseball was the first row of the upper deck at Tiger Stadium, but the support poles and overhang got in the way of the fans below. Luckily, it’s not 1912. There’s a way, with today’s technology, to cantilever the upper deck over the lower bowl without the support poles. To solve the problem of having some of the seats in the lower deck obstructed from seeing pop-ups, was to eliminate the last few rows of the lower deck and replace them with bar rails to stop by on your way around the 360-degree open concourse (not yet visible in the renderings as it’s still a work in progress).

By eliminating the middle deck and bringing the upper deck forward I was able to place the suites on the roof. They would be much closer, provide shade for the upper deck and only be slightly higher than where they are in most ballparks. Another benefit of having the suites on top is you could add a patio behind them. Today’s typical suite you walk down a hallway like in a hotel. Inside the door, there’s usually a buffet table on one side, a table or island in the middle with six chairs or stools and a peninsula with four stools that overlook the field separated by a bi-fold window you can open all the way or completely shut out the elements. In front of the suite are usually three rows of 5-7 seats. Now imagine that suite with a pass through on the back with another bi-fold window, a bar height countertop and a patio with a gas fire pit Adirondack chairs and a cabana with more seating behind it.

It’s no secret that the A’s covet the Howard Terminal site in Oakland, which would put them right on the Estuary, while keeping the option on Coliseum site open. In this design, I tried to be realistic as possible. Ideally, you would want the ballpark to face the water, but ballparks must face east (with some give to the north and south) as you don’t want the sun to interfere with the batter. By placing the ballpark on the edge it would still capture a potion of the Estuary and have a great view of downtown Oakland, Jack London Square and the Oakland hills. The patios behind suites on the first base side would have fantastic water views.

From the field level, I wanted to bring back the view outside the stadium underneath the grandstand like was at Comiskey Park. I loved the look of those arches. Shibe Park, the Athletics home in Philadelphia from 1909-1954, also had them. To open up the view outside the field as much as possible I built two circular ramp rotundas, similar to the ones at PNC Park and dressed them up similar to the rotunda at Shibe Park, only with a glass dome.

In rethinking the lower level open concourse, one of the flaws I see in today’s design, is the line from concession stands often extend out to the walkway and you ideally don’t want a cavernous concourse either (see new Yankee Stadium). The way to fix this is have a split-level open lower concourse. After 12-15 feet you can’t see the field anyway. By dropping the concession part of the concourse a bit (not fully completed in renderings as the lower level will be raised) you eliminate this problem. Fans can walk the “HOV” concourse around the park without interference from concession lines while being able to view the whole field and all of the concession stands. This also allows for concession stands to not block the view out of the arches.

The current signature at Howard Terminal are the huge white shipping cranes, in which I hope they keep at least one of them at the location. By far the most popular feedback on this design, was using the shipping cranes as inspiration for the light standards.

The scoreboards or ballpark village isn’t in the renderings yet, but whether the A’s get the Howard Terminal or Coliseum location they will have control of the immediate land around the stadium. Since Kaval has already stated he wants a Wrigley or Fenway like feel to the area around the ballpark, I thought of building a four or five story building across the street from the ballpark in left field. The lower street level would have restaurants with sidewalk seating, the middle floors would be mixed use, and the top level would be a rooftop bar or two. You could even add Wrigley style rooftop seating. And since the A’s will control that building, they won’t have to fight with the rooftop owners. Instead of putting a large scoreboard to block the view from the rooftops at Wrigley, imagine the scoreboard on top of the rooftops at Wrigley. Even with the board on top of the building across the street from this concept, it would still be closer to home plate than the boards at the Coliseum now.

