Home News The Oakland Ballers bet they could renovate Raimondi Park before their season....

The Oakland Ballers bet they could renovate Raimondi Park before their season. Now they’re set for a sold-out debut.

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OAKLAND — Days before the sold-out inaugural home opener of Oakland’s new minor professional baseball team the Ballers, the team’s co-owner was scrambling to run through a “million tasks.”

“We’re putting in all the final touches,” Paul Freedman said in a phone interview Thursday as he watched workers install a large scoreboard above Raimondi Park, the West Oakland home of the fledgling franchise. “They’re also putting in the last bit of the home dugout.”

The Ballers — nicknamed the B’s, in a sly nod to the soon-departing A’s — have been marketed as an injection of positivity into a town that has otherwise seen its major professional franchises leave.

Freedman and co-owner Bryan Carmel undertook a long journey these past several months to transform a neglected neighborhood park with few places to sit and out-of-commission public restrooms into a 4,000-seat baseball stadium.

It took an investment of $1.6 million — raised from friends and associates of the owners — to refurbish the available facilities, renovate the field and add accommodations for fans, such as shuttles that will take them to and from the West Oakland BART station.

The Ballers are encouraging fans to attend the game by bus, train or on foot, though they’re also offering 1,000 parking spaces across three lots with attendants, two of them under a roof. Parking can be purchased online before the games.

One of the lots once hosted Northern California’s largest homeless encampment on Wood Street. The B’s are paying to remove contaminated soil stockpiles dumped on the property, which in the long-term is expected to be converted into affordable housing, according to city documents.

A rendering of the Oakland Ballers' planned ballpark at Raimondi Park in Oakland. (Courtesy of Oakland Ballers)
A rendering of the Oakland Ballers’ planned ballpark at Raimondi Park in Oakland. (Courtesy of Oakland Ballers) 



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