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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Missing in Action: New A’s Stadium Rendering Excludes Many Key Pieces

  • The club’s highly anticipated facility drawings feature many notable omissions.
  • The release of four planned stadium views marks the latest chapter in a long-running saga
Oakland A’s/Bjarke Ingels Group/HNTB

The newly released A’s renderings for the club’s planned new stadium in Las Vegas were aimed significantly at quelling rising doubts around the planned franchise relocation and signaling that the much-maligned plan was still on track.

Mission not accomplished.

Instead, the highly anticipated drawings for the planned $1.5 billion facility showed an extensive series of omissions and only heightened questions about whether the stadium will actually become a reality. The latest renderings, developed with veteran architecture and infrastructure development firms Bjarke Ingels Group and HNTB, show a fixed-roof dome with five overlapping layers and a sail-like design similar to Australia’s Sydney Opera House. The A’s insist that the global landmark was not an influence but rather the 33,000-seat stadium design was described by Bjarke Ingels Group as a “spherical armadillo.”

But that design also leaves out many critical elements of any MLB facility such as: 

  • A batter’s eye
  • Bullpens
  • Infrastructure for air conditioning
  • Luxury suites
  • Stadium lighting 

Perhaps because of all these issues, the A’s turned off social media comments on X and LinkedIn for their posts of the renderings. Other parts of the design were widely mocked online, such as the sun shown setting in the east, only one umpire on the field, a base runner facing away from the depicted game action, and different ethnicities for the player at bat and the same one featured on the scoreboard.

It’s also highly questionable that such an ambitious design can be executed for the stated cost of $1.5 billion. The Sphere, newly opened last fall near the planned A’s stadium site, cost $2.3 billion and, while highly groundbreaking in its own right, doesn’t have as elaborate a roof design as this facility. 

Not the First Time

The saga of the A’s renderings already holds a rather tortured history. An initial set of drawings last fall—developed largely to secure $380 million in public funding toward the project—was later dismissed by the team as garbage. The subsequent set of renderings was then due in December but delayed following the deaths of two Nevada state troopers in the line of duty.

Many key questions, such as how the stadium will work on a tight, 9-acre site at the location of the current Tropicana Las Vegas resort, still aren’t fully answered considering a planned adjacent hotel is not depicted in the new drawings. 

Already, there are serious doubts it can work. Last month, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said on the Front Office Sports Today podcast that the current ballpark plan “does not make sense.”

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