The Oakland Ballers bet they may renovate Raimondi Park before the season began, and now they're set for a sold-out debut.

OAKLAND — Days before the sell-out Opening game at home As co-owner of Oakland's latest skilled minor baseball team, the Ballers, he tried to juggle a “million tasks.”

“We’re putting the finishing touches on it,” Paul Freedman said in a telephone interview Thursday as he watched staff erect a big display board over Raimondi Park, the West Oakland Home of the young franchise“They are also installing the last part of the home players’ bench.”

The Ballers – nicknamed the “B's” in reference to the soon-to-depart A's – were marketed as a positive boost to a city that had otherwise seen the departure of its most vital skilled teams.

Freedman and co-owner Bryan Carmel have launched into an extended journey over the past few months to rework a neglected neighborhood park with few seats and out-of-service public restrooms right into a 4,000-seat baseball stadium.

A $1.6 million investment – raised by friends and acquaintances of the owners – was needed to renovate existing facilities, renovate the playing field and add accommodations for fans, resembling shuttles to take them to and from the West Oakland BART station.

The Ballers encourage fans to attend the sport by bus, train or on foot. They also offer 1,000 parking spaces in three secure parking lots, two of that are covered. Parking spaces could be booked online before games.

One of the Wood Street lots was once home to Northern California's largest homeless encampment. The B's are paying to scrub up contaminated soil that was dumped on the property. The long-term plan is to show the property into reasonably priced housing, city documents show.

A rendering of the Oakland Ballers' proposed baseball stadium at Raimondi Park in Oakland. (Courtesy of the Oakland Ballers)
A rendering of the Oakland Ballers' proposed baseball stadium at Raimondi Park in Oakland. (Courtesy of the Oakland Ballers)

In some ways, Tuesday's home game will probably be a test of how well Raimondi can function as a sports venue long-term. With a full house expected, Freedman said he’ll concentrate to areas that need improvement, resembling lines which might be too long or sound that is simply too weak. He may even attempt to have a good time, he said.

“When 'Let's go Oakland' is sung for the first time, I don't know if I can pull myself together.”

To keep the variety of teams within the independent Pioneer League – which operates outside of Major League Baseball's minor league farm system – constant, the co-owners founded the Yolo High Wheelers within the greater Sacramento area earlier this yr.

This team's start was much quieter. In Oakland, the Ballers' arrival is awaited with great excitement.

“It's going to be a lot of fun,” team manager Micah Franklin told this news agency earlier this month. “Our main goal is to put on a show and win. I'm sure the fans are going to really, really enjoy watching us.”

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