Scoreboard graphic by @THIRTY81Project Lou Spirito

I recently made my first trip to latest ballpark built, the Braves’ SunTrust Park. I was certainly more impressed with it live in person than from images I had seen, but they still put zero thought into the bullpen design. Ballparks today need to cater to all types of fans, baseball nerds like you and I, all the way down to the person that is just there to hang out with friends, have a drink or two, and socialize. It’s crucial you have enough hangout areas and standing areas, as today’s fan is less likely to sit in their assigned seat the entire game. Bullpen design should be included, in my opinion, in this function. I’ve put seats in front of the bullpen like at Progressive Field (immediately adding value) and a two-level viewing area behind the bullpen where all fans, if they choose, can be close with the pitchers warming up.

Mark Anderson, Kolin Schmidt and Matt Bond will continue to update this ballpark concept. You can follow this project on their Twitter accounts: @MLBcathedrals, @ccfirman, and @Bonderman92, respectively.

The Meeting

Schmidt and I flew out to meet with Kaval. The meeting was originally scheduled at their office, but the day we could be out there was a day game, so we all decided to meet in Kaval’s suite during the game. Kaval was a gracious host, is obviously a people person, and listened and liked what we had to say. This isn’t a surprise since he actually listens and responds to fans input on Twitter. We were already on the same page about a lot of things (closer upper deck in particular). Don’t be surprised to see a ballpark that seats as few as 28,000 fans and is more intimate than any ballpark today (including Fenway park and Wrigley Field).

Aftermath

It was recently revealed (post meeting) that the A’s hired BIG to oversee the ballpark village, Gensler to do the ballpark, and James Corner to do the landscape. Clearly, don’t expect anything retro like my design as far as aesthetics.

• • •

Thanks, Mark! Fantastic job on those renderings (by all involved) — as I said yesterday, I love ballparks almost as much as I love uniforms, and this project … already well underway … really needs to have a serious look by the A’s brass. This is retro but modern all at the same time and — especially if the A’s can secure a location and surrounding areas like you’ve laid forth above, then every consideration should be given to constructing something along these lines! Well done, sir!

Readers? What say you?

Griffins Jersey Voting Results, Rounds C & D

The results of the first two days of voting on the Griffins Alternate Jersey Contest are now complete.

Congratulations to Group C Winners Garrett Pickard, Johnny Woods and Zack Rueger. You three will be moving on to the Group of 12, from which the Griffins will select one overall winner. The results of the Group C voting are below:

Thanks to everyone who submitted. You can see all of the Group C submissions here.

• • •

Congratulations to Group D Winners Clark Rasmussen, George Miller, and Zach Grantham. You three will be moving on to the Group of 12, from which the Griffins will select one overall winner. The results of the Group D voting are below:

Thanks to everyone who submitted. You can see all of the Group D submissions here.

Griffins Jersey Design Contest — The Final 12

And now, with the results tallied for Groups C & D (above), I’m pleased to announce our final 12 contestants. I’ve already sent all 12 of these off to the Griffins, whom I’m expecting to give me the name of the winner by Thursday, so I can announce it here on Friday. I’ll have a summary of the contest (along with some insight from my pollster, the Great Larry Torrez) at that time. But for now, here are the Final 12:

. . .

Matthew Harvey:

. . .

David DiFalco:

. . .

Joe Hilseberg:

. . .

Mason Fiske:

. . .

Adam Cain:

. . .

Turner Rintala:

. . .

Garrett Pickard:

. . .

Johnny Woods:

. . .

Zack Rueger:

. . .

Clark Rasmussen:

. . .

George Miller:

. . .

Zach Grantham:

. . .

You can see all 12 finalists entries here.

Good luck to all who advanced, and thanks to everyone for participated or voted!

Raffle reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, our friends at Vintage Brand are raffling off two free items from their extensive catalog for a pair of lucky Uni Watch readers.. Full details here.

