Fremont rally brings out over 200

Earlier tonight, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce sponsored a “Rally for the A’s to Fremont” shindig at the Saddle Rack. At least 200 people attended, including Argus reporter Matthew Artz, who thought there might have been 300 there. Of course, the TV crews were out capturing the event. Outside the Saddle Rack was a group of what looked like less than a dozen “Keep the A’s in Oakland” protestors.

Every party needs a Debbie Downer, and on KGO’s report it was San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, who dismissively said, “They had their chance and they struck out.”

78 thoughts on “Fremont rally brings out over 200

    • Good question… I once went to a Keep the A’s in Oakland rally back in 2001 or thereabouts and it was probably about 200 folks. I wasn’t that impressed with that then… so 200 in Fremont… eh.

      On the other hand, compared to the 200 protesters back at the Pacific Commons meeting we now know that should this ever turn into a Sharks v. Jets rumble the numbers add up.

  1. Interesting to hear Reed being more assertive with his comments. I guess he’s moving away from his ” we just want to be ready if in case MLB …” stance.

    • Don’t blame him. Fremont had their chance and blew it. I’d be pissed if after the fact someone came in and tried to steal something back from me. Plus if Fremont ends up being viable it may be an excuse to not grant the A’s rights to the south bay. I’d doubt Oakland has ever been a concern for Reed as their “plans” so far are not serious. Nor have they been for the last 15 years. However a resurgent Fremont plan that is serious could pose a threat to an SJ move.

  2. How lame is it for the Oakland people to be there protesting. Just goes to show it has nothing to do with what is best for the A’s, just what is best for me.

    • At least they showed up for something.

    • I think it’s great that people are there speaking up for the Oakland Athlethics. Thank you folks. They are there representing the tens of thousands who want the A’s in Oakland. All three cities have sites for fans to join in support of each location. Oakland has nearly 32,000 fans on its site. There’s no question that Oakland Athlethics fans want the team in Oakland. It’s unfortunate that Oakland has neighbors willing to undermine the city of Oakland in its attempts to keep the A’s in town. These municipalities, which don’t support the Oakland Athlethics, are now sniffing an opportunity to enhance their weak National profiles by hosting a MLB franchise.

      • lol–really Nav–all 6 of them speak for A’s fan’s—you gotta get a grip on reality man–

      • No, not “A’s fans,” Oakland A’s fans. There’s a difference.

      • Ok so there are 6 “Oakland A’s” fans? I’ll give them credit, at least they’re 6 real people actually doing something unlike that facebook group.

  3. I ended up not going because I didn’t know I could bring the kids until it was too late (I had checked the saddle rack website and it said they are an over 21 venue at all times). Glad there was a good showing without us.

    • Wild card remains the Nimby’s and their misguided efforts–they are organizing again to defeat it–check out their website—I haven’t heard the county step up regarding their willingness to purchase the 120 acres from NUMMI—any background on that?

      • I don’t know that I would call it misguided… The land acquisition is pretty important. Fremont can’t pay for it with redevelopment funds. If the County isn’t in on this, it is dead in the water FCN or no.

        The part I would like to understand, and have yet to, is what “other business opportunities” the FCN wants explored. When you look at the sheer size of the NUMMI controlled land, the lack of interest from manufacturers, and the already available commercial real estate in the vicinity… What is it that can be put there to provide a boost? Do they really want the equivalent of the Alameda Navy Base? Antiques and Swap Meets are better for property values than a ballpark? Is that the argument? Empty office buildings are better? Or is it that they want the site to remain empty until manufacturing becomes hot in California again?

        I am casting no judgment on any of these scenarios just asking the question.

      • Agree with you on the land acquisition as being very important. Figure that the fair market value for 120 acres is $150M minimum? If so definetely not pocket change for Alamdea County—I seriously doubt that manufacturing will ever make a comeback in Silicon Valley area—just too expensive—so really at some point in the future–more R&D type office space—or housing—-and we all know what those vacancies are these days and in the forseeable future.

