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A’s to shift focus to Warm Spings site

The A’s have told Fremont officials that want to fully study the environmental impacts of a proposed stadium adjacent to Warm Springs BART. That means what had been merely an alternative proposal will now get the same environmental review as the team’s original plan to build a ballpark near the Pacific Commons Shopping Center.

A’s co-owner Lew Wolff told me today that he “is more in favor of the BART site.”

Mayor Wasserman acknowledged that if the A’s do come to Fremont it is more likely to happen at the Warm Springs BART site.

Click here for my story, which was written a tad hastily.

Matt Artz

  • WS resident

    Over our dead bodies and wallets ! Wasserman and the city counsel: Vote for this and you will be out on your a** To shoehorn this monsterous project down our throats and subject us to trapping us in our homes without a vote will not go unchallenged

  • http://noasws.blogspot.com NoAsWS

    Have you seen the mayor or any council member speak out the concerns for the local residents? maybe one or two, sigh;-(

  • Doug

    Will it be called Cisco Field East or Fry’s Field?

    You know I think I prefer the mustard flowers that currently occupy that piece of property part of the year.

  • Jeff August

    I am an A’s fan who wants them to stay in the Bay. I prefer Pacific Commons. If Warm Springs residents don’t want a stadium, the A’s should focus on San Jose.

  • Irvington

    Hmmm – sounds like we have ‘em on the run. By the way, Jeff August, Warm Springs residents aren’t the only ones who don’t want the stadium. If it’s bad for Warm Springs, it’s also bad for Pacific Commons. The point is that it’s bad for the City as a whole, and we’ll support you if you’ll support us in keeping this cursed plan out of town. You’re right, though, that they should head for San Jose, or anyplace else that will have the them.

    Interesting, isn’t it, that Wolfe and company don’t give a solitary damn about what Fremont residents think, but when other business interests like Prologis and Catellus don’t approve of their plans, they up and go elsewhere. It’s enough to make me think that the general citizenry need to hire their own lobbyist. Aren’t the Council members supposed to represent our interests? How naive is that?

  • Rodger P. Maharaj

    Don’t you people in WS realize how much more money this will bring Fremont in the long run? As a life long resident of Fremont I do think that bringing the A’s to Fremont will have a positive affect to the city in the long run. People we need to stop having a nagative mind set for our curent ecnomic times when so many businesses are leaving. Bring the A’s to Fremont will not only bring more money but more jobs to this great city we call home. So then I’ll beat you all to the next point you will try and make and that’s about the the crowd it may bring here. Well going to A’s games as I do you don’t see many problems. It’s a great crowd that shows up and those are the true baseball fans. As far as the traffic it will cause well you have to take the good with the bad but with Bart being there is should make things
    better than if it were to be a PC. You don’t have to agree with me just hear me out. Thank you.

  • Gus Morrison

    Rodger, please look at how much good the A’s have done for Oakland around the Colliseum since they have been there. How can you believe there will be an economic benefit here when their past history belies that argument? Yesterday, I posted a message about the economics of a baseball team on another item. Take a look at it, also.

  • http://noasws.blogspot.com/ NoAsWS

    Rodger P. Maharaj,

    Have you seen any public meetings or debates about the whole stadium issues? Please ask the mayor and council to hold a few town hall meetings and let’s have public debate. If they plan to sneak in again this time, they better think twice about the consequence

  • Rodger P. Maharaj

    Gus, I do respect your stand on the A’s. But I have to say that Oakland has not done much to help the A’s. That’s why I do believe the A’s do want to leave. Oakland has done nothing to show that they want them to stay. I think that the A’s do have a owner that cares and wants the community to be involved and to be proud to live in a city where a potential great organization conducts its business. I think its what Fremont needs but if not I guess we’ll all live in a city willing to settling for mediocrity I don’t believe that Mr. Wolfe has asked the city to spend a dime on the project. You have to also realize that the Raiders and Warriors do play in Oakland also have not helped the city and face the same problems. The city of Oakland seems unwilling to update the city. You have to give Fremont credit for trying to improve this great place. In the the last 20 years look where this city has gone. You can not compare Oakland and Fremont. Two cities with two different out looks.

