Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why don't the Oakland A's stay in Oakland?
A: The A's want to build a new stadium, but cannot reach a deal with the city of Oakland.

Q: Why do the Oakland A's consider Warm Springs site now? I though they plan to have the stadium in Pacific Commons.
A: The A's cannot reach a deal with the retailers and landlord in Pacific Commons. So they now turn thier focus to the Warm Springs BART site, close to residential areas.

Q: Why do the Oakland A's want to move to Fremont?
A: Back in 2006, the A's want to move to San Jose for the south bay fan base. But Santa Clara county is Giants territory. So they chose Fremont. [Now MLB will allow the A's talk to San Jose because the territory right will be decided by 30 MLB team owners, not the Giants.]

Q: What will happen to the traffic on 880/680, Auto Mall, Osgood, Fremont, Grimmer, Warm Springs and Mission Blvd?
A: The traffic in the area is already very congested and over-capacity during weekday late afternoon commute hours. With 32000+ fans and 10,000+ cars, there will be gridlocks everywhere during game days (50% of days from April to Septembet/October). It will also affect the traffic on 237/880 and Dumbarton/84/880. Your commute time will easily be extended substantially. The A's just said they will mitigate them, but still have no detail plan. Traffic and parking are the main concerns from the Pacific Commons retailers.

Q: Will the new BART station in Warm Springs alleviate the traffic?
A: The A's are expecting 10% more BART ridership than Pacific Commons site. But the majority of fans will still drive to the stadium. Now the A's delay the new ball park opening to 2014 (in Wamr Springs NOP). But the ealiest possible time for extenstion to San Jose is 2018-20. Please keep in mind both the Warm Springs BART and San Jose extension could also be delayed because of current economic downturn and state budget cut.

Q: Is a stadium the best use of land around the planned Warm Springs BART station?
A: No. It will be very similar to the current Oakand Colesium with lots of parking lots. The traffic will be jammed during game days, and the land will be deserted during non-game days. This is certainly not the best transient-oridented development. 

Q: Wouldn't a baseball stadium in Fremont be great?
A: Only if it's properly planned. The A's mention several times about their "downtown ballpark plan" and "one stadium does not make it downtwon". Baseball stadiums do best in an active, urban setting, surrounded by supporting/complementing businesses. They work best with exisitng downtown infrastructure. You don't build a stadium and suddenly become a "downtown". Neither location in Fremont is a good fit for a stadium.

Q: Will the stadium bring extra job and tax revnue to Fremont?
A: Most of the jobs will be temporary and seasonal. Some people think a stadium will bring more business, but a stadium and bad traffic will also scare away many potential good business and high-tech companies.

Q: Didn't the A's say there is "no cost" to the city?
A: The A's need to claim this on paper to avoid a city-wide referendum and they just need to "convince" the five-member city council. The A's will get many tax-breaks and kick-back revenues. Besides, who will pay for the large bill on the infrastructure, road upgrade, maintenance, extra police, etc? Actually a stadium is a money pit. Many cities are already burdened by the cost to build/maintain a stadium, let alone Fremont doesn't even have the infrastructue of a large city.

Q: Can Fremont police handle the extra crime it will bring in?
A: Oakland's population is about twice as Fremont's, but it has 10 times more violent crimes. Does the city of Fremont have enough resource and expertise to handle the extra traffic and activities around the stadium? Do you want Fremont to be the next Oakland? Your house value will go down, while your home/car insurance will cretainly go up. 

Q: Why will the mayor and city council still support the stadium even with strong opposition?
A: Some business groups and city officlials support the stadium, even the A's proposal is flawed in may aspects. There are many behind-the-door meetings in the past two years and they believe the A's one-side story and rosy revenue numbers.

Q: Didn't the mayor just win the election?
A: The A's strategically kept the stadium issue quiet during the election. Wasserman's statement only say he will support the plan "only if it's good to Fremont". Out of the 97,523 registered voters, 67,735 cast in the mayor's race. Wasserman only get 28,461 votes (42% of votes, and 29% of registered voters).