        Using the word misguided—guess I am frustrated with the Nimby’s changing their argument depending upon location–PC was because of traffic, WS was because of NUMMI and the neighborhood, opposition and now this location because they would prefer to leave the site vacant?

      • I should have written “totally” misguided. Some of the stuff on the FCN makes it clear that these folks are 100% against anything, whether their “aim is true” or not.

        At the end of the day… this is going to be a huge obstacle for Fremont on so many levels, with or without a ballpark fight. They have a huge “opportunity” staring them in the face as a result of this plant shutdown.

        I agree with the FCN that other avenues should be explored. I disagree that a ballpark shouldn’t be one of the things they look into. It may prove that a ballpark is all that is feasible any time soon.

      • “these folks are 100% against anything, whether their “aim is true” or not.”
        Sounds like the Repubs, aka the Party of No.

      • The Alameda County is “one step away from bankrupt.” Some county supervisors don’t even know city of Fremont is proposing the county to buy the land. Maybe one county sup got briefed for ~5 minutes. Fremont just don’t have the money and resource to support a stadium. The plan is not fiscally responsible.

      • What sort of plan would be fiscally responsible? I may agree with you that a ballpark is not fiscally responsible (depending on the specifics) but I still haven’t heard a real feasible alternative.

        Surely, you don’t want an empty factory?

  4. …Let San Jose, Oakland and Fremont fight over the A’s. Just as long as one of them wins…Good to see the message is getting out that not everyone in Fremont agrees with the NIMBYs and their “Whatever it is, I’m against it.” ways…

    • Indeed. Getting over 300 out to the SaddleRack is no small feat. Not only was it a week night, but the SaddleRack as I recall isn’t a cheap ticket either. It’s 10-20 dollars to get into that place.

      • I heard that it was free and FREE FOOD (spaghetti, at least) too. That would get people out there, even on a week night.

  5. (from Jan 12 Fremont city council meeting)
    Councilmember Natarajan: “One of the first things strikes me about this proposal is 95 acres in surface parking. …… The image of 95 acres of parking surrounding standalone stadium immediately gives you the impression of the [Oakland] Coliseum.”

    Councilmember Wieckowski: “People know what the [Oakland] Coliseum looks like, and nothing is happening for economic revitalization in that area.”

    They both expressed concerned about the proposed plan.

    Even the city staff acknowledged “only a properly planned ballpark can be successful; and a stadium alone cannot spur development.” “A suburban standalone stadium surrounded by 10,000 parking spaces and a BART station” is a BAD planning.

    • I get that… what is the alternative? What is the good plan? A ballpark plan for that site is in the very infancy and would change, probably dramatically, by the time it ever happened.

      If the idea was to replicate the conditions at the Coliseum (which it isn’t, from what I have read there is ancillary development right around the stadium that doesn’t exist at the coliseum) or something close to it, I am pretty sure MLB would pass on that.

      • I wonder what the possibility would be for an underground parking garage, or a parking garage designed to be partially hidden by the second phase of development and also designed to ascetically fit into the surroundings? I know parking garages don’t have to just be concrete slabs. You can hide them behind the businesses and restaurants, or make them look fancy. I could see it as an alternative to acres of parking.

      • Parking Garages are expensive to build though. Not that I disagree with you, it just makes the thing more expensive.

      • The alternatives are
        1. parking lot
        2. parking garage
        3. not doing a stadium
        and I think that suggesting to the city that they help pay for #2 so that they don’t have to worry about #1 would lead them more likely to suggest #3.

      • Yep.

      • Remember–part of how this plan has been touted was the vast availablity of “existing parking” with the caveat that over time it could become something else—-sound familiar?

      • I do remember the two phases they mentioned. I’m totally behind the sea of parking becoming something else over time. The great part is that they don’t have to worry about the garage being build immediately in order to make the Stadium happen, since the lots are right there. Perhaps the parking garage could be paid for by the things that are replacing the lots?

