DuPuy visits San Jose, Fremont waits

First off, I have to apologize for being an absentee blogrunner the last couple of days. This is a busy week at work, so busy that I haven’t been able to do rudimentary moderation. All will be back to normal tomorrow (unless something blows up). On a tangential note, I’m exploring new ways to do some blogging and simple work tasks (yes, that was my ugly mug on TV Saturday night).

On to the news. As reported Monday, Fremont’s wondering what the fate will be of the now shuttered NUMMI plant, which I drove by Friday morning as a crane was getting ready to take the plant’s sign off. If history is any indicator, it’ll turn into a mall. Oakland’s Chevy plant shut down in 1963 and was demolished to make way for Eastmont Mall, which itself was closed and reused as a mixed government/retail center. The Ford plant in Milpitas was reused as a large outlet mall, with numerous references to its storied past. Reporter Matthew Artz notes that cleanup cost for the Ford plant was $12 million ($20 million in today’s dollars, though it’s impossible to tell just how much it’ll cost today until an assessment is made. Mayor Bob Wasserman thinks that the land will fetch $1.5 million per acre, or $555 million for the whole shebang. Last July, I wrote about how no one should start thinking that any of the land could quickly be turned over for a ballpark because of the planning and development process. This article, among others, confirms this. If neither San Jose nor Oakland fall out, Fremont may become a good option, but it’s unlikely that anything could start there until the middle of the decade.

12 miles south of NUMMI, MLB second-in-command Bob DuPuy visited San Jose City Hall, meeting with Mayor Chuck Reed and Lew Wolff.

“We talked about baseball and opening day,” said Reed, adding that DuPuy, with whom he has talked on the phone before, “wanted to see San Jose in person.”

DuPuy is one of two people to whom a special committee appointed by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to study the A’s stadium options is reporting. The other person is Selig himself, a college fraternity brother of Wolff’s.

Reed said baseball officials “like San Jose, and they are doing their due diligence. We just have to be patient.” The committee is expected to make a recommendation to Selig in the near future; San Jose officials have said they need a decision by late July in order to schedule a November ballot measure on a proposal to let the team build on city-owned land.

Wolff told the Mercury News the meeting with DuPuy “was really more of a hello —nothing earth-shaking. The process is still the process.”

I know that many San Jose partisans are getting excited about this – don’t. The key phrase is “due diligence.” The three amigos didn’t even visit the ballpark site, choosing instead to get an obstructed view from the 18th floor. As my 8th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Gredasoff, used to say when he got fed up with the class’s behavior, we’re “moving along at a feverish pace.”

51 thoughts on “DuPuy visits San Jose, Fremont waits

  1. I really just wish the process would speed up.

    • If we don’t hear anything by July then we know its not San Jose. I don’t think we’ll be waiting for news in August. Just around the corner.

  2. I think it is significant that Dupuy was in San Jose. Sounds like MLB might realize what a stupid move it was to give Frisco territorial rights to a larger city 45 miles away that presents a grand, obvious solution for the A’s predicament.

    • From my understanding, The A’s and the Giants agreeed to give San Jose to the Giants in 1991/1992 without the intervention of MLB. However it looks now, both sides appeared happy with the agreement at the time. It could have even benefited the Athetlcs if the Giants would’ve relocated 50 miles south. I agree, San Jose is the ideal solution, but possibly the most problematic solution. BTW, please don’t say “Frisco.”

      • Do you want me to call Frisco, “The City,” instead, like Friscans prefer? Uh, no. Frisco, like NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg once said, is a “nice small town.”

      • pjk, where do you live?

      • You want like his address and stuff? Damn…


        I think we need to make a pact on here to not belittle any municipality for any reason. No making fun of Oaktown, or San Ho, or Frisco.

      • I’m onboard with that, but it’s really going to make moderating the comments a bear.

      • Frisco Frisco Frisco

        It grates on bougies and transplants trying to fit in. Regular people don’t care.

  3. I really think this will all come down to time and money. The figuring out time-wise how long the ballpark will take to complete, and the money it will take to satisfy the Giants. I believe MLB wants this city for the A’s and that it will be a done deal soon whether the Giants are happy or not.

