13 September 2006

News from around the land

One more "Choose or Lose the A's" event is slated for this Friday at 5:00 in the Coliseum B-Lot. More info can be found at the Green Stampede and A's Fan Radio myspace pages.

In SI's annual Fan Value Index (ratings based on surveyed attendees at various games), McAfee Coliseum came in 20th out of the 30 MLB parks. As usual, there's a cheap shot at the idea of the A's moving to Vegas or Louisville (???), but these days that comes with the territory. The Coliseum scores high in terms of Accessibility (public transportation, parking) and Team (of course) but low in Neighborhood. Wrigley Field, of all places, scores lower - but that's due to the Cubs being so awful this season. One thing that deserves reading further: the Accessibility section of each ballpark is quite telling. Compare the two Bay Area ballparks' results to the LA parks. If Fremont is the place, the challenge will be in convincing the public that the experience will be more like the former than the latter.

There are a slough of articles (Merc, Chron, Ratto) about the opening of the new Stanford Stadium this weekend. The privately-financed project, which has taken just over 9 months and $100 million, is considered a minor miracle in stadium development parlance. I'll go into why next week after I check the place out during its inaugural game on Saturday night.

In St. Louis, the Cardinals have stretched out their hands for what could be $100 million in subsidies to fund their updated version of a ballpark village. This project is one to watch for it could provide a blueprint as to how an A's ballpark village might look, even if the funding methods aren't the same.


anthony dominguez said...

Is Bud Selig really going to retire soon? Here's an idea for all those South Bay soccer fans...BRING MLS TO THE NEW STANFORD STADIUM!! It kind of resembles a European-style soccer stadium now.

Georob said...

Should Fremont fall apart, what about the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton? It's right off 680, right by an ACE station, presumably with some infrastructure already in place, and you could run shuttle buses from Dublin BART. Plus, it's close enough to attract some San Jose and Milpitas folk.

You want corprate support? Pleasanton and San Ramon have em! Frankly, I don't understand why a site near Dublin Bart was nixed to begin with.

Does the county own this land? Surely they could find room for a stadium on the grounds. The baseball schedule could be adjusted to not conflict with the actual fair and the stadium could be used for concerts/car shows etc during the off season.

Probably no room for a ballpark village unless Wolff wanted to make a deal to buy the whole thing and move the fairgrounds somewhere else. Unlike a baseball stadium, I would guess that the county fair doesn't have to be in a strategically placed locale.

Marine Layer said...

Stanford Stadium is out of the question. The refurbishment was done as part of a deal with the community that limits the number of events that can be had there. While you might see the occasional soccer friendly, you won't see MLS. Besides, at 50,000 the stadium is actually too big for MLS, about double the size.

If one of the team's aims is to grab Silicon Valley fans, forcing them to drive the Sunol Grade at the weekday rush hour period to get to a game isn't going to help. A shuttle from Dublin/Pleasanton BART to the fairgrounds is 3.5 miles. ACE runs only a few times a day, and not late at night. Plus the fact that there's no built-in provision for the ballpark village concept makes it a non-starter. Alameda County has a bunch of surplus land nearby along 580, but it's trying not to have to use it. Such land is already on the table for the Pacific Commons project.

Bleacher Dave said...

StL fears sound like SD a few years ago. I think I read an article earlier this year that small private sector projects are realizing the SD vision, not master planned development.