      • Why are people always caught up with the “you need to have an alternative use” mode? Not embarking down a path towards financial disaster for the city is valid and very much important choice.

        For a family that is unemployed, has no savings, is cutting critical expenses like food and utilities, taking out a loan to buy $1M in lottery tickets for a $25,000 jackpot does not make sense. You do not have to justify not spending that money with “what would be a better use” as there are plenty of other ways to spend that money and simply spending that money in that fashion is well-recognized as bad financial management.

        The same with the stadium. Fremont can ill-afford to cut-off revenue for critical city services and education for a stadium that will not provide net economic benefit for the city. It will be much better off financially by not doing anything rather than chasing the stadium.

        In fact, spend money courting businesses and providing incentives to companies to relocate to Fremont. The news has been reporting on the success of Livermore recently in luring two large companies to relocate there. Rather than having spent $100+ on a mere study plan, Fremont should have spent that money courting companies that would offer real jobs.

      • So you favor the site sitting empty rather than a stadium? Not judging, just clarifying.

      • Can you provide a link to the Livermore Business stuff? I haven’t read anything other than the generic incentives package brochure/descriptions on the City web site. I didn’t see who they had attracted and at what cost.

      • I’ve heard this argument and I’m certain it’s more complex than Fremont “attracting” companies there. As I understand it the solar company from Sunnyvale was working with Lam Research on a number of sites, including Lam’s vast holdings in Fremont. What likely happened is that Lam gave a better lease for the two Livermore buildings. Can Fremont do anything about that besides subsidizing the lease? I think not.

      • Thanks

      • Having the site empty is not optimal I would agree. But spending the money and everything else that is entailed with a stadium is worse than having nothing there at all. — Consider it the lessor of two evils.

  6. Lew Wolff’s vision is a ballpark village, or a downtown ballpark. Now you want to give the A’s another “standalone stadium in a suburban setting”? The Oakland Coliseum has plenty of parking, a BART station, and lots of lands. It didn’t go anywhere!

    The city staff did mention development in phases (1, 2a, 2b); and also acknowledged in current economy “let’s build the stadium first, and worry about phase 2a later” (bad omen!). The current city’s plan is too much similar to Oakland Coliseum, no vision at all. The Fremont location will be another disaster for the A’s.

    *** Go San JosA’s ***

    • NoAsWS- just curious, Jeffrey asked previously what is a good alternative for this site—didn’t see any response—what do you advocate for this site–leave it vacant? I think that the Nimby’s in Fremont would have much more credibility if they proposed an alternative rather than just saying No to a ballpark–

    • “The Oakland Coliseum has plenty of parking, a BART station, and lots of lands. It didn’t go anywhere!”

      Unfortunately, neither have the Raiders.

  7. The Fremont ballpark proposal will never happen.

  8. You’re welcome.

  9. LW still has control of close to 200 acres of greenfield land at Pacific Commons- if this stadium hunt drags on long enough, where the housing market rebounds in a couple of years , he may be bring back the whole Ballpark Village there again , to fund that ” Wrigleyville ” stadium , as originally proposed three years ago.
    After all, a regional housing report says there will be a deficit of 600,000 housing units in the Bay Area in the next 2 decades .

  10. This whole thing is just frustrating.

    I am sick of the A’s not having a decent stadium in which to play. It is bad enough that we have to sit in that concrete monstrosity and stare at Mount Davis now. I remember when it was the Oakland hills and a turf slope out above center. We also have to deal with embarassing reminders of non-ticklet sales in the form of giant green tarps in the upper decks. Lame. On top of that, what radio station are we supposed to listen to for updates on our team? I tried to listen to AM 860 yesterday and it was just nationally syndicated programming. I turned to KNBR and got 30 minutes about Ben Sheets (which is a HUGE signing) and then more Benji Molina for 4 hours.

