As reported by both the San Francisco Chronicle and the East Bay Times, A's co-owner John Fisher will tour Howard Terminal as a potential fit for the next home of the Oakland A's. Located on the estuary separating Oakland and Alameda, Howard Terminal has long been a proposed fit for the A's and is a favored landing spot of mayor Libby Schaaf.
A few reporters had questions today about the A's tour of Howard Terminal this week. My thoughts, in pieces.... pic.twitter.com/KsB6hEJYOc— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) August 25, 2016
As detailed extensively in both pieces (which I highly recommend giving a read), Howard Terminal isn't without its own issues and logistical questions. As it stands, Howard Terminal is farther from public transportation than the Coliseum, though Schaaf has indicated changes could be made to improve transit should the team move. There are also concerns with environmental factors, though David DeBolt's piece doesn't delve into specifics.
Skepticism from Lew Wolff and sports executive Andy Dolich, as detailed by DeBolt, do dampen any excitement this report may bring.
Thursday's tour is also a sign Fisher is taking a bigger role in finding a stadium. Co-owner Lew Wolff, who has been the face of the team's search, will not attend the tour. Wolff previously expressed doubts about the Howard Terminal site and said the Coliseum is the team's best bet for a long-term ballpark.
Building a stadium isn't exactly an easy endeavor and there's not a site out there that wouldn't present some logistical issues. Fisher's visit is hopefully an indication A's ownership is serious about exploring local options, though remember: it is just a single visit.
If you're like many an A's fan, you're probably a bit skeptical of this meaning much, and it is a very preliminary step. Still, Fisher taking an active role in looking at sites in Oakland could very well be a good sign. Hopefully the A's will take a more active approach to finding a new place within Oakland to call home, and hopefully they'll free Arismendy Alcantara before my eyeballs force quit on me.