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: White Sox P Carlos Rodon stopped wearing an undershirt nine starts ago. Since then, he’s 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA (from Mike Chamernik). … An Astros fan wore a custom-made championship ring hat to a recent game (from Ignacio). … MLB Network flashed the AL standings yesterday and forgot to include the Orioles. Probably for the best, since they’re nearly 60 games below .500 (from Billy King). … Almost all baseball bats used to be made of ash. That is, until the mid-’90s. Now maple bats are king (from Mike Chamernik). … For those into baseball art, check out the work of Margie Lawrence. She also has a website with more information. … Jose Bautista has been given a 3D helmet, despite the fact that the Phillies bailed on the raised logos months ago (from Tim Kelly). On another note, Joey Bats is now on the Phillies?!? … Awwww, this bat dog was just doing her job (from Mike Chamernik).

NFL NewsThe Bengals released their 2018 uniform schedule yesterday. They’ll wear their Color Rash jerseys during Week 1, a Sunday (from Jeff Gluck). … This Pizza Hut box appears to group teams by division — save for the Bengals and Bills (from Corey Buck). … Here’s a behind-the-scenes feature about Washington’s team cafeteria (WaPo link) (from Tom Turner). … Brian Spiess found a Rams display poster at Dick’s that featured the team in their least-favorite uniform combo. … The Tennessee Titans will debut their all blue combo Thursday night. Ugh.

College Football NewsPurdue will have a train track design running up and down their sidelines this season (from Griffin Smith). … Georgia has added 3D front bumpers to their helmets (from Joseph Culverhouse and Chance). … Indiana has added a memorial decal for former coach Bill Mallory to their helmets (from Chuck Weiss). … Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich asks fans on Twitter if the Warriors should continue to wear the island chain on their helmets. As of 1:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the 94 percent said the islands should stay (from Charles George). … Looks like there’s a new helmet for South Carolina (from Brad Darby). It’s got a script “Carolina” on the side (from Mike Uva). … Virginia Tech has new banners for their retired numbers (from Andrew Cosentino).

Hockey NewsThe Ducks announced yesterday that they’ll wear nine different classic jerseys during warmups before nine separate home games throughout the 2018-19 season (from @JBeck132). … The Blackhawks unveiled the logo they’ll be using for the upcoming Winter Classic game yesterday (from Eric Lovejoy). … The Jets will be unveiling a third jersey on Sept. 14 (from Michael Remis). … ESPN has a great feature on the equipment quirks of a number of NHL goalies, and how the new equipment rules will impact some goaltenders (from John Muir). … Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty hosts a charity golf tournament that includes a giant captain’s “C” — complete with stitching — for photo ops (from Moe Khan).

NBA News: Sneaker artist Dominic Chambrone gifted LeBron James a $100,000 pair of LeBron’s signature shoes. They’re made of crocodile skin coated in 24K gold (from Mike Chamernik). … Oh goody: The NBA is removing ALL footwear color restrictions for the upcoming 2018-19 season. Players can wear whatever colors they want, every night (from Mike Chamernik).

Soccer News: As you probably know, North America (the US of A, Canada and Mexico) will host the World Cup in 2026. I’m not exactly sure what this jersey is, but here’s a photo of Jared Kushner holding a white USA jersey with “26” (for 2026) on the back (from Chad Smith).

Grab Bag: French tennis player Alize Cornet was given a code violation during the US Open yesterday because she briefly took her shirt off during the match. … The Associated Press published an excellent report yesterday detailing just how litigious large universities are when it comes to protecting their trademarks (from Griffin Smith). … Here’s a review of friend of the site Todd Radom’s excellent book, “Winning Ugly: A Visual History of the Most Bizarre Baseball Uniforms Ever Worn” (from Dennis Anderson). … Top 14, a rugby league in France, has a nice little uni quirk built into its rules — the league’s reigning champions always have the right to wear whichever jersey they like in the event of a kit clash (from @Stumpy7780).

94 comments to If They Build It, I Will Go

  • Rufus | August 29, 2018 at 7:35 am |

    In the link about the Jets 3rd jersey it say Sept. 14th, the text here says Sept. 4th.