  4. The problem is the Frisco Giants plain wants the box the A’s into an inferior market or, better yet, run them out of the Bay Area completely.

    • Yeah. I agree that that’s probably what the Giants would like to see happen. However, I don’t think the “us against them” mentality is beneficial. As this issue heats up and potential voters find their way to this site for information, I think it’ll cast the A’s in a bad light if posters display strong anti-Giants stances. These are mutli-million dollar companies fighting for a slice of the pie. Come November, granted that Trights are settled, I think it’d be damaging for the A’s campaign to be associated with any anti-Giants sentimentality. It’s about what’s best for the Bay Area citizens baseball fans or not. I’m headed up to the Coliseum tonight. Should be a good one.

    • exactly right pjk.

  5. Man these MLB fellers are a cautious indecisive bunch.

  6. I’ve come to accept the fact that Selig and MLB will make their decision based on their timetable, not the A’s, Oakland, SJ or Fremont. If you sit here trying to figure out why certain things were said or done, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. The Selig letter which was leaked back in Dec 08 sure gave the SJ faithful hope. Now, 17 months laters, nothing has really changed. For all we know, we could wait another 17 months.

    • Good point. Speculation is maddening, like figuring out if Fox or Patterson (or both) will be DFA’d… wait. Cust was FDA’d. Ok. A lot use this “speculating” thing got us.

      • DFA’d? FDA’d? Huh? Acronyms are just great for the small circle of people that know what they mean.

      • Designated for assignment. FDA was a typo. I was reviewing FDA guidelines for work this morning. Not all that different from trying to understand this San Jose situation– just a whole lot less fun.

  7. There is nothing inherently wrong with “Frisco” as a nickname, several rap songs do it in a positive fashion and even Herb Caen conceded that it had good working-class roots. However, the posters who use it in a disparaging way are obviously revealing that they dislike San Francisco, and as always, prejudice weakens an argument. I work in San Francisco and like the place, just think city officials and the Giants are being totally colonialist toward San Jose.

    • Disparaging? So what? An Oakland columnist recently referred to San jose as “prune city,” something that was applicable about 100 years ago. MLB is disparaging toward San Jose by maintaining it as a colony of Frisco; the Giants are disparaging toward San Jose by insisting all the Bay Area’s Largest City should have is minor league baseball.

      • I’m just saying if everyone toned down the insults, the level of dialogue would be higher. I know, civility is an obsolete concept.

      • here, here. I agree. Civility would be nice. It ain’t like we are here debating the future of nuclear energy in the US or something. We all care, passionately, about a baseball team for Pete’s sake.

      • Thank you.

  8. If Dupuy went to the A’s game last night, he saw a one-third-full, obsolete stadium, and a team that is a welfare case for the rest of major league baseball. San Jose is ready to provide a solution. Oakland, meanwhile, spent years doing nothing and it’s already been looked at. Fremont will mean dozens of NIMBY problems and it could take 10-20 years to sort out NUMMI, while still having the NIMBY problems waiting.

    • No NIMBY problems at Fremont’s Pacific Commons site , where LW controls 200-300 acres of greenfield , toxin free site at Automall Pkwy/880 that Cisco unloaded on his group . If MLB continues to drag this out , the housing mkt may rebound and the orig ballpark and Wrigleyville – like shopping/entertainment , multi-thousand home development to pay for it as announced in late 2006 may be back in play.
      Separately , the NUMMI site an exit further south eventually becoming a prime located office/high density housing development between two freeways ( 680 from the Tri/Cental valley/south SJ and 88O which feeds from Peninsula/east bay and SJ/south Bay which is also a much greater real estate value leveraging of an adjacent BART stn feeding from all conected points ( Warm Springs stn 2014 ) than a ballpark used 80 days a year ever will be. Imagine NUMMI site being a more densely developed version of what you see in Pleasanton around the Hacienda area , Several articles in local papers mention area developers salivating at that site for just such an opportunity .
      It would be a double win for Fremont – put the new homes /ballpark/entertainment village for from the NIMBYS of Fremont’s Weibel neighborhood and convert the auto plant site to high pay modern knowledge based jobs and high density housing as envisioned for the purpose of putting BART there in the first place .

