The Athletics unveiled renderings of their forthcoming Las Vegas ballpark near the end of May, showcasing a glamorous, 30,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof that looked right at home along the glitz of The Strip.
But it turns out the A's new home won't look anything like those photos.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
As the team narrows down its decision on the group that will design the new stadium, A's director of design Brad Schrock told the Las Vegas Review-Journal new development renderings are underway to create an open-air feel within the confines of the project's 9-acre Tropicana site.
"We told the groups, ‘You saw renderings in the newspaper, but wad those up for now,’ ” Schrock told the Review-Journal (h/t Front Office Sports). “We are really encouraging them to think creatively about the different ways to solve the problem. It will be fun to see what we get back.”
The problem noted by Schrock is that it would be incredibly difficult for a ballpark with a retractable roof, as the initial renderings show, to fit on the 9-acre plot of land where the A's hope to construct the stadium. Just last month, those first renderings helped the A's secure up to $380 million in public funding from the Nevada State Legislature for the project.
Per the Review-Journal, the two design groups in consideration by the A's are global architect firm Gensler, along with a combination of two firms, HTNB, which helped design the Las Vegas Raiders' Allegiant Stadium, and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which created the A’s Howard Terminal ballpark plans.
Those two groups are eyeing ways to open the new stadium roof that wouldn't require much extra acreage, according to the Review-Journal, as well as examining other alternatives, like the use of a fixed roof with ETFE panels similar to that of Allegiant Stadium, which allows some natural light to pass through. Schrock also mentioned opening up vertical walls in the stadium, rather than the roof.
"There are several goals that are super important,” Schrock told the Review-Journal, noting the top priority “is creating the ballpark that has the greatest ability to feel like it’s outdoors.
“The real interesting problem about the Tropicana site is we have a footprint that’s basically constrained within 9 acres. … Traditionally big, retractable roofs you move off of the footprint.”
The A's have the public funding needed for the new site and have begun the relocation application process, yet the team still awaits a vote of approval on the move from MLB owners. But if approved, exactly what the A's new home will look like remains a mystery.