A former Oakland A’s pitcher is putting his money where his mouth is, putting in a massive bid to purchase the city of Oakland’s share of the Oakland Coliseum site.
That pitcher is Dave Stewart, who at 63 years old had a pair of stints with the A’s, one from 1986 to 1992 and another in 1995.
Stewart, known in his playing days as “Smoke,” had a solid career on and off the field, serving as a executive in Major League Baseball, a pitching coach and a sports agent.
The ex-pitcher told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that his goal is to develop the location where the stadium is at into possibly a new venue for the team.
The A’s have also discussed building a ballpark at Howard Terminal if they can’t build on the site that the current Oakland Coliseum is on.
The Oakland Coliseum was built in 1966, and when the Raiders dumped Oakland to move to flashier grounds in Las Vegas, it was the last stadium in America that was home to both a Major League Baseball and NFL team.
“I grew up right there and I’ve watched what’s happened in East Oakland,” Stewart said via The Score. “East Oakland seems like a forgotten area.
“My thought was, ‘Why should people there have to go to San Francisco for nice restaurants or stores?’ If there is going to be affordable housing there, why not nice restaurants and shops – and you create employment opportunities. Why wouldn’t you create a city within the city and revive the area?”
Oakland Coliseum has long been considered one of, if not the worst stadium in all of pro sports in America.
Getting a new stadium, either on the site that the current A’s home is on or a new site, would be a huge boost for the mid to low market team and would help in their ability to compete with the big boys in Major League Baseball when it comes to signing players.
Stewart didn’t get into specifics of his plan for the A’s and their stadium, but it’ll be some time before they can get a new stadium, as their lease on the Oakland Coliseum ends in 2024.