Oakland Roots Do Not Belong Here

Oakland Roots Do Not Belong Here

The Bay Area New Group’s Alameda Journal published an article, (“Oakland Roots Seek World-Class Soccer Recognition,” Dec. 30, 2022) covering the efforts of that team to find a site to build “a temporary 10,000 seat stadium — and then a permanent facility — for when their lease at Laney College expires in 2024.”

In the article two potential sites are identified, “one is a parking lot at the Oakland Coliseum complex and the other is 10 miles away, on unused land” (my emphasis) “at the former Naval Air Base at Alameda Point.”

I must emphatically point out that the Alameda site the team is eying is most certainly not unused! It is the home of the wildly popular Alameda Point Antiques Faire, which is held on the first Sunday of every month. This event attracts an average of ten thousand or more shoppers who browse and purchase vintage furniture, clothes, housewares, art, and antiques from more than 500 vendors. This activity is recycling in its most efficient form and represents the livelihood for the sellers, many of whom are elderly or Veterans.

The Faire has been held for the past 25 years and is famous as one of the best outdoor markets in the country. In addition to the Antique Faire this former aircraft runway is used for automobile sales events, driver practice for AC Transit and local police departments, and development of autonomous automobile driverless systems for Tesla and other local Hi Tech companies. One can hardly say that this land is “unused” and to do so is patently dishonest.

What makes the temporary stadium plan unworkable is the physical impossibility of automobile access for 10,000 attendees.
While the Antique Faire does in fact attract that many visitors in a single day, that traffic flow is spread throughout more than ten hours from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., by which time most visitors have left.

The very idea that 10,000 soccer fans could arrive at the specific hour of a game, and all depart afterwards at the end of the match is beyond absurd. It would create a traffic jam that would paralyze our Island City.

Alameda is an island and traffic must flow over our bridges or through the Alameda tube and these roadways are not adequate to accommodate a sudden surge of 10,000 people.

Oakland has lost so much in the area of sports teams, losing both the Raiders and the Warriors with a very real possibility of losing the A’s in the near future. Oakland Roots Soccer belongs in Oakland and must find a way to use the existing land or facilities at the Coliseum. Alameda is not the answer for the Oakland Roots’ needs!

Allen Michaan is President of Antiques By The Bay, Inc., promoters of the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and the owner of The Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.