    • Phil Hecken | August 29, 2018 at 8:16 am |

      It is Sept 14th. Now fixed.

  • Nate Rathjen | August 29, 2018 at 7:47 am |

    You’re not sure what soccer jersey it is? It only says USA on the collar…

    • Phil Hecken | August 29, 2018 at 8:37 am |

      You can blame this item on me. The original pic from which that came was very small, but I grabbed the code for the original size — yes, it’s clearly USA’s white kit top, but when I put the item in (it came in late, after Alex had already finished the ticker) I was going off only the small pic. Should have changed the text, and have now.

      My bad.

      • RS Rogers | August 29, 2018 at 10:15 am |

        To be fair, it’s not like this summer’s World Cup left us all super-familiar with the current USMNT jerseys.

        • Lee | August 29, 2018 at 12:06 pm |

          Womp womp.

          Lee

  • Hank-SJ | August 29, 2018 at 7:55 am |

    Maybe the 3D helmet was the only one in the equipment room which fit Bautista? He won’t be needing it for too much longer anyway.

  • RS Rogers | August 29, 2018 at 8:21 am |

    Thanks and kudos to Mark for today’s article! I love what you’ve done and how you documented and presented it for us. And you’re absolutely right about how to improve some of the design flaws of the post-OPACY ballparks, from the needlessly set-back upper decks to the concourses. A team could take your basic design approach and throw whatever skin of a facade it wants on them, from Ebbets-style classicism to steel-and-glass modernism, and have itself an excellent ballpark. If I ran the A’s, I’d start with those crane-like light fixtures and design the rest of the facade to look like an old port facility. Even the entry atria you include could be easily adapted to look and feel like an old passenger ship boarding facility.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:48 pm |

      Thank you RS Rogers! Exactly, built to demonstrate concept, can add any skin you want. In fact, brick is just a placeholder as we didn’t have time to get to exterior other than rotundas.

  • RS Rogers | August 29, 2018 at 8:24 am |

    Congrats to the Griffins finalists, and thanks to Phil for all of his hard work running my favorite Uni Watch annual event.

    Thanks also to everyone who submitted a design. It was fun to see and admire your work over this past week.

  • Greg | August 29, 2018 at 8:26 am |

    The white jersey thet [REDACTED] is holding is the current US home/primary jersey… Not hard to spot given the USA lettering at the neck and the US Soccer emblem in the numbers

    • Phil Hecken | August 29, 2018 at 8:38 am |

      See above — my bad & now the ticker text is adjusted.

  • William | August 29, 2018 at 8:37 am |

    I was under the impression the NBA had previously lifted all restrictions pertaining to shoe color a few seasons ago. Or at least a number of players have been wearing shoes devoid of any team color for a few years, maybe they’ve been paying fines the whole time? The ESPN article also claims that the NBA reviews everyone’s footwear schedule far in advance, which I also don’t think is true. Interesting.

    • John O | August 29, 2018 at 1:14 pm |

      My thoughts exactly. Any game I watched last year had at least one player wearing whatever color sneakers they wanted.

  • Rob S | August 29, 2018 at 8:51 am |

    Very nice stadium concept. Though being a concept for the Bay Area, I have to wonder if earthquake engineering is being taken into account.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm |

      Thank you, Rob. I’m sure the final design will be up to code

  • MIke Wissman | August 29, 2018 at 8:54 am |

    Camden Yards opened in 1992, not ‘91. I remember because the only game I went to at the old Memorial Stadium was in 1991. Saw a young, wild Seattle Mariner named Randy Johnson pitch 5 2/3 no hit innings with 7 walks tossed in. Back then he was just tall, fast and all over the place. Who knew what was to follow.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:43 pm |

      My typo, send DM to Phil to fix. Thanks

      • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm |

        Sent DM, i meant

  • Rick | August 29, 2018 at 8:57 am |

    Great read about the Oakland ballpark. Mark Anderson’s imagining for the A’s new home reminds of Phillip Bess’s dream design for what would have been Armour Field for the White Sox. I hope they look at Mark’s idea. It is a thing of beauty.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:49 pm |

      Thanks Rick!