  • A CITIZEN WHO CARES

    Needless to say, the problem here is that people are too much into their own ways and not looking out for the city they live in. I agree with you Rodger in a way. Yes, I do agree that the A’s coming to Fremont would cause inconveniences that may be unbearable to some but as I can recall, when Pacific Commons was built, the same issue arose, not to this deal. But look at it now. What is the real deal here, the A’s? Are you all opposing this because you all are Giant fans. I don’t get that the traffic and noise is the real issue here. Were you all against BART coming to Warm Springs also? Wait till it arrives and you hear the train coming and going. As for the economic benefits, Mr. Former Mayor you cannot compare what the A’s have done for the Colliseum to what they can do here in Fremont. Lets take a quick look, shall we. The A’s have been tenets for more then 40 years. 40 YEARS! This is including how they got shafted when the Raiders came back and remodeled the stadium to a football venue. Look at the good the Giants stadium did for them and the city. It brought a competative team, constant sell-outs, and a great place to spend nights and the occasional weekend afternoon games to get away from home. Heck, how much money can the city make just by staring at empty fields and lots when jobs and businesses are leaving and city funded projects and schools could use the revenue funded by the new stadium to help in the times we currently are in. In all, The A’s have been extremely patience with the matter and anyone with a right mind can tell they are here to stay for many more years to come. I hope that the people of this great city are not looking out for themselves.

  • http://noasws.blogspot.com/ NoAsWS

    The A’s don’t care about our community. We have given them several possible dates for public meetings. They always make execuse and the delay the meetings. However, they are actively doing small close door meetings with business interest groups. Do they really care about us? They just want to build their weath at the expense of local residents.

    Even AT&T park claims no public money, it was build during internet boom time and still get tax break and infrasture upgrade. And now the attendance is down, the city is starting to see the tax burden now. Besides, AT&T park was built to revitalized a depressed area of a large city. Build at Warm Springs will immediately destroy several well-established residential neighborhoods. If the city really approve this, it will definitely be a infamous textbook case study about bad city planning. I hope the city and council do care about their reputation.

  • fahafa

    We should recall the Mayor!

  • FremontGuy

    I agree w/ “A CITIZEN WHO CARES” and “Rodger P. Maharaj”… they are emphasizing the fact that this city needs to be revitalized and one way is to bring excitement and energy to our town, with Cisco Field and leverage the tax revenue for all the other things you complain about (downtown, lack of police force, etc.) I’ve lived in this area my entire life and one of the reasons I bought another home here in Fremont is because I’m hoping the A’s come here. It’s 2009, not 1959, let’s not be afraid of change. Have any of you been to AT&T park, do you know how much energy that park brought to the SOMA area of SF? I do, I’ve worked in that area for over 10 yrs. I’ve seen the progress and restaurants surrounding the park. We need that in Fremont. Sign up for the “A’s to Fremont” email list. You’ll see the great community involvement the team has already done the last 2 yrs. for this community. How can a baseball park ruin a neighborhood? Give me a break… if you don’t want change or can’t find a way to embrace it, put a for sale sign on your home and let me and other fans enjoy America’s past-time in our backyard. If you plan to protest, us supporters will be right there in green and gold cheering for the first pitch in Fremont. GO A’s, GO WASSERMAN!

  • Tom

    I grew up in the Irvington district and personally think this is a a rare opportunity for Fremont to become a nationally-recognized city. Can you think of another realistic opportunity for that to happen?

    For the residents in Warm Springs who don’t like the A’s – I think I’d feel the same way if some Major League Soccer team or something tried to build a stadium near my home in San Ramon, so I can’t argue against you too much.

    With all the retail and future Warm Springs BART station, that part of town doesn’t seem like the quiet tranquil haven people are making it out to be. Hopefully the A’s are smart and work with the residents by keeping it relatively near the BART station but as far away as possible from the residents. My guess is that all of this will put the A’s in San Jose, where they might be better off anyway.

    Thanks for reading. These are just my personal thoughts, not trying to argue with anyone or prove anyone right or wrong.

  • bbox231

    Fremontguy misses the point.

    The A’s will suck critical resources from our already strapped city coffers.

    A few restauranteers and some hotels benefit – our emergency services, roads, and other resources will be sucked up.

    Would you walk around the current coliseum alone ? When the A’s leave Fremont who remediates the stadium ?
    What prevents the A’s from “renegotiating” a deal with Fremont for more . . . . . more whatever they want . . .

    Why doesn’t Oakland want to negotiate a deal with the A’s to keep them there ? If its such a good deal – why doesn’t Oakland want them ?

    What is the cost of emergency response and policing to the stadium ? What are the forecasts of police activities resulting from A’s fanbase wandering around Fremont ?

