Despite numerous setbacks in the past 12 months, Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval is confident his team's quest for a new home remains on schedule.
Last year, the A's announced plans to build a privately-financed stadium at their preferred site near Laney College. That appeared to put an end to the franchise's longtime search for a new home to replace the aging Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, until the college shocked the team by voting against the proposal.
Although there haven't been a ton of updates on progress since then, Kaval told Forbes' Barry M. Bloom on Tuesday that all signs are still pointing toward a new ballpark in the East Bay by their targeted date.
"We're working to determine an economic deal with the key players by then on the site that works best for the community and the team, so we can get to an opening by 2023," he said. "We're still on track for that."
Kaval added that he expects an official decision on the team's new first choice for a home - more than likely the Howard Terminal site in downtown Oakland - to come by year's end.
Since abandoning a potential move to other Bay Area locations such as San Jose or Fremont, several sites in Oakland besides Laney College have been proposed. The Coliseum site itself is still being evaluated as an option, Kaval said, but Howard Terminal - located just 6.5 miles to the north - appears to have emerged as the new favorite.
In January, the A's moved their offices from the Coliseum to downtown Oakland, mere blocks from Howard Terminal. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was recently given a tour of the Howard site that was led by Kaval, and Manfred said last month that he was impressed.
"We had a great time," Kaval said of Manfred's visit.
The 52-year-old Coliseum has been the Athletics' only home since moving to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968. It has been plagued with many issues in recent years, including plumbing problems, and is widely regarded as one of, if not the worst stadium in baseball.
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