  • Greg | August 29, 2018 at 9:06 am |

    Wow. Love the feature today. Great design and obviously a lot of work put in on this passion project. I hope at least some of the features mentioned make it into the reality of the new ballpark. Heck, if this was actual ballpark being built I’d make a cross country trip the inaugural season just to check it out.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:57 pm |

      Awesome, thanks Greg

  • Josh B | August 29, 2018 at 9:15 am |

    Great job Mark on your ballpark creation! Phenomenal design! Love all of it! Wish the As brass would take your ideas and make them a reality!

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:49 pm |

      Thanks Josh, don’t be surprised to see core elements.

  • Adam Jk | August 29, 2018 at 9:19 am |

    What an incredible story and project Mark has undertaken. It’s so rare to have the opportunity to talk about a passion like this with people in power. Even if the meeting didn’t really result in anything (though time will tell, I suppose), it’s so cool that Mark had that experience!

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:55 pm |

      Thanks Adam. Kaval was very receptive. Don’t be shocked to see the core concepts there. Which would be great.

  • Ted M. | August 29, 2018 at 9:28 am |

    Kudos to Mark Anderson for his marvelous concept. As a Chicagoan, I also appreciate his comment about Armour Field (the architect, Phillip Bess, had a beautiful concept that was rejected, sadly, by the owners of the White Sox).

    I visited Camden Yards in 1992 and loved it. Compared to the recently completed “New Comiskey Park,” it was a breath of fresh air and signified the death knell of cookie-cutter stadiums. But as nice as Camden Yards is, there remains a huge design flaw. When one walks the lower bowl concourse, the fans are unable to see the field! Walls block the view, except for the occasional “tunnel” leading fans to the seating area. Thankfully, baseball stadia built OPACY eliminated this flaw.

    I hope the A’s reconsider their choice of architect or, at the very least, take Mr. Anderson’s concepts and, where necessary improve upon them, hopefully with proper attribution.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm |

      Thanks Ted!

  • Joe Rodgers | August 29, 2018 at 9:37 am |

    Do you have an idea of capacity and/or dimensions? I’m not sure the modern light towers match the vibe of the rest of the park. But other than that, this is so awesome. Kudos on this accomplishment.

    (BTW, OPACY was 1992, New Comiskey was 1991.)

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:08 pm |

      Thanks Joe! Dave Kaval told me 28k. Agreed the towers don’t match (yet) work in progress. Haven’t had time to really get to exterior other than rotundas. Brick is just a place holder

  • RICKAZ | August 29, 2018 at 10:53 am |

    Sadly I bet this A’s balpark design will be much better than what they select.

    • Mark | August 30, 2018 at 2:05 am |

      That’s a compliment! We will see. Most execs aren’t as in tune with fans and ballparks as Kaval is with A’s fans Will take a while for him to rebuild trust from damage done by owners past, but he has been very receptive to input. I’m hopeful

  • Lou | August 29, 2018 at 11:10 am |

    The A’s stadium concept is fantastic and almost assuredly better than what they will ultimately do. The lack of shade at the new parks is a real issue. There is really no consideration given the the heat and sun exposure. I only look for covered seats when I go to a game, which presents a real challenge these days unless you sit in the last couple of rows, for the most part.

    • Brinke | August 29, 2018 at 11:38 am |

      heat and sun exposure? Levi’s Stadium cough cough

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:06 pm |

      Thanks Lou! I agree. I’ve looked at thousands of ballpark photos from when baseball was mostly day games and the outfield was sit anywhere you want general admission. Fans will sit 20 rows further back from field to get in shade.

  • Richard | August 29, 2018 at 11:32 am |

    This has been the best story on Uni-Watch in months… The only thing I think that could make it better would be having the stadium face the water.