Q: Shouldn't the mayor and city council put the residents' best interest first?
A: We hope so. Please let them know your concern. Then the public will see whether they can speak out for the residents or just being the A's rubber stamp. 

Q: Are the A's and city following the proper process?
A: Many residents and business raise the issues. The whole process is not transparent, insufficient notice to the affected businees and residetents, insufficient scope session, etc. Have you seen any public townhall meeting in tha past two years?

(please joun FCN and add comment if you have more to add)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Opposition to Industry NFL stadium plan grows

Please see for more information. Related news: Opposition to Industry NFL stadium plan grows 
and Industry approves NFL stadium plan over neighbors' objections. Althought there are some differences between this case and A's moving to Fremont, we can learn a few things from them:

Citizens' groups have defeated many bad projects that would have ruined our quality of life. It takes work, dedication, time, (some money), and YOU ! GET INVOLVED!  It is political pressure that defeats projects like this.  

Our Goal:  a "NO STADIUM" sign in every front yard.
Buy a "No Stadium" sign for your front yard:  only <$5?
SUPPORT politicians who oppose the stadium
DO NOT support any politician who supports the stadium 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Latest Update

[February 2009] Fremont residents have two strong protests on 2/5 and 2/10. The A's submit new NOP for Warm Springs on 2/10. While the residents planning for a protest on 2/24 council meeting, the A's cancel their presentation to Chamber of Commerce and public hearing. Then the A's go on to cancel the Warm Springs NOP and "stop" the Pacific Commons EIR. The stadium proponents are mobilizing their supporters to save the project. On 2/24, the A's officially withdraw their plan for Fremont.

[January 2009] Residents shows up in the city council meetings and raise concerns about the Oakland A's stadium proposal. The Mayor keep saying it's premature and they cannot make a decision now, while mayor and council memebrs publicly saying to the press it's a done deal. The A's are lobbying with local Chamber of Commerce through their "A's to Fremont" organization. They actively hold invitation-only meetings in small groups right now and purposely delay any public meetings.

[December 2008] The Oakland A's announced they were seriously considering changing the location of their proposed stadium from the west side of Interstate 880 to within walking distance of a planned BART station in Warm Springs, and next to the residential area. The change of heart came after the team couldn't reach a deal with Pacific Commons Shopping Center owners over plans to handle game-day parking and traffic issues. The new stadium proposal was met with heavy resistance from residents of the Warm Springs neighborhood immediately. Meanwhile, a letter from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig giving the team permission to consider "other communities" if the a stadium deal in Fremont didn't materialize rekindled speculation that the A's could end up in San Jose.

What we can do now

Citizens' groups have defeated many bad projects that would have ruined our quality of life. It takes work, dedication, time, (some money), and YOU ! GET INVOLVED!  It is political pressure that defeats projects like this.

Put a "NO STADIUM" sign in every front yard.

SUPPORT politicians who oppose the stadium
DO NOT support any politician who supports the stadium 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

San Jose ready if A's plans change

San Jose ready if A's plans change from San Jose Business Journals.

Someone comments: "Is there a better location in the Bay Area? State of the Art transportation, high income fan base, downtown ballpark with built-in infrastructure ..."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Residents strongly oppose A's stadium in Fremont

[translated and edited from Chinese Word Journal]

Since the end of last year, Oakland Athletics announced Warm Springs would be an alternative site for the new baseball stadium. Many local residents have expressed strong opposition to this proposal. They recently set up an organization called "Fremont Citizens Network" (FCN) ( to formally oppose the stadium proposal in the Warm Springs areas.

One of the initiators of the organization, Mr. Xie, expressed on January 16th, "Because the City of Oakland has no further intention to retain the A’s, A’s move to Fremont is no longer just an idea, but is a reality about to happen." Based on his understanding, Warm Springs site was the A's initial preference. However, the team later reached an agreement with Cisco with plan to build the stadium at the Pacific Commons site, because Cisco would like to sell the use of the land near Pacific Commons. However, due to the opposition of several large businesses in Pacific Commons, the A’s are now reconsidering Warm Springs as their location of the stadium again.

