With the selection of Rob Manfred as Major League Baseball’s next commissioner, the plight of the A’s and the prolonged saga of their search for a new stadium is once again the subject of review.
And it comes into the sharp focus with Oakland’s three-game series in Turner Field this weekend.
Turner Field is the Braves’ second home in the last two decades, having moved into the facility originally built for the 1996 Olympic Games in 1997 after three decades in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
And in three years, the Braves will move into an as-yet unnamed new park in the northwest suburbs of Cobb County, a private/public partnership. The new park will cost $622 million, of which the Braves will be fronting 230 million.
Compare that to Oakland, where the A’s are playing in a stadium that was up and running the same year (1966) that that Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was inaugurated.
The Braves don’t have to deal with another franchise (the San Francisco Giants), serving as a roadblock to moving in the local area like the A’s are.
Still it seems a bit much for the Braves to have been able to make use of three homes, each one essentially new at the time of moving in – Turner Field was less than a year old, having been used for the Atlanta Olympics – in the time the A’s have had just one.
More power to the Braves for getting it done. But it will be interesting to see how Manfred, who is due to assume the reins of MLB next January, handles the A’s stadium situation.
Certainly he will hard-pressed to do worse than outgoing Commissioner Bud Selig, who has essentially done nothing to see the A’s get a new stadium, either in Oakland or San Jose, to replace the half-century old Coliseum that is showing its age in everything from plumbing to amenities.