12 February 2008

Wolff on Ron Owens show tomorrow + BART Warm Springs closer

Tomorrow, Lew Wolff will make another appearance on KGO host Ronn Owens' show at 11 a.m. (correction: originally had this at 10 a.m.) A link for the streaming archive and a dissection of the discussion will follow.
Good news on the BART front (thanks James): The Argus's Matthew Artz reports that the $747 million Warm Springs BART extension is closer to fruition, thanks to some generosity among local transportation agencies and local lobbying.

The combined $160 million would significantly close the project's $225 million shortfall. The remaining $65 million could come from state infrastructure bonds approved by voters last year, city officials said.

"BART to Warm Springs is closer to reality right now that it's ever been," Councilmember Bob Wieckowski said. He was in Washington, D.C., last week lobbying Bay Area representatives for an extra $30 million to cover expected cost overruns.

If all goes according to plan, the extension would open in 2013, 1-2 years after the expected opening of Cisco Field. Of course, there would still be the issue of getting fans the remaining 1.25 miles from the Warm Springs BART station to the ballpark, but that's a lot easier to figure out than 5 miles to the existing Fremont station.


WS Denizen said...

This is great news to me. I am a believer in the extension of BART not only to Warm Springs but eventually to San Jose. This makes all of it one step closer to reality. Yes, I am a resident of Warm Springs (just south of mission blvd.). This extension has a more direct impact on me and the family. On a side note, I have believed all along that we needed to just bite the bullet and pay for the Bart extension (even regardless of the reality of Cisco Field). Every year makes it more expensive. Every year will bring more cars. Just seems elemental to me that future years and decades will be well served by an extended BART.
As far as how this affects transportation to Cisco Field, my dad lives in Brentwood. He has been a season ticket holder for years using BART almost always. He has always complained about the Coliseum location and look'n'feel (in all fairness, he likes to complain in general, he gave poor Art Howe daily verbal beatings during his tenure as coach). He is very much for Cisco Field except not being able to take Bart. I told him the WSX extension would come eventually. He asked if it would be as close as the BART station next to the coliseum, I told him no by quite a bit. But then I told him that a shuttle would pick him up at BART in Warm Springs and drop him off quite a bit closer to the stadium than the walk from the Coliseum BART station (I should have said I assume the shuttle will drop them off very close to the stadium). That made him pretty happy! Anyone know how long the walk from the Coliseum BART station is to the closest Stadium Gate? Always seemed a semi haul (guessing maybe a fifth of a mile?).

To be up front, I am a supporter of building Cisco Field. And to be honest, not many of my Neighbors seem all that engaged about it (at least the ones I talk to). My sense is, however, that they would be in favor of it as long as the A's aren't looking for a cash hand out to build it. The traffic argument, even if true, seems moot to them. I think it has to do with the fact that traffic is an accepted part of living in the bay area. My comments to them have been, I suspect the odds that it is going to be built are greater than 50/50. I also would say people here seem likely, or at least they say they are more likely, to go to more games (though obviously not a big shock for something that is 20+ miles closer to where they live).

MikeTeeVee said...

The Argus says "Fremont's $60 million share amounts to nearly three-quarters of the $85 million in state transportation money it anticipates receiving during the next quarter century."

Wow, read that again. 3/4 of Fremont's state transportation money for the next 25 years will be going to the Warm Springs extension. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what lies the little deceitful SOB spews forth this time ...

taxes, what taxes???

Anonymous said...

Loved his comments on traffic ...

he said "we're working on a balanced traffic program that he hopes will be ok ..."

gives one alot of confidence that he's addressing the horrific traffic and access problems associatied with this proposal.

Jeffrey said...

What taxes are you referring to again? Whoever you are.

Georob said...

Lew Wolff made a very interesting comment when pressed on the team name. When it first came up Wolff danced around it by saying that "it's the last thing we're thinking of". But when Ronn Owens asked why not call them the "Fremont A's", Wolff said:

"We have that available to help us in our financing if we need to use it"

Does this mean the name will be sold to a corporation like stadium naming rights? Listen for yourself, it's about 48 minutes into the interview for anyone that downloads it.

James said...

Anon 2:04,

By "little deceitful SOB," I assume you are referring to Wolff. Please tell us one instance in which he has lied or deceived.

Anonymous said...


remember the ballpark in the coliseum parking lot that he forgot to ask the raiders and warriors about and also forgot that their were power lines underground before announcing it to the public?

remember the ballpark village he unveiled that was supposed to be just north of the coliseum but he decided that it would be too difficult to ask all the owners to sell to him and then he just threw up his hands?

remember all the hours he negotiated with oakland city council members? (oh yeah me neither)

I'd say that some would interpret these actions to be just a tiny bit deceitful, don't ya think?

Anonymous said...

how about the I-880 a's of fremont?

Jeffrey said...

I heard the same comment and was likewise intrigued.

My thought was something like "Silicon Valley Athletics @ Fremont" with a small fee from the SV Chamber to ensure that it happens. But I guess the Juniper Networks Athletics @ Fremont" playing at Cisco Field is just perfect.

I like Ronn Owens take on the name Los Angeles of Anaheim.

James said...

Anon 2:50, please decribe the "horrific traffic and access problems associatied with this proposal" to which you refer.

Jeffrey said...

Apparently someone has to learn the definition of lie. Neither ballpark proposal in Oakland was a lie. They were proposed.

You should go back and read what some of the landowners in Oakland said about letting him buy their parcels and them moving their business.

And... how about all the time the city council and mayors of Oakland spent trying to work to get a ballpark proposal together. I guess you weren't in those meetings either.