Mr. Xie said that the Warm Springs site was designated as the alternative site in the A’s Notice of Preparation report to the Fremont City Council last December. Their intent was to take a short-cut as they would not need to start over again with a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for their alternative site.  

He pointed out that, there are many of the Fremont's best residential neighborhoods near the proposed Warm Springs site.  No other cities would have built a new stadium at such location. Mr. Xie said, "The business owners at Pacific Commons have strong financial and legal resources which have made it difficult for the A’s to reach any kind of agreement with the business owners.  As a result of it, the A’s started turnging their target to the Warm Springs residential area. This is actually a form of discrimination to the local residents." 

Mr. Xie said if the stadium is to be built at the Warm Springs site, it would result in traffic, parking, crime, safety and many other problems. He pointed out that BART extension to the South Bay is still nowhere in sight. South Bay fans will continue to drive to the games for many years to come. It will definitely lead to gridlocks on 880, 680 and local roads, which are already extremely congested during late afternoon commute hours. Due to the high cost of parking at the stadium, many people would preferentially park in the residential areas. This will result in severe disruption to the local esidents and their daily life. 

He pointed out there are misperceptions that traffic will increase revenue for local business. In fact, the vast majority of the ballpark attendees would only dine and shop within the confine of the stadium, for which would all be retained by the A’s and no benefits to the local businesses. Additional cars during the traffic hours would only result in gridlocks on freeways and surface roads. Gridlocks would result in a reduction of shopping time and a decrease of visits by the loyal customers, thus a decrease of business revenue. Mr. Xie also said that currently Fremont City Council members are inclined to support the A’s stadium proposal in Fremont, a proposal that will have great impact to all the residents in Fremont. Under the current situation, Fremont residents should speak out as one strong voice in opposition to the stadium project.  

Miss Bai, another initiator, expressed that Chinese are typically less vocal. But this project will have vital impact to our communities, personal being and welfare. “If we don't speak out, others will make decisions for us." She also pointed out that people from other ethnic communities all have similar concerns. We hope Fremont Citizens Network (FCN) would become a platform for all Fremont residents to get the honest and truthful information, share ideas and make Fremont a better place. 

Fremont Citizens Network web site:

Residents strongly oppose A's stadium (Chinese)

佛利蒙華裔 反對運動家建球場
成立「公民網路」 發起人謝先生:球場若建在Warm Springs 會造成交通、停車及治安等問題



自從去年年底屋崙運動家隊(Oakland A's)公布將Warm Springs作為在佛利蒙建造球場的替代選址方案以來,已遭到許多當地居民的反對聲浪。包括華裔在內的當地各族裔人士日前自發成立「佛利蒙公民網路」(Fremont Citizens Network)組織,宣示反對運動家隊在Warm Springs建造球場。

佛利蒙公民網路組織發起人之一謝先生16日表示,由於屋崙市已無意挽留運動家隊,運動家隊遷往佛利蒙已不再只是設想,而是即將發生的事。據他了解,當初運動家隊的首選場地就是Warm Springs;後來由於思科公司希望將Pacific Commons附近土地出售,球隊與思科公司達成協議,計畫在Pacific Commons建造球場。但是由於當地幾個大型商家反對,運動家隊重新將Warm Springs作為球場的地點。

謝先生說,去年12月運動家隊向佛利蒙市議會提交報告時,將Warm Springs列為替代方案,是意圖走捷徑,因為替代方案不需要重新作全面的環境影響評估報告。

他指出,Warm Springs被選中建造球場的地方都是居民區;鄰近佛利蒙房市最好的地區;沒有一個其他城市會把球場建造在那樣的地方。謝先生說,Pacific Commons商家企業有強大的財力和法律資源,運動家隊難以克服阻礙;就把目標轉向Warm Springs的普通居民區,實際上是一種歧視。

謝先生表示,如果球場建造在Warm Springs,會造成交通、停車以及治安等許多問題。他指出,捷運延伸至南灣仍遙遙無期;未來數年南灣球迷仍將駕車前來看比賽;每逢比賽日,必將造成當地880和680公路嚴重堵塞。由於球場停車場收費昂貴,許多人都會將車停在鄰近居民區,給當地居民的生活帶來許多困擾。




California budget delay stalls transportation work

Without a balanced budget, California's bond rating has sunk, resulting in the freeze on using bonds to pay for work that is ongoing or ready to get started.  That includes the BART extension to the South Bay — $91 million was to be set aside in a couple of weeks for the Fremont-to-Warm Springs segment. Work could begin later this year, if all pieces of the funding puzzle are in place.
"We're this close to breaking ground on BART to San Jose," said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, "and now we may have to pull the plug." 

