06 May 2006

Oakland mayoral candidates talk up the A's

Dave Newhouse's new column in the Oakland Tribune profiles the three mayoral candidates with respect to their stance on the A's. Newhouse stays away from giving an endorsement here, and I don't blame him. While all three express their interest in keeping the A's, none of them given any details as to how it would be done:

De La Fuente believes a site can be found in Oakland. He has two or three in mind that he won't disclose. But he's confident the A's will sign a lease extension, which gives Oakland more time.

After talking to Wolff, Dellums said, "I found him a very honest, refreshing, candid person. What he said to me was, 'Don't break your pick on this one. You've got other priorities.' I thought I heard him very clearly."

Very clearly: Ground won't be broken on a new ballpark in Oakland.

However, Dellums added there is a group "working very diligently" on a new location in Oakland now that the downtown site and the 66th Avenue site across from the Coliseum Complex appear buried in the dead stadium file.

The only place I can see it being done in Oakland is the Broadway Auto Row site, but maybe I don't see something that makes more sense because I'm not an Oakland resident, and therefore not as familiar with the city as some. Of course, if Broadway Auto Row is a legitimate site, Nancy Nadel will have to be won over.

I mentioned on an AN diary that it couldn't hurt Ignacio De La Fuente to appeal more openly to A's fans in Oakland. Though the A's have trumpeted the notion that Oakland is not out of the running, the timing of the A's plans has allowed certain circumstances - development sites disappearing - to grease the skids out of town.


drummer510 said...

I agree. IDLF would sway some voters if he said that he plans to keep the A's in Oakland. But many fans are still raw from the IDLF nailing the 1994 deal with the Raiders and don't trust him.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

* Iggy believes he has something to lose by pitching the A's. The Raiders deal is a huge source of his persistently high negatives in polls. I think Iggy's wrong, but he doesn't, so don't hold your breath. Only one month left til E Day anyway.

* It's always seemed to me like you credit Nadel too much. The Auto Row answer you got from her a few years back was just one rep's opinion, not that of the whole Council, in which Nadel has always been a very marginal player.

I still think Oakland will make at least a face saving play to keep the A's after the election, regardless of who wins. It won't be enough, but they'll try.


Marine Layer said...

A few years back? The idea was pitched last fall. It's not ancient history.

If anything is to be done in Oakland, Nadel will have to support it at least tacitly. The best remaining sites are in District 3, and once she loses the election, she'll once again represent D3. Any project like this is a team effort. Since we live in an era where projects are less likely to get railroaded through than, say 5 years ago, it's going to serious teamwork and coordination. Sadly, I agree about the face-saving gesture.

Georob said...

It's obvious that the candidates are posturing to some degree, however it's encouraging to read that the A's came up in all those house meetings(Drummer, are you carpooling with IDLF or something? :))

Again, I'll state my two points about Oakland, that: 1) Too many voters simply don't care about the stadium issue(thanks in part to the Raider deal) and: 2) The city isn't yet done, despite all appearances to the contrary.

For now, Oakland; perhaps through the OAFC, needs to rally more citizen support.

If I'm Fremont, I'd get my "ducks in line" about how to address the transit issue, because that will prove to be a BIG obstacle the further they go along.

And if I'm San Jose, I'd try and lobby MLB owners to deal with territorial rights, especially before I try and put this to a vote of the citizens. And if they are indeed "The City That Knows How", San Jose is best served by focusing its marketing efforts on those two blocs.

Anonymous said...

I agree with IDLF on his assessment of Fremont - it's not close to BART or anything. It would be a disaster in my opinion since it would be less accessible than the current stadium and Fremont would not attract anyone like newer "down-town" stadiums do. Also, I agree with his statement: "Santa Clara has never been a real place for them to go." Territorial rights would preclude them from moving to SC County and these will not be given up by the Giants for any $ amount from what I've heard and read. I think Portland, Las Vegas or Sacramento are where Wolff's headed.

jrbh said...

The fact that IDLF -- "The dumbest elected official in America" (tm) -- thinks the Fremont site is a non-starter scares me because he's never right about anything.

But I had to laugh about IDLF's secret plan to keep the A's. I can't tell you the sites! They're top secret! But elect me, and things will be all right! (How Nixonian is that?)

There was something in the Newhouse article that was serious, though, and that was the comment Dellums made about a group of Oaklanders working hard on a ballpark site. Does anyone know what he was referring to?

peanut gallery said...

I just missed my train yesterday, giving me a full 20 minutes to sit on the BART platform and consider the landscape adjacent to the Coliseum. I know ML has done a thorough analysis of the area and that it's not really on the table at this point, but I can't help but wonder why they can't just build a baseball-only stadium in the south lot, as close to the Coliseum as possible.

They could also make arrangements to move the two or three businesses between BART and the Coliseum (ABC, who I think is a roofing company, the burger joint and another business or two) to build Lew's ballpark village. They could build a second pedestrian bridge at the other end of the BART station for more direct access to the new stadium. Both pedestrian walkways could go through the ballpark village (basically on either side of it), forcing us to at least window shop on the way to the game (which is I assume the idea of the village). There's potentially a lot of space to be used in this area if you consider going multi-level with the village.

Additional parking (to make up for the footprint of the new stadium) can be built out onto the empty and near-empty land south of the current lot. Maybe they can also expand the existing BART lot too.

There are plenty of empty and/or unused lots in the industrial sections of Oakland to move those few businesses. Just make it worth their effort ($). They all can be anywhere as they are basically warehouses/storage lots, except the burger joint, which would make a perfect tennant in the new village.

It might not be as sexy as JLS or downtown, but with with a little vision and effort, I can see it working very well. Because in terms of transit/access, the Coliseum is nearly perfect.

Keith Salminen, unofficial RF Bleachers spokesman said...

Like Penut points out, a plan to turn the Coliseum Complex into a 3 plex could work. The spot my couisn in law and I have been looking at is the site where Home Base used to sit. I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the spots that DLF is looking at as well.

Parts of the ballpark villiage could go where the Pack N Save is right now as well as put parts near the BART ramp.