Published December 4, 2008
|A's Want Fremont Stadium
Near BART Station
The A's -- in a "major shift aimed at maintaining momentum toward a new ballpark just outside Santa Clara County -- are seriously considering a handful of alternative Fremont sites" that would see the team's proposed Cisco Field move "within walking distance of a planned BART station on the southern fringes of the city," according to Denis Theriault of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. A's Owner Lew Wolff yesterday "confirmed reports of the team's interest" in the locations, and team and city officials said that a decision on "where to place the ballpark, still expected in 2012, could come as soon as next month, but probably early next year." Wolff: "We just want to get our facility built as soon as we can. This isn't brain surgery. The more transportation near you, the better." One of the potential sites is a "36-acre parcel directly across the street from the planned Warm Springs BART station." But A's officials said that they are "looking at a number of sites near the BART line," and added that they are meeting with the BART BOD today to "begin hashing out how the two might work together if the A's do, in fact, change course." The team's interest in changing locations is "spurred by two factors," a "difficult economy that has tabled, for now, plans to also build a housing and retail 'village' ... as well as recent approval of Measure B, a sales tax increase that paves the way for a long-planned BART extension to San Jose." But Theriault notes "no matter which site" A's ownership eventually chooses, they "still plan to move forward, economy permitting, with the rest of what may no longer be their 'ballpark village.'" As "excited as some Fremont city officials and others have been about" Cisco Field, the project has been "dogged by a series of complaints over the months." Also, with the project "on hold and the economy collapsing, questions are growing about how Wolff would finance a $400[M] ballpark" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/4
SHREWD MOVE: A SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS editorial stated the proposed move of Cisco Field to a location next to the future Warm Springs BART station would be an "enormous improvement." The editorial: "What a great asset that will be for a ballpark -- and what a relief for drivers who have to commute on [Interstate] 880 every weekday, game night or not" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/4).