      • I do believe that most of the NIMBY’s (the Fremont Citizen’s Network) have stated their objection to any ballpark at this point. I could be wrong but this seems to confirm it.

        I think the headline of that post is rather presumptuous. I am unaware of any poll that shows most Fremont citizens being against a ballpark. But that is beside the point. There will be a lot of noise made if Fremont moves forward with a ballpark plan.

        A’s to Fremont on Facebook (1,146) http://astofremont.org/ 
        Fremont Citizens Network (1,091) http://community.fremontcitizensnetwork.org/
        No Stadium on Facebook (798)

        There’re are still a A’s Supporters that support the A’s move to Fremont. This number shows the city, residents, MLB, and the A’s that there’re still a A’s supporters support the A’s move to Fremont Most of the Fremont Citizens Network members are A’s supporters. So the majority of Fremont residents supports the A’s move to Fremont.

      • Stop quoting facebook group numbers as if they mean something. A few reasons, all of the A’s to Fremont fans aren’t Fremont citizens. Some of the fans of this facebook page (and the San Jose and Oakland pages) aren’t really 100% behind a a new stadium in that particular stadium
        If they did, the Oakland group is far, far ahead of Fremont.

      • particular city… duh

      • A’s to Fremont on Facebook (1,146) http://astofremont.org/ 
        Fremont Citizens Network (1,091) http://community.fremontcitizensnetwork.org/
        No Stadium on Facebook (798)

        There’re are still a A’s Supporters that support the A’s move to Fremont. This number shows the city, residents, MLB, and the A’s that there’re still a A’s supporters support the A’s move to Fremont Most of the Fremont Citizens Network members are A’s supporters. So the majority of Fremont residents supports the A’s move to Fremont.

      • This is a duplicate.
        This is a duplicate.

      • Fremont Citizens Network (http://community.fremontcitizensnetwork.org/) members are local Fremont residents. Many are A’s fans too. Which location is best for the A’s? It’s very obvious Fremont ranks very low in Lew Wolff’s mind, especially with the current depressed housing market.
        Compare to San Jose and Oakland, Fremont has higher risk and least business potential for the A’s and MLB. It also has worst community support and grass-root opposition. The city of Fremont just does not have enough budget, resources and urban infrastructure to sustain a successful stadium.

      • All Fremont NIMBY-ISM would disappear INSTANTLY if LW builds a Badminton/Table Tennis arena on site and scheduled Cricket games at the stadium when the A’s are on the road !

      • why Cricket?

      • There is a large Indian (East) population in Fremont. They love their cricket. Though it should be noted that a standard international cricket ground is much larger than a ballpark. It’s also symmetrical.

      • Was that really hard to get?

  9. A question about cleanup at Nummi, if the parcels are so contaminated there, how where they able to build a bart station? And, if you build a stadium near bart would you need to cleanup that area, isnt it already clean?

  10. …Yes, baseball has joined sewage treatment plants, garbage dumps and a few other facilities as an “unwanted land use.” Check out how NIMBY’s near San Jose City College were able to halt construction of a new college ballpark after lots of money already had been spent.

  11. Article in the SJ Biz Journal identifies that Sobrato will be buying 2 downtown parcels for $20M which will provide the cash to acquire the remaining parcels at Diridon. Looks like another positive step forward for SJ—http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2010/04/05/daily61.html

  12. Just got an email from the City of Fremont.

    At the April 13, 2010 City Council meeting, a Report on NUMMI Site Reuse and Revitalization Activities Including Response to Interest by Major League Baseball in Possible Establishment of a Fremont Ballpark will be presented to the City Council.

    The City Council meeting will begin at 7 pm in the City Council Chambers, 3300 Capitol Avenue.

    The staff report associated with this item will be available on the City website on Friday, April 9, 2010, at the following link: http://www.fremont.gov/CouncilAgenda

  13. I seriously cannot wait for MLB to just make a decision on SJ. All the speculation resulting from the closed-door dealing is getting old. I just want to see some focus and progress on a singular, doable plan. Is that so much to ask?

    • I’m very eager to hear their decision as well. Though, there are still many hoops to jump through in addition to the MLB committee suggestion to the Commish.

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