My sense covering Fremont for 18 months was that the passion of the A’s was just an outgrowth of the passion of the sales tax dollars, which, given the way California cities are funded, has understandably been priority numero uno.
It seemed the A’s represented a chance to turn the tables. After years seeing Fremont residents spending their money in NewPark Mall and buying lots of cars at the auto dealerships down the road, the ballpark village, in the eyes of its supporters, would bring thousands of people from the East and South Bay to spend their money in Fremont. A dream come true for city folks who have been dealing with tight budgets for decades. (I know there are also costs that go with hosting a major league team; maybe it would have been a bust?)
But when I asked the mayor last week why he supported the A’s, he said it was more than dollars and cents.
“It establishes you as a city. As an important city,” he said. “It makes your city a city that’s known nationwide. It makes your city one that a lot of people desire.”