The work on I-680 is also in jeopardy. Bay Cities Paving and Grading is the lead contractor on work now under way, but the state is a month behind paying its bills to the company.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A’s to shift focus to Warm Springs site

From Tri-City Beat: A’s to shift focus to Warm Spings site (more and more heated discusion there);

Looks like the A's PR team is up and kicking. There are more organized comments and activities from pro-staium camp in many online blogs. The A's hold a few closed-door invitation-only small group meetings. But they continue to refuse to have any public town hall meetings. (and they claim they reach out to the community?)

Are they following the proper EIR process? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Remove Warm Springs as alternative in EIR

The residents in Warm Springs, Mission San Jose and Irvington areas have every right to demand the city to remove Warm Springs as off-site alternative in the draft EIR. The decision process is not transparent to the public. And it has caused financial damage to the local residents. The A's is even not willing to hold any public meetings to address the residents' concerns.

"If A's is allowed to build a stadium at Warm-Spring site because A's can not reach a deal with Pacific Common shopping center owners over plans to handle game-day parking and traffic issues, it would be a 'Discriminatory Act' by the Fremont City if the City allows A's to build its stadium at the Warm Spring site because this site would have even closer proximity to many residential communities than the demand by the Pacific Shopping center owners to keep the site further away from the Pacific Common Shopping center."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Warm Springs residents demand stadium details

From Fremont Bulletin and video from Youtube. There is also a post on Tri-City Beat blog: Lots of Warm Springs folks still oppose A’s plan.

Warm Springs residents demand stadium details
by Wes Bowers
Posted: 01/09/2009 09:50:52 AM PST

A large group of Warm Springs residents requested Fremont City Council set up public meetings to provide them with more information on the Oakland Athletics' proposed stadium in their neighborhood.

The residents spoke during the oral communications segment during Tuesday's council meeting. Many residents said they were appalled at the number of people in Warm Springs who didn't know a baseball stadium may be coming. A few said they failed to see how bringing the A's to Fremont would benefit the city.

In December, the A's announced an alternative site for their proposed stadium to be built along with the ballpark village.

The "preferred alternative" to the original plan would move a proposed 32,000-square foot stadium to a 240-acre parcel in Warm Springs adjacent to the future Warm Springs Bay Area Rapid Transit station.

Other amenities of the Ballpark Village project initially proposed, including 540,000 square feet of retail, an 80-room hotel, 3,150 residential units and up to 300,000 square feet of office, would remain on the original site south of Pacific Commons in the Warm Springs Industrial Planning Area. In addition, a 7.5-acre auto dealership, an elementary school and associated open space would also be built on the original site.

Although the A's have yet to submit formal plans for the alternative site or even any formal plans for the original site, the residents who spoke were angered at the thought of a baseball stadium coming to town that close to their homes.

Janet Fitzgerald said she and her family moved to Warm Springs because of the diversity and quality of life, not for a baseball stadium to be built there.

"Whether it's premature to talk about this or not, we feel we need to be heard as early as possible," she said. "I don't think the people of Warm Springs moved here to have a big, noisy ballpark in their back yards. This doesn't reflect the values of the people of Warm Springs."

Other residents said the city would end up paying for the ballpark, claiming no stadium in the country had been built without the help of public money.

Lew Wolff, the team's owner, has promised the city the stadium would be paid for by the A's organization.

Resident Shafir Rafai said he couldn't understand why the city was welcoming the team with open arms, adding the franchise could move elsewhere.

"I'm disappointed to hear the city is trying to bring the A's here," he said. "I know about the problems Oakland is facing to retain the team. But they don't care if the A's leave.

