All who were present introduced themselves, including me. I mentioned that I run this site on the side, while my day job is in Fremont. Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who was seated across the table from me, was taken aback and when it was his turn to speak, prefaced his comments accordingly. I consciously made the decision not to post anything I considered inside information or hearsay. He spoke at length and conjectured about Fremont's standing in the pursuit of the A's.
Later, I offered my services to run the Fremont campaign website. It will probably have a blog-style format with comments, though unlike this news-oriented site, the Fremont site will be advocacy-based. In concert with the decision I made at the meeting, any information I receive from here on out regarding the Fremont campaign will not be published on this blog unless it has been approved for public consumption. I don't have much inside information on the San Jose or Oakland efforts either, so I expect to be treating all three on equal terms. When the Fremont campaign site is up, I'll make a single post on it and place a link on the sidebar, but that's it. I realize there's an obvious conflict-of-interest that could easily be exploited, so I'm exercising editorial restraint to make sure that thin line isn't crossed. This blog will remain dedicated to tracking and compiling news about the A's ballpark plans, and that will not change as long as I run it. I don't expect to ask for help running this site - posts are infrequent enough that I should be able to handle it.
Now, onto the actually newsworthy items...
- The ballpark village concept continues to be key to the A's plans. The difficulty, as Lew Wolff noted, is in finding available land to make it happen.
- People may be focusing on the third deck closure, but corporate support may be the most important thing for a new ballpark wherever it's built. That means suites and signage, two things that are not selling terribly well currently.
- As for the third deck closure, the intended effect has been felt. Season ticket sales are up 150% over last season, and opening night is virtually sold out. Sales are so good that going forward, potentially new season ticket plan purchasers (including yours truly) may not be able to include opening night in their plans, even though it's supposed to be included in all packages.
- The A's are still working primarily with Oakland and the Coliseum JPA at least through opening day. After that, it could be fair game.
- Fremont has some work to do, including rallying local civic groups and neighbors Newark and Union City. Expect some news about events designed to raise publicity for the Fremont campaign shortly. (No, the team will not be called the "Tri-City A's".)