Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

San Francisco May Get New Baseball Stadium

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

San Francisco May Get New Baseball Stadium

Article excerpt

public sketches of a proposed China Basin baseball stadium have been unveiled by San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos.

The drawings reveal a four-level, open-air 45,000-seat ballpark with sweeping views of the bay.

The stadium would include a bleacher section and scoreboard behind the outfield fence and spectator seats closer to the home plate than the pitcher's mound would be. A ball hit 395 feet or more down the right-field line would plop into the bay.

The structure would also feature an esplanade between the right field fence and the bay that could be used as a ferry terminal and walkway for fans. A grass park behind left field could be used for pregame picnics.

``If there's a more spectacular place to watch a sporting event in the United States, I don't know where it is,'' raved Planning Director Dean Macris, who was on hand for the Tuesday presentation.

Agnos extolled the virtue of a small, baseball-only urban stadium by saying, ``Fans will enjoy an intimate baseball setting.''

The sketches were released at an auspicious time for the mayor. Not only is the city caught up in the fever of a Bay Bridge World Series, but the stadium plan is also going before the voters on Nov. 7 - only four weeks away.

Campaign aides hope the striking visual image of a waterfront ballpark will help sway reluctant voters who may be worried about the potential problems with the wind, weather, financing, traffic or parking.

Agnos denied that he unveiled the sketches now to take advantage of the postseason excitement, noting that he promised in July to lift the curtain around the end of September.

While conceding that the World Series may help sell his package, he maintained that voters should view it as a ``good business decision'' that will benefit the city for years to come.

Other features of the proposed waterfront ballpark include:

- A 150-foot-tall spectator section with four decks. …

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