    This isn’t about NIMBY’ism which pro-A’s factions would like to suggest. It’s about common sense questions that need critical answers and which the Argus hasn’t asked and which our city management has no answer to.

  • Gus Morrison

    Maybe we ought to ask the A’s supporters to define exactly the economic benefits the A’s will bring to town, rather than just making the claim.

    Look at the successful stadiums around the country, starting with AT&T in SF, Safeco in Seattle, Coamerica in Detroit, Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Petco in San Diego, Coors Field in Denver – all are successful because they are part of a larger whole, the downtowns of the cities they serve. There is a real synergism in each of these cases, and I have been to at least 5 of them. They help each other. Baseball stadiums by themselves do not engender economic development, but together with the activity and people generated in a much more urban setting than Fremont, they make good neighbors.

    I attended a game at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, a sold out Yankee-Indian game and I truly don’t know where the people came from. There were very few cars, no nearby parking, but lots of transit access. After the game, people didn’t rush to their cars to go home, but rather walked in all different directions through downtown Cleveland through a myriad of businesses. The crowd dynamics were very interesting and telling.

    Baseball stadiums do best in an active, urban setting, surrounded by supporting/complementing businesses. This new location does not provide a good setting for success, without severe impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. Someone, please enumerate the proported benefits.

  • Doug

    Everyone will spill out of the Warm Springs stadium and take a casual stroll down to Fry’s or Wal-Mart.

    Totally agree with you Gus. Downtown stadiums are a part of a big picture and complete the picture, not create it.

    I challenge anybody to show me a MLB ballpark that sits as close to single-family neighborhoods as the proposed Warm Springs ballpark would.

  • irvington

    From crooksandliars.com (http://crooksandliars.com/):

    “Nimby Republicans Protest Gitmo Closure
    By Cernig Saturday Jan 17, 2009 6:00pm

    ABC News says it has a hold of the secret list of possible locations for building Gitmo’s replacement. Somewhere there will be a camp for about 250 detainees, which being on American soil will sideline weasel-worded talk of those detainees not getting things like Habeas rights or fair trials because they’re held “abroad”.

    And “not in my backyard” Nimby Republican politicians, while doubtless agreeing that these detainees have to be held somewhere until their trials are all certain about it not being in their area.”

    Finally, a solution! We pass on the A’s and we can substitute a domestic Gitmo! They couldn’t be any worse.

  • Old Timer Tom

    Fremont Guy is wrong about embracing change.

    Fremont residents will embrace change but only for the better. The traffic on 880 and 680 during commute hours is bad enough already. With the A’s stadium in Fremont it will just exacerbate the situation. I cannot see how this is an improvement in quality of life.

    His advice for the residents who are not supportive of the staduium to move out is equally flawed. Why should home owners be pushed out when a troublesome new neighbor is in the block? This is definitely not a case of, if you cannot stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. As a long time resident, I refuse to accept that.

    Gus Morrison hit the nail right on the head when he asked for facts to substantiate the economic benefits Oakland’s A will bring to Fremont. It is not ‘BACK TO SLEEP SHEEPIE, the City Council will take care of you’.

    Coming from Missouri, I will say “SHOW ME”.

  • Nick M.

    I DO NOT want the A’s in Warm Springs! The only reason Warm Springs is being mentioned is because of BART access. Having the A’s stadium in Pacific Commons would be a perfect area where Mr. Morrison compares the above mentioned new ball parks. All those areas were built for the area around it and having a DOWNTOWN stadium in a urban setting could be made if the Pacific Commons Site is allowed to go through. The frame work is already there, and ready for the cornerstone of Fremont which the new stadium can be. Businesses are there with the potential of many more to follow. The Oakland Colisuem is a FOOTBALL stadium. PERIOD. I know you all are thinking of Raider games when you say that you cannot walk around or enjoy the colisuem after games. THINK ABOUT THE AREA FOR A MINUTE. FREMONT is not Oakland. Properly planned and built, we can achieve the same atmosphere as the same sites Mr. Morrison stated in his latest comments. Plus, this stadium is not going to be sitting over 60,000 but a casual 30,000 of loyal A’s and baseball fans. Pacific Commons would be the best place to build this stadium because it will give the area the added value and a sense of community. Fremonts’ potential is there we should do everything to make it flourish and thrive.

