It looks like Oakland will continue to try to keep the team where it belongs, in Oakland! The City Council Community and Economic Development Agency voted 3-1 last Wednesday to clear the way for last night City Council approval. They will pay LSA Associates Inc. $750,000 so that they may study the possible 39,000-seat A’s ballpark near Jack London Square called Victory Court. The finances for the report would come from redevelopment funds set aside for a garage planned for 21st Street and Telegraph Avenue.
Back on December 2, The City Planning Commission had their first meeting on the proposal, which drew about 200 die-hard fans. There was such a big turnout that night that the staff had to relocate some of them to an overflow room, while others crowded into the lobby. The Council took comments from the public, and many expressed concerns about traffic gridlock, funding, and relocation of businesses.
Last Wednesday, City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente was the only hold out on the vote. According to the website newpark.org, de la Fuente is concerned about how the MLB plays one city against another to squeeze out the best deal they can. He implored that the MLB make a decision, and then, he went on to say that he couldn’t in good conscience support the resolution without a commitment from MLB. Their are many, who say that de la Fuente is right on the money with his decision not to vote on in favor of the measure. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been dragging his heels on the matter as to whether to go ahead and let the A’s build a new stadium in San Jose, an area where the Giants have territorial rights.
There are some other rumors out there that A’s owner Lew Wolff will re-look at Fremont for a possible location if the MLB refuses the request in San Jose, but I am wondering where in Fremont will that be? As a resident of Fremont, I am in the know as to what they are going to do with that piece of land next to the Pacific Commons Shopping Center. Plans have been drawn up to put a Giant multiplex theatre and a Target. Sorry Fremont A’s fans.
As for Lew Wolff, there has been no comment from management at this point. You would think that he would speak up and say something, but nope, that seems to be to difficult for him because, it has been reported numerous times that he prefers to move the team to San Jose, even though MLB representatives prefer a site near the water over other locations that have been suggested. I for one am looking to hearing what he has to say on the matter. Perhaps we should be talking about getting a new owner instead, but that is entirely a different subject altogether and one that needs to be written about in the New Year.