"Ballparks are usually reserved for cities like San Francisco or San Jose. This will bring down the value of the area, and eventually the city will have to raise property taxes to maintain the ballpark," Rafai added.

Resident Brian Hsieh said he supports a baseball stadium plan, but only as long as it was well-thought out and beneficial for the city. But he said a plan to site the stadium in Warm Springs was not good.

"The A's and the city never consulted us before considering this site," he said. "The A's keep saying they'll promise to meet with us, but we haven't seen them so far and they keep delaying our meeting requests."

Even though the city council cannot speak on matters addressed during oral communication, Mayor Bob Wasserman told residents they had to be patient. He added the latest Warm Springs site was merely a suggestion, and nothing was set in stone.

The mayor said public meetings will be scheduled for the coming year.

"No one knows anything because this (site) is brand new," Wasserman said. "No application has been made. This site is an alternative, and a request has been made just to look at it. So to pass judgment at this time is a little premature."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Perfect Marriage

Father: I want you to marry a girl of my choice.
Son: I will choose my own bride!
Father: But the girl is Bill Gates's daughter.
Son: Well, in that case...OK.

Next Day. Father approaches Bill Gates.

Father: I have a husband for your daughter.
Bill Gates: But my daughter is too young to marry!
Father: But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank.
Bill Gates: Ah, in that case... OK.

Finally Father goes to see the president of the World Bank.

Father: I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president.
President: But I already have more vice-presidents than I need!
Father: But this young man is Bill Gates's son-in-law.
President: Ah, in that case... OK.

This is how business is done!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Taxpayers Say No

12/03/08 News video from A's Owner Considers New Fremont Stadium Near BART

FYI: The lady being interviewed is Fremont vice mayor Anu Natarajan.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Most Popular For Homebuyers

Tempting to share this blog Fremont is most popular for new homebuyers in Bay Area from Tri-City Beat (which has the link back to the original blog from The San Francisco Real Estate Blog).

I believe most people move to Fremont because of good schools, close to work, and nice neighborhood to live, etc. (location, location, location). That's why we decide to move here several years ago. We don't need a stadium to make it worse. Many potential homebuyers currently have big concern about the new stadium.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Economic Impact

How Much Is That Stadium in the Window?

Excerpts:  “… We do it all the time. When discussing stadium finance, sports journalists are used to casually tossing off figures as if they came straight from the pages of the Baseball Encyclopedia: Safeco Field, $517 million. Miller Park, $414 million. Pac Bell Park, $306 million (but just $15 million from the public).

We do all this knowing full well that these numbers--sometimes supplied by the teams themselves, sometimes through a sort of spontaneous accretion of news reports--never tell the whole story. While the official figures may be true as far as construction costs go, how then to account for the $1-a-year lease payments, "operating costs" funds, tax breaks and other goodies that play a key role when teams and cities sit down to negotiate a new stadium deal? But we use the official numbers nonetheless, because no one has undertaken the gargantuan task of poring through leases and tax rolls to determine precisely who wins and loses how much from these deals.

The most common omissions from the public record, Long found, included: land and infrastructure costs; ongoing annual expenses required by the stadium lease; and property tax exemptions, an often-substantial subsidy that has become de rigueur for almost all U.S. sports facilities…”


The Stadium Gambit and Local Economic Development

Excerpts: “… The practice of professional sports profiting at the expense of taxpayers is not new.  Before the stadium gambit there was the tax shelter dodge in which the purchase and reorganization of a team could generate up to five years of losses, which could be used to offset the new owner’s income from other ventures.  And there is the common practice of funding stadium construction using private-purpose local bonds because their interest payments are exempt from federal income taxation and they therefore carry a low interest rate. 

There are strong reasons to doubt the accuracy of the estimated benefits claimed by economic impact studies.  These impact studies rely upon input-output models of the local or regional economies into which the team and its new stadium will be placed and estimate the economic impact prospectively.  These studies ask the question:  what will happen if a new franchise and stadium enter this community?  The results of these studies invariably reflect the desires of those who commission them, and advocates of stadiums and franchises typically produce impact studies that find large economic impacts, translated as benefits, from building a stadium or enticing a team to enter the city.

