08 November 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Call it "Cisco Field"

Update 11:27 p.m. - Trib reports that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has approved the Coliseum lease extension, finalizing the A's stay in Oakland through at least 2010.

Also, according to Chron the 49ers have given up on staying in San Francisco. Santa Clara may be next. I hope that the Yorks aren't trying to game the city into giving them a big handout, because it's not happening.

Update 10:07 p.m. - Chron's Patrick Hoge has more details:
Unlike many stadiums surrounded by parking, this one would be swathed in shopping, Wasserman said. Ballpark patrons would park elsewhere and be shuttled in, he said.
Now that's an unusual idea. If people coming on transit have to take a shuttle, why not have everyone? It's baseball with the inconvenience of waiting for a bus to an airport long term parking lot.

Barry Witt has the scoop again: Cisco and the A's have sealed their part of the deal. Among the highlights:

Wolff, who declined to speak to reporters today, told council members the development would be something like San Jose's Santana Row -- featuring condominiums stacked above street-level retail -- with the major addition of a high-tech ballpark filled with Cisco-produced infrastructure.
The Santana Row comparison is a bit ironic since Wolff was a known critic of the plan when it was initially proposed in San Jose several years ago. A downtown advocate, he felt that Santana Row would effectively sink any chance for retail in downtown San Jose (which it did - restaurants and clubs are only half of the retail picture). Once Santana Row showed remarkable success, Wolff acknowledged it. Now it's Wolff who will attempt to create something along that scale in Fremont.

In a previous comment thread, Bleacher Dave posed the idea that Fremont officials might be upset by having the initial press conference/presentation at Cisco's San Jose headquarters than in Fremont. I don't think this is a big deal at all. How else are Wolff and John Chambers going to dazzle the media if not in front of gigantic video screens at Cisco?

Election wrap

Tuesday's midterm elections didn't have any issues that directly affected the A's, but some legislation passed that impacts the market enough to make ownership notice.
  • In Sacramento, voters soundly defeated Measures Q & R, which would have raised and allocated money for a new Downtown Sac arena for the Kings. Over the last month, both items became doomed when the Kings pulled their support of the measures due to disagreements over deal terms, particularly parking agreements.
  • Propositions 1A and 1B passed by their necessary margins, paving the way for needed transportation infrastructure improvements all over the state. The Bay Area could receive up to $4.5 billion of Prop 1B's $19.9 billion total. $1.3 billion of the regional money will go towards mass transit, but let's be realistic about what that means - $1.3 billion doesn't go that far when considering the number of large projects out there. Some small but not insignificant amount will help with the BART Warm Springs extension and maybe even with planning for the San Jose extension, but the money can't pay for everything.
  • San Jose's new mayor will be Democrat Chuck Reed. A fiscal conservative, Reed is not the go-to guy if anyone's looking to facilitate a sweetheart deal for the A's in downtown San Jose. Reed did vote for the ballpark EIR study and I came away from several meetings thinking the Reed would go with the downtown site if that's all the A's wanted, but as we now know from the larger scope of the A's plans, the site itself won't be enough.
  • Proposition 90, the eminent domain compensation measure, was defeated. A similar measure passed in Oregon two years ago and resulted in billions of dollars of compensation claims against local and state governments. Prop 90 wouldn't have been relevant in the Fremont Pacific Commons situation, but should that fail and the A's look elsewhere, it could come to the forefront.
More on transportation later today.