    Nice mix of Griffins finalists… I think there are some “usual suspects” looking to get the nod this year which could make it interesting.

    • Clark Rasmussen | August 29, 2018 at 11:42 am |

      As one of the “usual suspects” I can confirm this. :P

      I ran some numbers on this (and previous years’) finalists…

      There have been 28 unique finalists in three years.

      Two people who have been finalists all three years.

      Six of the 2018 finalists had never been finalists before.

      Three previous finalists entered in 2018 but did not make the cut.

      Thanks for the votes and good luck to the other eleven finalists.

      • George (Randy) | August 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm |

        I guess im a “usual suspect” I was a finalist the first year with my 70’s fauxback design… last year didn’t make the cut with my 80’s fauxback (wonder where they got the idea, hmm) and made the cut this year. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but last year I thought I was a lock and it didn’t happen. This year wasn’t at all sure, and it happened. Just shows you never know.

    • RS Rogers | August 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm |

      It seems like the ballpark could be aligned on its site to put at least some portion of right field against the waterfront. Which would also improve the view from third-base suites, and also make the “back” areas of first-base suites even more attractive. But siting is a tough issue for most modern ballparks, and a lot of recent parks are shoehorned into their sites in much less-than-optimal orientations given surrounding views and landmarks.

      • Winter | August 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm |

        I remember the first time I was at Comerica Park I felt it very odd that it faced south.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:13 pm |

      Thank Richard! Would have faced toward water in a heartbeat if possible. But, MLB ballparks can’t face west (sun in batter’s face) and was trying to be as realistic as possible. If you put on edge, like I do, you should catch some of it.

  • Brinke | August 29, 2018 at 11:37 am |

    Nice A’s article. But I’ll believe a new park when I see a shovel go into the dirt. They’ve mucked this up so bad for so long, color me skeptical.

  • mike 2 | August 29, 2018 at 11:43 am |

    Re. the Jets third jersey – the invitation that’s shown in the ticker was part of the annual mailout to season ticket holders. Also included in the mailout was this keychain

    https://imgur.com/a/KnuDHxf

    which is a brand new logo. Speculation is that the third jersey will be based around this logo

  • muddlehead dave #26 | August 29, 2018 at 11:52 am |

    1.A’s fan here. The new stadium will eventually be built on the same site as the current one – like Mets and White Sox parks. 2. Re: Margie Lawrence art. Nice paintings. What’s up with the Jay Cutler pieces?

  • Chris | August 29, 2018 at 12:24 pm |

    Fantastic ballpark design concept. The intimacy of old ballparks is certainly missing from most of the modern stadia. The brick facade would probably have to go out the window due to the earthquake risk in the Bay Area, but perhaps a cement and container-like exterior with plantings of oak trees could pay homage to the port and to “The Town.”

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:02 pm |

      Thanks.i agree! It’s a work in progress. Only had three weeks to work on it. The brick is just a place holder until we get to the exterior. Will be a lot more glass and wood.

  • Neeko | August 29, 2018 at 12:57 pm |

    Excellent read today! We need to pick Mark’s brain more.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:51 pm |

      Thanks Neeko!

  • Tom V. | August 29, 2018 at 1:02 pm |

    Great work Mark! As an architect I’ll say this: You don’t need to be an architect to come up with great design ideas or great buildings. Anyone and everyone can design whatever their abilities allow them to. All my license says is that the design conforms to the building code.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:03 pm |

      Woe, thanks Tom!

      • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:21 pm |

        Great advice too

  • Flip | August 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm |

    The A’s should be so lucky to have this entry as an inspiration.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:51 pm |

      Wow! thanks Flip!

  • MJ | August 29, 2018 at 3:32 pm |

    Oh, South Carolina… bless your heart. I get that you have an identity crisis. You can’t be “USC”, because that’s Southern Cal to the rest of the country. But you can’t be “Carolina” either; your neighbors to the north are more associated with it than you are. Stick with your mascot – that seems to help with sales. But you’ll always be South Carolina to us.

