Laney’s collective sigh of relief was cut short last week. The college is not out of the clear yet, as it appears that the Oakland A’s are still eyeing Peralta land.
The East Bay Times reported on May 16 that the “Laney College site” was still one of three sites being considered for a new A’s stadium.
The other two were still Howard Terminal near Jack London Square, and the current Oakland Coliseum location.
An article published in Oakland Magazine May 10 stated that the Oakland A’s were not only still looking at Peralta-owned land, but that it had become their preferred site for the new ballpark.
On May 7, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff told KTVU she believed that the A’s had narrowed down the stadium locations to either “one near Laney College or one near Jack London Square.”
A’s President Dave Kaval did not respond to requests for comment on the recent reports.
In an email to the Tower, Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre said that he knew as much as the Times on the subject, and seemed skeptical about prospects to build a stadium on Peralta land.
“No formal request has been made for Peralta-owned land,” Laguerre said in an email to the Tower. “It looks like the A’s have a lot of investigation to do before being in a position to make any such request.”
Laguerre did, however, tell the East Bay Times that “nothing is impossible,” and that the area between Peralta’s district offices and the Embarcadero was “crying for something good to happen.”
Oakland Magazine reported that the proposed stadium could be built where the Peralta district offices currently reside, rather than Laney’s football fields—as was previously reported.
But as Machine Technology instructor Peter Brown said, the hypothetical stadium raises a very real question: “Where are people going to park?”
The impacts would be the result of thousands of people walking between Lake Merritt BART station and Laney campus for more than 80 home games per season—plus special events
Although reports state that the A’s are looking at the Peralta district offices, Brown said there is barely enough room for a stadium on that land, much less a parking lot.
“They’re going to park on Laney land. There’s no way around it,” he said.
Brown found it unsurprising that the A’s are seriously considering the area for a new stadium, considering the importance large franchises like Major League Baseball place on community colleges populated by mostly low-income students.
“My judgment on how Laney is valued is real clear: We’ve got a bunch of broke-ass students, we got a bunch of broke-ass teachers and we’re clearly not important enough to fix the campus,” Brown said sarcastically.
While many of Laney’s faculty are shooting sideways glances at the A’s, Faculty Senate President Donald Moore is, so far, unconcerned.
According to Moore, a friend on the Oakland City Council has assured him that both the council and the mayor are still pushing for the Howard Terminal site.
“The mayor supports the Howard site. So [the Laney College site] is a no-starter unless the city decides to check somewhere else out,” he said.
Moore also stated that he had no interest in any of Laney College’s land being sold to the A’s, and that even a ballpark at the Peralta District Offices site would bring numerous negative impacts to the Laney campus.
The impacts would be the result of thousands of people walking between Lake Merritt BART station and Laney campus for more than 80 home games per season—plus special events—as discussed by former Laney Athletics Director Stan Peters.
During his time as athletics director, Peters led multiple campaigns against the sale of Laney land to various would-be buyers such as Kaiser Hospital.
And he hasn’t changed his position on the subject.
“I still fail to see what this will do for the academic environment at Laney.”