The methodology used by impact studies has been criticized on a variety of grounds.  All impact studies use multipliers to estimate the effect of each dollar spent directly on sports on the wider local economy Critics argue that at best the multipliers used in prospective impact studies overstate the contribution that professional sports make to an area’s economy because they fail to differentiate between net and gross spending and the effects of taxes.  In computing the benefits of the investment in a stadium, the appropriate focus is on net benefits, that is, on benefits that would not have occurred in the absence of the stadium.  Impact studies rarely consider the issue.  One could think of this concern as the substitution effect.  Specifically, because of sport- and stadium-related activities, other spending declines as people substitute spending on one for spending declines as people substitute spending on one for spending on the other.  If the stadium simply displaces dollar-for-dollar spending that would have occurred otherwise, then there are no net benefits generated.  To consider the spending on stadium- and sport-related activities as all benefits is, therefore, to widely overstate the value of the investment.  A key issue for getting the right sense of the value of the stadium investment is, consequently, how much of stadium-related spending substitutes for otherwise intended spending and how much is net gain in spending.

…the consensus in the academic literature has been that the overall sports environment has no measurable effect on the level of real income in metropolitan areas.  Our own research suggests that professional sports may be a drain on local economies rather than in engine of economic growth…


AT & T Park

Excerpts: “… The stadium cost $319 million to build and supplanted the Giants’ former home,…

When it opened on March 31, 2000, the ballpark was the first Major League park built without public funds since the completion of Dodger Stadium in 1962.  However, the Giants did receive a $10 million tax abatement from the city and $80 million for upgrades to the local infrastructure (including a connection to the Muni Metro).  The Giants have a 66-year lease on the 12.5-acre ballpark site, paying $1.2 million in rent annually to the San Francisco Port Commission.  The park opened with a seating capacity of 40,800, but this has increased over time as seats have been added.

Giants Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants created and headed by longtime team executive and marketing legend Pat Gallagher, brings non-baseball events to AT&T Park on days when the Giants do not play…”


Privately built Pacific Bell Park a curse to other teams

Excerpts: “… The Giants say private financing only worked in their case because they built the park at a time when San Francisco and Silicon Valley were flush with cash from booming technology companies.

"We had a very strong economy in the late 1990s, a strong company base and a storied franchise," says Giants chief operating officer Larry Baer, who assembled $75 million in sponsorships including $50 million in naming rights fees from Pacific Bell and $75 million from 15,000 charter seat licenses.

Giants president Peter Magowan says most teams couldn't build a stadium without public funds, and that even the Giants couldn't do it now.

The Giants president says new ballparks now require a mix of public and private money…


In San Francisco, the Giants went private for their stadium

Excerpts: “… Joel Ventresca headed up a citizens group called "Committee to Stop the Giveaway," which opposed public financing of a baseball stadium in San Francisco. He says residents are paying indirect costs -- for city services to the park, and the loss of land that could be used for housing or industry that would generate more tax dollars than baseball.

"For PR purposes they claim it's privately financed," said Ventresca. "In reality when you look at the hard numbers, the stadium in San Francisco is heavily subsidized by the local taxpayers. And that means tax dollars are going to support this sports team and their sports palace instead of those tax dollars going for public education, public parks or other types of high-need services that exist here in San Francisco."

It's a mistake, agrees Stanford University economist Roger Noll, to think of SBC Park as purely private. Noll, who studies sports economics, says the Giants' $175 million investment is paying off for now because the park is bringing in more than enough money to cover debts. But Noll sees signs the new-park honeymoon may be coming to an end. The Giants are having an off year on the field, and for the first time some games are not being sold out. Noll says trouble looms.

"Most likely, as one gets out past 10 years, the interest costs will in fact exceed the revenue enhancement," said Noll. "The reason teams have in fact asked for public subsidies is that these stadiums aren't worth it. They actually cost more than the incremental revenues they generate over their lifetimes. And that's why they go for public subsidies. It's not really a good business investment over the long run."