  • Will Shoken | August 29, 2018 at 3:44 pm |

    I know the Orioles are horrible this year but could you at least have given them a lousy hit on that proposed Oakland A’s stadium scoreboard?

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 3:52 pm |

      It was a mistake. And will be fixed : ) From actual date.

      • Will Shoken | August 29, 2018 at 10:20 pm |

        Mark, I forgot to compliment on your excellent stadium design (I’m an architect and I really appreciate your efforts.)

        • Mark | August 30, 2018 at 2:01 am |

          Wow, thanks Will, that means a lot.

    • Ryan M | August 29, 2018 at 4:01 pm |

      That scoreboard appears to be from April 21 of this season, so the O’s should have 2 hits off Clevinger & the Clevelanders, if that’s any consolation.

      • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:24 pm |

        lol, right?!

  • Justwatchthedamngame | August 29, 2018 at 4:28 pm |

    Cabanas, fire pits, large screen TV’s, party decks where they play music, air conditioned rooms where hundreds of people overpay for food and beer…does anyone besides me and my wife actually sit in the seats and watch the game? Infotainment.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm |

      Lol, true. I do! Ballparks today have to cater to all types of fans, and suite owners pay the bills.

    • Neeko | August 29, 2018 at 9:44 pm |

      I’m with ya! But not too many are anymore

  • Demitre Garza | August 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm |

    The A’s ballpark looks really cool. The only thing I’d be weary about is using a lot of brick in the Bay area with earthquakes. Maybe just for facade and not actually load bearing or integral for structure.

    • mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:33 pm |

      Great advice. I’d say we are 10% done with this thing. Brick is just a place holder. Exterior will be more modern materials.

  • Mark K | August 29, 2018 at 4:52 pm |

    Fantastic entry today!

    One minor quibble- you are typically referring to “columns” in the structure when you mention “poles”. The term pole is typically used for something free-standing that doesn’t support anything at the top- such as a flagpole or the foul pole, as examples.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:26 pm |

      Fair enough! Learned something ; ) I always correct people when they use cheap to mean inexpensive, lol Thanks for compliment

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:31 pm |

      Learned something, thanks!

  • Judy A | August 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm |

    I love today’s story and hope that some of these design elements can be incorporated into the new A’s ballpark. As I’ve said before, this kind of sports-related creativity is inspiring and one of the reasons why I enjoy this site so much.

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:31 pm |

      Wow, thanks Judy

      • mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:34 pm |

        Drives me nuts when people use the word cheap to mean inexpensive. So I hear you!

        • mark | August 29, 2018 at 7:35 pm |

          Oops, last response to wrong person

  • Brett Alan | August 29, 2018 at 8:39 pm |

    Two items possibly worthy of tomorrow’s ticker.

    1. Just an offbeat thing, but the Mets and Cubs finished a suspended game before their game today. The Mets wore grey last night, but came out in blue for the conclusion of the suspended game, only to go back to the greys for the full game.

    2. The excellent baseball card blog Night Owl Cards just posted a look at the history of powder blue uniforms on Topps cards. http://nightowlcards.blogspot.com/2018/08/luv-ya-blue.html

  • Munch | August 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm |

    Wow, Mark. I don’t even know where to begin. You fixed things I never thought needed fixed until now. Very, very well thought out and great concepts. I hope to see a lot of your ideas made a reality. Fantastic job on everything so far!

    • Mark | August 29, 2018 at 11:18 pm |

      Thanks for the great compliment! I’d estimate we are 10% done with the detail. Stay tuned

  • Paul | August 29, 2018 at 11:31 pm |

    I don’t like the A’s ballpark sketches. And showing them without any fans makes me think of the Coliseum.