    The A’s have some of the most dedicated fans in the nation, who have to put up with the most crap, and put in the most effort to be fans, in my opinion. Name another MLB team in a double-franchise town that is as big a red-headed stepchild as the A’s are to the Giants and their media empire. Speaking of which, look at attendance figures for the orange and black now that the Giants have a downtown park. It has revitalized south SF in a way that

    A’s have a great, winning history and some of the greatest fans. It is time they were rewarded with a decent home and some media coverage.

    End rant…cant wait for opening day.

    • The A’s have some of the most dedicated fans in the nation, who have to put up with the most crap, and put in the most effort to be fans, in my opinion.

      It’s unfortunate that this unmatched degree of dedication and putting in the most effort doesn’t include showing up at the park often enough to avoid being last in the majors in attendance

      • Yeah, it’s too bad that we don’t have this unmatched degree of dedication and effort from the current ownership as well. I guarantee if we did, we would NOT be last in the majors in attendance!

      • What, exactly, would you consider dedication? Please be specific, and show all your work.

      • Do I really need to explain myself? It’s apparent that the San Jose ONLY group is on Lew Wolff’s cock for thinking he’s one of the best owners in baseball because you all think he’s your savior or something for trying to bring MLB to the South Bay….yeah we get it. It’s too bad he doesn’t really care about the rest of the Bay Area cities or the fans.

      • This line of whining is old to me. Especially in light of 42 years of mostly mediocre attendance.

        Sure Lew Wolff could do some things differently… Hell, the A’s entire business operations team could do something a bit differently.

        But go and talk to some folks who don’t go to games and you will find quickly that the number 1 reason people don’t go is the stadium. Most can’t even name the owners of the team.

      • I agree with you Jefferey that the stadium itself and the location of the stadium is the two main reasons for bad attendance, but I won’t say that it’s the reason why we are now last in the entire league. Lew Wolff is not that great of an owner to begin with and he doesn’t care about what’s happening now and what he was given to work with. He only cares about possibilities of what he can do with hypothetical ideal circumstances which he’s only dreaming of with a possible San Jose move. Essentially nothing has changed from a stadium standpoint from when he bought the team in 2005 other than closing off the third deck. He knew what he was getting when he took over and yet he blames the fans for bad attendance?

      • Ok, let’s just assume that you are correct, and he’s blaming the fans for the bad attendance. I haven’t seen anything where he says that, but I’ll play along. Now, please follow along with this:

        1) Fans are the reason for bad attendance.
        2) Fans say the stadium is the reason they don’t show up.
        3) Ownership is trying to build a new stadium.

        How does this make them bad owners?

      • Thank Uncle Lew for that!

      • Nav–you must be thrilled that the Warriors seem to have adopted the SF uniform for home games–oh well–Oakland poached them anyway from SF so guess it is appropriate to keep their original name-

      • What about Larry Ellison buying the team and moving them to SF?

      • You’re crazy if you think that would happen anytime soon.

      • It’s called throwbacks GoA’s and it’s not for every home game. It’s just a way to sell more apparel and for the franchise to make more money. With your logic if the A’s move to San Jose then I guess it would be appropriate to keep their Oakland name on their jerseys as well.

      • Humm—first of all–throw back jersey’s typically aren’t used for every home game—the SF jersey has been used for quite awhile–its becoming the home jersey—and no—if the A’s move to SJ–the name SJ will be the preferred choice of the ownership group—and if they move to Fremont…San Jose will also be the preferred name—

        mtd—I agree with you—if the ‘9ers head to SC—I would bet in 2-3 years SF will be talking about building an arena with the Warriors as their tennant—Coli lease is up in 2017–timing would be perfect—

  11. That’s right – the SF ballpark has revived the area. They are not the plagues the NIMBYs are making them out to be.

  12. A stadium is neither the catalyst for growth nor the solution for a down team. Case in point, the Washington Nationals just got a brand spanken new stadium. The area around the stadium has not seen any real growth or prosperity and the team’s attendance ranks around 24th out of the 30 teams. The team salary has also not grown by leaps and bounds as well. So stadiums are not the secret sauce for prosperity or success.

