27 March 2005

Wave Magazine blurb on new ballpark initiative, San Jose

The Wave Magazine notes that the March 11 press conference was not merely a little get-together between Oakland and Alameda County officials and Lewis Wolff. It was also staged to announce Wolff's "personal involvement in an Alameda County ballot initiative that seeks a new (read: permanent) home for the A’s in Oaktown." This is the first time I've seen a mention of such an initiative, and while it's considered a given that a referendum will be required for any stadium in the Bay Area, I hadn't seen anything regarding the A's direct involvement until now. That leads me to believe that the process may be fairly advanced at this point, which it would have to be if they wanted to get something on the November ballot or even the midterm primary ballot in 2006.

The clock is definitely ticking. Even if an initiative passed, it's unlikely a new ballpark would open before opening day 2009. If the ownership group is directly involved, there will almost certainly be an ad campaign accompanying it, featuring current and/or former players. The Dallas Cowboys got Arlington, TX voters to pass their new stadium initiative due in large part to a $5 million campaign. Ads and public appearances featured former Cowboy greats such as Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, and Daryl "Moose" Johnston. Stadium opponents spent only $40,000.

The irony is that some Alameda County voters may not be able to see any pro-stadium ads during A's games broadcast on KICU-36 because of poor reception.

The next issue of The Wave promises "the complete lowdown" on the San Jose effort.