Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beautiful Day in Oakland

Even before Sunday's A's-Giants game at the Coliseum, it was a beautiful day in Oakland. Especially at Jack London Square, where thousands of people by noon had already gathered at its bevy of waterfront restaurants and its weekly Farmers Market.

All those hungry customers were packing Jack London Square eateries like Scott's, Kincaid's, Miss Pearl's Jam House, Boccanova, Il Pescatore, The Fat Lady and bars like Heinold's First & Last Chance Saloon.

Baseball fans decked out in A's jerseys were among the restaurant customers. A Joe Rudi jersey and a Suzuki T-shirt, along with too many A's hats to count, were spotted.

With the perfect summer weather and the thousands of mid-day revelers on the day of a big A's-Giants game, it wasn't hard to imagine how perfect the Oakland waterfront is for hosting 35,000 to 40,000 fans each game at a Victory Court A's ballpark.

That Wrigley Field-like infrastructure -- a neighborhood of apartments, taverns and eateries -- is already there along Oakland's waterfront. So are the public transit options. Lake Merritt BART station is just about the same distance from Victory Court as the Coliseum BART station is from the Coliseum. Amtrak and commuter trains stop just two or three blocks from Victory Court. The Jack London ferry stop is nearby and Interstates 880 and 980 roll right by, too. The ingress-egress infrastructure is already present for Victory Court, making it THE best future stadium site in Northern California.

There's a reason why Travel & Leisure magazine last year called Jack London Square one of the nation's next great neighborhoods. After looking at the facts, constructing a new A's ballpark there makes too much sense to pass up.

And why not? On a day when the Oakland A's swept the San Francisco Giants and won their 5th game in a row, bringing themselves just 5 games away from first place ... anything feels possible.

Let's go, Oakland.

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