  • Doug

    This is a quote from Fred Diaz, COF City Manager from an Argus article dated 6/5/06, titled “Fremont may bot be able to afford the A’s”:

    “Our police and fire departments are stretched beyond thin right now, and our services have been dysfunctional at best for years,” Diaz said. “All of (those services) will have to be paid for by the stadium deal — that’s the baseball village part of it.”

    In other words building the stadium without building the ballpark village will not provide the revenue the city needs for the additional public safety requirements.

    You can figure out for yourself where that leaves building on the Warm Springs location.

  • Charlotte Allen

    According to the A’s own economic study, building the stadium with the ballpark village will cause a $1 Million dollar annual deficit in Fremont’s General Fund.

  • Brian

    Below is an article that I have read recently. It included comments from Oakland Coliseum Authority regarding A’s decision to leave Oakland:

    Excerpts: “…A’s get 100 percent of revenue from concessions and parking during their 81 home games as well as most of the advertising revenue. The A’s and Raiders share some of the ad revenue…Ann Haley, executive director of the Coliseum Authority, agreed that the A’s have been “fairly revenue-neutral” for her public agency. She said the A’s move could open up other event possibilities…”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/15/MNG5AMCU4P1.DTL&hw=ATHLETICS+stadium+fremont&sn=009&sc=327

    The A’s economic study focused only when there is a Ballpark Village in Fremont. The revenue input to the General Fund in the study was calculated NOT based on an economy of recession, like the nation is currently in. Potentially, the revenue that is promised will NEVER surfaced. However, the City is still responsible for providing services to the ballpark.

    In addition, the economic study does not take into the consideration that the ballpark will be separated from the retailers and restaurants, where the foot traffic flow into these establishments will be significantly reduced (by approximately 30,000 people for 81 out of 365 days a year), unless people tell me that they are willing to walk 6 miles roundtrip between the BART station and Pacific Commons to dine and shop before and after the games. Or, that people are willing to fight the traffic, stop at Pacific Commons for dining first, THEN drive to WS, FIND a parking in the absence of enough parking spaces for everyone to park, and see the ball game. What time would people have to leave work to accomplish this? 5pm, 4:30pm, or earlier? It all depends on where the fans are coming from, correct?!? So, I really doubt the amount of revenue to Fremont that the A’s economic study have projected.

    BTW, the lack of parking (in the long run) can be found in the A’s application to the City.

  • FremontGuy

    To address the questions above… some economic benefits the A’s will bring to Fremont:

    Home Values: If Fremont residents do not want to move after the park is built, it could be a benefit as your home value will probably increase once the park is completed.

    Jobs:

    The Fremont Baseball Village will create 13,000 full-time annual equivalent construction jobs, and 1,762 full-time annual equivalent non-construction related jobs, according to an economic impact study performed last year. The Athletics team headquarters will create an additional 430 jobs in addition to the thousands of jobs created by the retail, restaurant and office components of the Village.

    The Baseball Village will produce $15 million per year in redevelopment area generated real estate taxes and an additional $3.6 million per year in sales taxes and other revenue which provides new revenue to Fremont’s general fund.

  • Doug

    FremontGuy, nice of you to slip the city’s name into the ballpark village name, but I don’t think that’s the plan is it? Oh, neither is putting Fremont in the team’s name other than an asterisk and “of Fremont” somewhere under it.

    If the A’s moved to say, Las Vegas, do you think they’d be the Oakland A’s of Las Vegas? Don’t think so.

    We are about to open one entertainment facility that will operate from Memorial Day till Labor Day (87 days). Now we want to build an even larger one that will be open for 81 events in a 177-day season.

    How about something available to us 365 days a year?

  • bbox231

    The impact on residential home values is certainly speculative.

    I suppose that you can argue this on both sides of the fence.

    Personally – I for one struggle as there is no way I’d even consider acquiring a home in a residential setting like Fremont, next door or closely situated to a ballpark venue. This isn’t Boston, this isn’t San Francisco, and I don’t agree with the speculation that we COULD build the kind of reputation/charisma that these cities possess – at least not in my or my chidrens’ lifetimes.

    As far as the “Basball Village” – the RDA funds that FREMONTHGUY suggests this generates vanished in the presence of the Warm Springs proposal (I think).

  • worble

    NO TO THE BALLPARK IN FREMONT. AND NO TO THE WOLFFS AND W_ASS_ERMAN!!!!

