As the Oakland Athletics finalize their Las Vegas stadium design, the seating capacity could go as high as 33,000, up from the original projection of 30,000, according to Brad Schrock, the A’s director of design.
Although the bulk of the ballpark’s schedule will be A’s games, with 81 home games per season, the A’s want to ensure the ballpark also fills a venue void in Las Vegas that falls between the 20,000 capacity at T-Mobile Arena and the 65,000 capacity at Allegiant Stadium.
“One of the big goals is going to be flexibility for a unique seating capacity, anywhere between 30,000 to 33,000 seats,” Schrock said. “That really puts us in a sweet spot for a lot of other events aside from just baseball. So we want to make sure the way that the seating bowl is designed has the flexibility to accommodate multiple events and that it’s a really fun place for fans to come and watch a game.”
Schrock has been in the business of sports facility design for more than two decades and said finding that perfect balance of premium offerings while keeping a lively seating bowl experience takes full attention to detail to perfect.
Although there are more opportunities for premium seats such as suite and club varieties in Las Vegas as opposed to Oakland, Schrock said the team wants to ensure every price point is included in the design.
“I think the way the team wants to approach that is spaces for everybody,” Schrock said. “There will be those premium spaces for sure, but there’s such a trend now for just general reserve seats to have club experiences and special bars and outdoor areas for people who sit in the upper deck as well.
“The seating program is really going to push a variety of different premium seating products. I call them that, but they really are amenities for every level of seating in the ballpark from the general reserve to a high-end suite down by the playing field.”
Two groups are vying to become the A’s Las Vegas ballpark design team. Architect firm Gensler is one who has a Las Vegas office and has vast experience in the sports facility realm.. The other is a combination of two firms, HTNB, who assisted in the design of Allegiant Stadium, and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), who created the A’s Howard Terminal plans.
The two design groups will be developing their ballpark plans over the next four months or so and by early November the preferred group will be chosen by the A’s.
The A’s are awaiting MLB approval of their relocation plans, after Senate Bill 1 signed into law in June earmarked up to $380 million in public funds to go toward the construction for their planned Strip ballpark.