    • What is the value of the Nationals franchise now v. before a new stadium.

      What is the difference in revenue?

      Stadiums do generate new revenue for the teams and increase the value of the team. And, in San Francisco’s case they have increased property values. Even Neil DeMause admits that the stadium deal in San Francisco has provided public benefit (however minimal).

      The reason none of the other stadium’s provide public benefit is because the initial investment and stadium construction that the municipalities pay for far out weigh the revenue generated for the city by the project.

      There is no reason to think something like AT&T Park, with very minimal public subsidy (in that case it was just land and roughly 5% of the rest of the cost in the form of TIF), couldn’t provide a similarly small public benefit in Fremont.

      It certainly wouldn’t be a huge cash infusion for the city, and I don’t think anyone argues that. If they do they are willfully ignorant.

      • That the team benefits, I totally agree with you. However, it is not the cure to low fan attendance or inability to keep talented players. What is true for Fremont is that the majority of the proponents assert that the stadium will be catalyst to economic benefits and will greatly benefit the city and help to solve the economic problems plaguing Fremont and all other cities.

        Fremont lacks the infrastructure to support a stadium for a professional sports team. Take for example police. For a city with a population of 213,000 and 77 sq. miles of land, we have less than 180 total police officers — at most 14 on duty at any one time! Santa Clara has half the population, 1/4 the land, and the same number of police officers. Arlington Tx has a pop of 316,000, 96 sq miles of land, and over 800 police officers! Oakland is similar in numbers of police. Fremont will need substantially more police officers to patrol a stadium and the A’s won’t by picking up the tab for their salaries and benefits.

        Fremont is having difficulties providing many basic municipal services, and the detriments to having a stadium far outweigh the benefits.

        Fremont is planning on spending at least $90million on the stadium. That figure is certain to increase and most likely will have to purchase the land on which the stadium would be built (that is one reason for raising the redevelopment agency’s cap from $400million to $1.5billion with a B!

        The city council and chamber of commerce want the stadium so bad that they will end up sacrificing our future just so they can have their legacy.

      • I’m inclined to agree. FremontResident2010’s argument reminds me of that segment of Suze Orman’s show where people call in asking if they can afford a vacation or new car and she makes them spell out their finances and then approves or denies them based on what they have in the bank. If Fremont could call in, it would most certainly get denied. FremontResident2010 is correct, the infrastructure just isn’t there, at least not to the extent it is in Oakland or San Jose. Plus, I’d have a hard time swallowing the loss of high paying factory jobs and replacing them with seasonal and low paying unskilled jobs.

      • I said that a few weeks ago about losing factory jobs for low paying, part-time stadium work. Besides Nummi, the GM plant in Oakland shut down in the mid 60’s, replaced by Eastmont Mall. The Ford Plant shut down in Milpitas in the 70’s, replaced years later by The Great Mall. We need to make stuff, not sell it. As for a new yard, the only ones who make out are the owners and players, who have nothing to do with the community.

      • This is a good point. Anyone who is arguing that a new stadium will make up for a closed factory is at least three quarters crazy.

        Were this happening in my town my priorities would be something liek this:
        1. New manufacturer takes over
        2. New corporate corporate facilities
        3. New entertainment option
        4. do nothing and let it sit

        What stadium proponents should be talking about is that 1 and 2 are not very likely to happen anytime soon. Honestly, it is my understanding that the City of Fremont is and has been pursuing numbers 1 and 2 to no avail thus far. Number 3 is the one that pisses off the FCN.

        An empty warehouse/manufacturing facility does nothing for anyone. Look at Alameda Point… that place is still awaiting some sort of redevelopment after 13 years and $108 Million spent by the City to acquire the land.