  • NoAsNoWolff

    My fellow Fremont neighbors, we need to give solidarity to our brothers and sisters living close to Wolff’s new prey — the Warm Spring site. Mr. Wolff apparently sold his Cisco Ball Park Village story to some memebers of Fremont City Council years back. Mr. Wolff kept mentioning that such village was his child dream. But, after having failed to make an agreement with the big guys at the Pacific Common, he turned to the Warm Spring site. He still planned to have the residential apartments and business venues at the Pacific Common but build his Stadium at the Warm Springs site. No more dreams any more; after all, Mr. Wolff was, has been and will always be a hard-nosed opportunist LIVING IN LA. WE CAN NOT TRUST THIS MAN SINCE HE HAS SEVERE DEFECTS IN HIS CREDIBILITY AND BEHAVIORS. EVEN WORSE THAN THAT, HE IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS LIVING NEAR THE WARM SPRINGS SITE SINCE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE FINANCIAL AND LEGAL RESOURCE TO FIGHT HIM.

    Mr. Wolff, according to a Mercury News article in 2006, was known in his business as a hard-nosed bargainer seeking to maxize his leverage using public funds from those cities SEARCHING FOR EASY AND QUICK FAME. We need to tell our City Council come to their common sense — Mr. Wolff is the last one on earth you can trust.

  • Old Timer Tom

    Should Warm Spring residents be afraid of the big bad Wolff? I would be concerned if the allegation that Mr. Wolff is a hard-nosed bargainer is true.

    If the Oakland’s A choose to build the baseball stadium in Warm Spring mulling over there will be less objection from the local residents, they might be in for a surprise. Moreover I wonder if NUMI will be any more receptive than Pacific Commons in having this new neighbor. I wonder who will have the audacity to tell NUMI “If you don’t like it, you can always move”.

    Fremont has earned its share of fame three years ago when the police department made the landmark decision to response only to verified intrusion. Since 2001, Fremont has dropped from top 5 safest cities to 60th. One might argue that the two is unrelated. I beg to differ as I fail to see how this “verified reponse” policy will improve our ranking. On top of that does Fremont Police have the extra resource to man the baseball stadium on game day?

    Oakland’s A has been pitching the stadium project (no punt intended) with zero cost to City of Fremont. The Fremont City Council should exercise due diligence to make sure that this is feasible so we will not end up with the short end of the stick.

  • bbox231

    “Old timer tom” is spot-on.

    Loads of addditional people could be on the streets of fremont following on to a baseball game.

    A small number of these people will require emergency response from our P.D. and Fire and EMT’s.

    But – we can’t afford to respond to these kinds of needs now.

    Wolfe and the A’s won’t pay when there’s an accident at the intersection of Mowery and Mission – - – even if it IS an A’s fan who’s had a little too much to drink running the light . . . .

    So WHO PAYS ???

    Not the restaurants at Pacific Commons . . . . . not Wolfe . . . . . not the real-estate folks . . . . . who pays for the P.D. to respond to that accident ?

  • bbox231

    Wasserman and Wolfe didnt consider the problems they’d create for the major revenue producing businesses in Pac Commons with their “baseball village” concept – why do you suppose they’d be considerate of the concerns of Fremont taxpayers when they bring the A’s to town ?

    Why would you imagine that Wolfe would do anything other than promote his own financial well-being ?

    Why would you imagine that Wolfe and the A’s would treat their Fremont “neighbors” any differently than they treat their current Oakland “neighbors” ? Would you want to walk the streets around the Coliseum today ? Does Oakland feel an urgency to keep the A’s in town ? Why not ?????

  • Marty

    I believe NUMMI was privy to the idea when WS was first floated.

  • Brian

    Please complete the stadium parking survey
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Ln99Fzf56VJRR7o05JrQtg_3d_3d
    Thank you

  • Jon Simon

    Hey Brian,
    Lots of problems with that survey. For instance, doesn’t preferred parking in Oakland already cost over $15?

  • marty

    I agree with Jon, Brian. I think most would be happy with $15 parking, except Jon because he’s a socialist and thinks parking should be provided by the government.

    Great idea though. You’re the student, right.

    (Just kidding Jon)

  • Brian

    A lot of people wants to pay $5-11 for parking at the stadium.

  • Jon Simon

    “What is the minimum money is you were going to spend on parking at a ballpark?” That’s just an odd question. And of course I want to spend nothing. However, if I were to blow $200 on great seats for a game, $25 for parking wouldn’t make much of a difference. If the A’s ever manage to make it to Fremont, I’ll end up with season tickets, assuming we’re not all living out of soup kitchens.

  • worble

    No to any parking and no to the ballpark in fremont!!!