Noll says that means the Giants could come calling on taxpayers again when SBC Park turns from asset to financial burden. But as for the present, Noll says there's a lesson to be learned from San Francisco for cities struggling with stadium issues.

For their part, the Minnesota Twins say the level of private financing seen in St. Louis and San Francisco is not feasible in the Twin Cities. The team points out that San Francisco benefited from the dot-com boom when the city was awash in money; and that the Cardinals already own land where the stadium will be built, and have much higher attendance than the Twins…”


Oakland A’s Press Release 11/18/2008

Excerpt:  “… The project is not planned to include any public funding…”

Comment:  Is the project absolutely will not include any public funding?  What is the definition or scope of the project?  Is the project only inclusive of the stadium itself, or is the upgrade of infrastructures inclusive?  If the infrastructure upgrades are not included, who will be responsible for the cost?


Oakland A’s Press Release 11/8/2007

Excerpts: “… Bring thousands of jobs to Fremont and the surrounding area during the construction phase and then the hundreds of ongoing jobs at the ballpark and surrounding village.

Generate additional revenue from the ballpark and accompanying baseball village that will contribute to the City’s general fund and help pay for vital city services, such as police, fire, and street repair…”

Comment:  Are the jobs regular long term position or on a contract base, and are the jobs guaranteed for Fremont residences as a first priority?  How much additional revenue are we talking about?  What is the current revenue contribution from the A’s to the City of Oakland?


Oakland A’s Press Release 11/14/2006

Excerpt:  “… The anticipated funding for the ballpark will be a combination of private equity and the application of the value of land use entitlements that will be generated by the activities of the ballpark and the adjacent ballpark village developments.  The public assistance sought will be in the form of processing the development activity in the most efficient manner possible, the agreement that benefits generated solely by the development will in part or in total be used to facilitate the development program in a manner that will not impose on general fund or bonding issues on local government and other aspects of public-private cooperation that will stand the test of public acceptance…

Comment: Are there other types of funds that the A’s can tap into that utilize which are taxpayer dollars?


A’s owner explains stadium concerns

Excerpt: “… They're all asking for things they deserve," Wolff said Thursday. "But the problem is we can't give them exactly what they want…


Ex-mayor steps up criticism of Fremont ballpark proposal

Excerpts: “… In an e-mail sent to city leaders Sunday, Morrison wrote that the ballpark village proposal couldn't rely on nearby businesses to remedy a potential long-term parking shortage.

With only 5,800 permanent parking spaces identified for the proposed 32,000-seat ballpark, A's brass had told the City Council in September that the team might be able to contract with nearby businesses to use their parking spaces on game nights and weekends.

The team says it intends to supply at least 10,500 spaces for patrons.

However, Morrison said than an eight-hour survey he conducted using Google Earth turned up only 4,199 non-retail parking spaces within a mile of the proposed ballpark

The council Tuesday night was scheduled to hire the consulting firm LSA Associates Inc. to perform the review, which is expected to take at least 18 months to complete. The contract with the consultant was not to exceed $804,000 and is to be paid by the Athletics…


A’s exploring new stadium site in Fremont, near planned BART station

Excerpts: “… Wasserman, Fremont's mayor and a vocal stadium booster, said that even though he still prefers the original site, "My druthers might be one thing, but my bet might be another."

He said the most important thing is seeing Cisco Field open for business, even if the housing promised with it materializes later, or even never.

"As long as we get the ballpark," he said, "we'll wait."…”


Reports: Athletics will build stadium in Fremont

Excerpts: “… Wolff has asked Fremont staff members about housing and land-use issues near the proposed site adjacent to Interstate-880, city officials told the Mercury News. But the A's have not yet filed a development application with the city, and Fremont will not negotiate terms of the deal until that happens.

"The city doesn't have a project yet," Councilmember Anu Natarajan told the Mercury News. "There cannot be one because we don't have an application yet."

Fremont Vice Mayor Steve Cho said he is open-minded to the idea, but warned that city taxpayers should not have to pay for any part of the new stadium.