        No matter what happens, Fremont will most likely be spending a huge chunk of change to acquire the property and turning it over to developers.

      • The NUMI plant may be used in the future to manufacture components for the HSR project, according to KCBS. It seems to be a perfect fit, just as Jack London Square is a perfect fit for a ballpark..

      • if hsr is built in Fremont, that is a much better option than a ballpark. Assuming they can’t both coexist.

      • Far be it from me to tell someone who lives in Fremont what they should think. If I lived there I would be a bit more passionate about a stadium there, perhaps.

        If I was going to pick a site for the A’s it wouldn’t be in Fremont. I’d prefer either the JLS North site or Diridon. I think the A’s have made it clear what they prefer. Two things though:

        On the stadium patrol. The team pays for cops to be at the games. They could always use Alameda County Sheriff’s to augment the Fremont Police. Of course, even without a stadium it sounds as if Fremont needs to think about increasing the police force.

        Which goes to your larger point. Fremont may have higher priorities.

        Second, you mention Washington above. The stadium has been open for 2 seasons and during the worst economy in a looooooong time. Of course ancillary development hasn’t occurred. Let’s look back in 10 years and see what has changed.

        Denver, San Francisco, San Diego… all three of these are examples of what City Manager Diaz was referring to as a “wow” project that sped up redevelopment of a city district. It takes time to redevelop an area even with a “wow” project.

        The alternative is Alameda, Oakland Army Base, etc. No wow, no redevelop… flea markets and blight.

      • The problems with the examples you provide are that in none of those instances was the stadium the impetus for the redevelopment. For example, I know with SF, there was a lot of redevelopment planned for China Basin for a number of reasons — Loma Prieta earthquake rebuilding, waterfront property development, Catellus planned development, etc. All of the development in China Basin did not come about because of the stadium.
        With Fremont, there is no planned development for the land surrounding the proposed ballpark (except for Pacific Commons and Wolfe’s ballpark village). There are no developers already planning on developing the surround areas in Fremont to take advantage of any changes to Nummi, and the City has not made any real plans for what should happen around the stadium. That is poor planning when you build a large edifice with the hopes that someone will come along and develop the surrounding areas.
        Again, the planning and all is all separate from the mere fact that Fremont does not have the resources to support a stadium.
        As to having sheriff deputies patrol the stadium, that currently cannot happen as the county sheriffs do not have jurisdiction in Fremont since Fremont has its own police force. And it is not just hte stadium, but it would be the surrounding neighborhoods as well. Can you imagine the pissing matches between the city/county over jurisdiction let alone coordination of those two agencies? Also, that does not take into account whether the county could manage providing the necessary sheriff personnel. You cannot realistically hire a sheriff or police officer on a part-time basis, but will need to have full-time staff assigned to games as they occur.

      • Wow. Sounds like nothing will ever happen in Fremont. Ever. Again. Cool.

      • One of the primary things missing from your argument is beyond the dollars and cents—its what makes an area an attractive destination spot for others to want to go to or for that matter for its own citizens to want to stay at v. heading into another city to spend their entertainment dollars. Ballparks may not be huge revenue generators but either ar museums or the opera, or the symphony…but all of these “cultural” elements are key to attracting businesses and families who want to live in a community that has a sense of community—-from my perspective this is something that Fremont lacks completely—big box stores just don’t do it—

        Who knows–with the HSR stimulus funds maybe NUMMI can come back as a manufacturing facilty—

      • Right now, the dollars and cents are very important. And this is not just a few dollars and cents, but tens if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. Fremont’s annual budget is only $145M, so spending $90M on the ballpark regardless of the sources from City funds is serious money. I do not think that people would advocate spending $90M and subsidizing a museum for millions of more $$ as financially responsible.
        With the announcement today that California is getting the $2Billion for high speed rail, perhaps converting NUMMI into a manufacturer of high speed rail cars is now possible.

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