    • Pete C | August 30, 2018 at 9:35 am |

      You don’t like Mark’s design??? Fvck you motherfvcker. Mark and I will whoop your pvssy a$$. Just name the time and place and Mark and I will be there. C U Next Tuesday.

      • Mark | August 30, 2018 at 12:04 pm |

        Thanks Pete C for having my back.

        Note to Paul: every other comment has been exceptionally positive. You must just be a negative piece of sh*t. While I don’t anticipate a fist fight, I may deep d*ck your wife. C U Next Tuesday, indeed.

        • Mark | August 30, 2018 at 12:33 pm |

          Hey, (the real Mark here) did not write that comment. Design is subjective. There are people that love the look of Olympic Stadium (where the Expos used to play) for example. To each his/her own. While I appreciate you having my back. Writing something vial and pretending to be me in comments….. not cool

        • Fake Mark | August 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm |

          Fake Mark here. My intention was to make my comment so over the top that it couldn’t possibly be mistaken for the real Mark…performance art in a way. If it missed the mark, my apologies.

          I do love the stadium. Hopefully the A’s are bold enough to at least adopt elements of it.

          Again, my apologies.

  • Russell | August 29, 2018 at 11:51 pm |

    As a lifelong A’s fan, I would be very happy with this stadium.

    • Mark | August 30, 2018 at 12:13 am |

      Thanks Russell!!…not near done yet. Just built so far to demonstrate some concept. Will continue to work on details

  • Ronnie | August 30, 2018 at 9:31 am |

    As an A’s fan, this design makes my c0ck stiff.

    • Mark | August 31, 2018 at 1:46 pm |

      Ha, awesome

  • Silver Creek Dawg | August 30, 2018 at 10:56 am |

    Mark, wonderful rendering.

    Now, since you live near Savannah, will you please do something about Grayson Stadium? That place was decrepit when I was attending Savannah Braves games with Dale Murphy as a catcher. I know the Bananas are drawing really well, but a new stadium is badly needed there. Too nice a town to not have real minor league baseball.

    • Marj | August 31, 2018 at 2:42 am |

      I actually would prefer to watch a team like the Bannanas that are fun and sell out every game at a classic ballpark like Grayson than a Singke-A affiliate in in a new park. Don’t quote me on this, but I think the Gnats wanted $75 million in public money? Way too much for a town the size of Savannah. Also Banannas have cleaned up Grayson well.

  • David | August 30, 2018 at 1:25 pm |

    Regarding ESPN “forgetting” the Orioles in the standings… The numbers looked off to me and I double-checked. That screen cap is actually from August 22nd. I’d guess it was put up while discussing possible playoff scenarios/contention. Orioles were already (to this O’s fan’s shame) eliminated by that date, though no other team had been yet. Royals would be knocked out the following day.

  • Jesse Jobert | August 31, 2018 at 9:24 am |

    Boo, Oakland can do better. This doesn’t look in line with the fan base. Brick is not the correct response to the area. Coming from an Oakland native born and raised as an A’s fan and a California licensed architect. I would be very disappointed if we waited this long for a stadium presented in the images above.

    • Mark | August 31, 2018 at 1:38 pm |

      Jesse, it’s a work in progress. I used it to present some core concept to Dave Kaval (fans closer, etc) it’s a work in progress. Only had a few weeks to put this together. Other than rotundas, which are a nod to Shibe Park, barely even touched exterior. Brick is just a place holder. Exterior will be eventually mode modern (more glass and wood), but not too modern (where it looks like a space ship). I agree with you. Brick has been overdone.

    • Mark | August 31, 2018 at 1:44 pm |

      Jesse, this is a work in progress, just used to present core concepts to Dave Kaval (closer to the field seats, suites on top with patio etc.). The brick is a place holder, other than rotundas (which are a nod to Shibe Park) barely touched exterior. Eventually exterior will be wood and glass (more modern, but not so modern it looks like a space ship). only had a few weeks to work on it. I think we got pretty far