"It sounds like something that should work out for the city," Cho told the Mercury News. "But the devil is in the details."…”


The Fremont Athletics: How the deal went down, and why it was inevitable

Excerpts: “… By early 2005, after De La Fuente made it clear that using public money for an A's stadium was out of bounds, Wolff began working on a plan to finance one privately. He decided to build a "ballpark village," featuring a new stadium surrounded by a mini-city of single-family houses, condos, restaurants, bars, retail, and a hotel. He planned to use the profits from the houses and condos to pay for the stadium…”

“… Scott Haggerty is a persistent man, and on June 1, 2005, he wrote to Wolff, asking him once again to "seriously consider" Fremont. A week later, Mayor Wasserman did the same thing. The two knew Wolff was getting nowhere in Oakland and that Fremont would greet him as a savior. Shortly after receiving the letters, Wolff met Wasserman, and this time he didn't cut anyone off. "He was very, very interested from the moment I met him," Wasserman recalled.

In less than a week, Wolff killed the Oakland Coliseum parking lot idea. But he gave little explanation; he vaguely mentioned concerns about building atop underground utility lines and having to negotiate with the Raiders and Warriors. The truth was that his ballpark village would not pencil out unless he had a lot of land for all of those homes and condos. The Coliseum parking lot was just too small.

In Fremont, meanwhile, Wolff sent his son, Keith Wolff, on a driving tour with Wasserman. The mayor showed the younger Wolff the property that HOK had studied, but the owner's son, who was now helping lead the ballpark project, was more intrigued with the Catellus-Cisco land. "He had never seen it before, but he already knew about it," Wasserman recalled. At 143 acres, it appeared to be the perfect size for a ballpark village, but the elder Wolff decided to give Oakland one last chance.

On August 12, 2005, Wolff unveiled his ballpark village plan publicly for the first time, saying he wanted to build it on about a hundred acres of industrial land north of the Coliseum, from 66th Avenue to High Street. The bold proposal was met immediately with skepticism. Wolff asked for no public money, but he said he would need Oakland's help relocating about one hundred blue-collar businesses that occupied the land. His plan instantly raised the ugly specter of politicians using eminent domain to confiscate private property and then hand it to a wealthy sports franchise owner…”

 “…For his part, the council president believes Wolff set up a series of straw men that could easily be knocked down, allowing him to leave town, say he gave Oakland plenty of chances, and still save face. "There was never a real effort to park someplace and really make it work," De La Fuente said…”

“…Pundits have warned that it's not yet a done deal. There are transportation issues to be resolved — the Nimitz is a nightmare, Fremont city streets are choked at rush hour, and the stadium will be about two miles from the still-unbuilt Warm Springs BART station. There's also the question of who will pay for infrastructure — new roads, electrical lines, and sewer pipes. Wasserman said the A's would have to foot the bill just like any other developer, but he expects the team will request a tax break on its mega-project…”

“…Still, concessions may be the one revenue source with potential for the greatest expansion. Can smaller-market teams really narrow the revenue gap — and the resulting achievement gap — selling spicy tubers? Teams today think so, especially once fans throw in an imported lager at the bar, lunch at the fancy club, and an embroidered jacket at the fan-gear shop. Remember the days when people sat in the bleachers for the whole nine innings? No more, says Victor Matheson, a College of the Holy Cross sports economist. "Once they have you in the ballpark, the last thing they want you to do is watch the game," he says. Today's new stadiums are designed for milling around and near-constant spending, and to appeal as much to casual watchers as to diehard baseball fans.

That means children's play areas, bars where people can catch a few innings, sit-down restaurants, and high-end concessions such as AT&T Park's famous ahi tuna sandwich. It means keeping fans in or around the park, wallets out, as long as possible. That's hard to do at McAfee Coliseum, Crowley notes. "Right now, our stadium is pretty much a destination," he says. "You get in the car or on BART and you come to the park, watch the game, and leave." The new A's stadium, he said, will boost the number of attractions inside and nearby the park. "We're hoping people will show up earlier, stay later, and obviously have an opportunity to enjoy the game," he says. "But we're looking for them to spend more...”


Oakland Ballpark Watch: HOK Executive Summary

Comment:  This website contains the initial HOK study for site probing by the A’s.