When the A’s first floated the idea of a gondola, it was met on Twitter with a predictable reaction: incredulity and bad jokes. It’s an understandable reaction from a fanbase that’s been teased with various stadium ideas with no results for years and years.
Things are looking more serious by the day for a Howard Terminal stadium and furthermore, for a Gondola. Nothing is done until ground is broken, as we learned painfully from the failed stadium attempt at Peralta, but the A’s are truly serious about the idea of a Gondola to help connect the new stadium to the nearest BART station for easy, direct public transport.
That’s manifested in a huge section of the A’s website dedicated to the proposed gondola featuring a full study of its potential economic effects, a video rendering of the gondola, and an extensive FAQ section. The A’s mean business.
Imagine soaring through the air to get to Opening Day 2023 at the Howard Terminal ballpark. https://t.co/mzCUVysa6r pic.twitter.com/B3cdwFjKG3— Oakland Athletics ⚾️ (@Athletics) January 26, 2019
Some words from Kaval.
Dave Kaval on the gondola proposal: pic.twitter.com/fId4Awh6Xu— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 26, 2019
Kaval said planned construction for Gondola will cost $123 million with a total economic benefit at $685 million dollars for the city of Oakland.— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) January 26, 2019
There’s lots more detail in the economic impact report which we encourage you to read then summarize nicely for everyone in the comments.
Gotta give the A’s credit, they answered most of the questions that will be asked ad nauseum on Twitter until we have our next gondola update. Some highlights:
- The gondola will move 6000 people per hour per direction. Some more color from a previous Kaval tweet.
Gondola has highest capacity next to new BART station. 6100 per hour compared to 9000 for BART. One of many options we are considering to solve transportation challenge. https://t.co/iUuPJutQRA— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 11, 2018
- There are likely to be 12-14 cars at any given time that hold around 35 people each.
- It’ll pick up around 12th Street Bart and take passengers to the ballpark, a three minute ride.
- It is safe (yes, this is is one of the FAQs).
The hot take
I am among the many who won’t believe till I see, and that remains true for the gondola. But the A’s are clearly doing the groundwork and the hard work in order to make their dream stadium a reality which is great to see. It’s an uphill battle to build a stadium, doubly so to do it the right way, and the A’s are certainly trying. That said, results matter.
PR for the new stadium is a double edged sword. We as a fanbase demand updates but are reluctant to get excited about them, and frankly are justified in doing so. A stadium can’t be built overnight — enjoy the potential and don’t overthink the details. All we can do is wait.