I agree with ML. Let the anons post. They are their own worst enemies.

Ricky Hall of Fame said...

I'm listening to the archived broadcast of the Wolff interview as I type this. As expected, nothing much was said on Fre(ak)mont since there is nothing much to say right now. Much kudos to the guy who mentions how the A's get a good deal on rent right now. That took balls (no pun of course).

Edit: If this is a double-post, that's because I had trouble sending the post.

James said...

Anon 4:42 said: remember the ballpark in the coliseum parking lot that he forgot to ask the raiders and warriors about and also forgot that their were power lines underground before announcing it to the public?

James replies: When was this ever a plan? The parking lot option was just that, an option! He never said he was going to build in the parking lot, merely that it was being investigated.

Anon 4:42 said: remember the ballpark village he unveiled that was supposed to be just north of the coliseum but he decided that it would be too difficult to ask all the owners to sell to him and then he just threw up his hands?

James replies: No, I don't remember that, but what I do remember is him saying all along that he wanted nothing to do with eminent domain proceedings, i.e., he didn't want the City or County to take the property against the owners' wishes. Even if he had been willing to do that, it would have added probably another 5 to 10 years onto the process, especially given the fact that almost any feasible Oakland option involved multiple property owners.

Anon 4:42 said: remember all the hours he negotiated with oakland city council members? (oh yeah me neither)

James replies: No, I don't remember him negotiating with Oakland officials at all. I do know he had discussions with Oakland city counsel members and I also know that former Mayor Jerry Brown decided that the City had other priorities went so far as to effectively fire Robert Bobb as city manager because he was a supporter of keeping the A's in Oakland.

Anon 4:42 asked: I'd say that some would interpret these actions to be just a tiny bit deceitful, don't ya think?

James replies: I think you need to look up the word deceive in the dictionary. Wolff never obligated the A's to stay in Oakland, he simply said that he would work with Oakland and at one point that was his priority. If the Mayor doesn't want the A's and goes so far as to push out the city manager over the issue, why would Wolff want to stay in Oakland. Wolff never signed anything commiting the team to stay in Oakland. So where is the deception? Where are the lies? Say, for example, you are looking at a house that you're interested in purchasing, you go back several times, talk to the owners and the neighbors, and then a newer, bigger, better house down the road becomes available, have you deceived the old owner? Of course not.

Try coming up with a plausible argument.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy ... didn't think I've have to explain what traffic on the 880 is all about to you ... wow.

Georob said...

You know folks, we really have to stop responding to the anonymous posters. They just say what they want in order to get a reaction.

Which brings me to one of the calls to KGO this morning. It was from someone claiming that the Fremont stadium will make less money for the A's. Unfortunately, Lew Wolff waited for the caller to say his peace and then hang up(kind of like an anonymous poster) before "respectfully disagreeing"

What Wolff should have done was to stop the caller right there and ask why they thought Fremont wouldn't make as much money for the team.

Of course, like an anonymous poster; the guy probably would have said something like "Why? because I said so, that's why!"

Anonymous said...

anthony dominguez

Back to the BART to Warm Springs topic. R.M., I've heard in the past that the WSX would only happen if the extension all the way into San Jose/Santa Clara was to become a reality. So with this news, I guess it's safe to assume that BART to SJ/SC is closer to becoming a reality. And if Fremont will receive $65 million from the transportation bond for BART, it makes you wonder how much of that bond pie SCCo. will get for the rest of the extension (do I hear a $billion?). As for the future Warm Springs station, which could be a multi-modal station with future high speed rail, I still say build a "Vegas airport-like" tram between the station and Cisco Field. The easier that fans, both East Bay and South Bay, can get to The Yard, the better.

Marine Layer said...

That was the prevailing opinion, but it appears that supporters of the WSX are doing an endaround the normal federal funding process, which is based on ridership estimates. Now we're seeing why the WSX and San Jose extensions we decoupled - they'll be funded in vastly different ways. I don't think it portends an easier time for the SJ extension.

Fremont citizens will be concerned about the siphoning of $60 million. That leaves only $1 million per year until 2033, not much when you factor in the size of Fremont and inflation.

James said...

Anon 4:42 aka 6:59.

Well, that's the first time you brought up I-880 and I'm happy to address that with you, even though it's been discussed ad nauseum in previous posts.

Extensive improvements to the Nimitz in south Fremont are well under way and will be completed well before the the opening of Cisco Field. In addition, there is another major Interstate freeway, I-680, just a mile and a half down the road. Factor in that Fremont Blvd. will be extended to the Milpitas Border and the fact that Warm Springs Blvd. becomes Milpitas Blvd at the county line and there are several other major surface roads in the immediate vicinity which will serve stadium traffic coming from the Tri-City area and north-east SC County, and your point is, quite simply, moot.

As an aside, I note you don't offer any rebuttal to the arguments I set forth in my response to your simplistic post. I take that to mean that you have no substantive argument. But if you want to repeat your history, feel free to bring up new issues and I'm happy to respond.


Anonymous said...

How 'bout the ...


kinda catchy, don't ya think?

bartleby said...

James, you definitely have a lot more patience for dimwits than I do. Keep up the good work though. Your willingness to repeatedly rebut tired assertions in these arm-waving posts that have already been discredited multiple times is undoubtedly a benefit to those new to the board.

As far as selling the location name of the team, MLB will not let the A's slap a corporate name on the team. And I can't see anyone paying for "Silicon Valley." It's not a real place, with a real advertising budget. The tech businesses here would see far more benefit spending their marketing budget on promoting their own companies than some vague, imaginary place called "Silicon Valley."

Cities, of course, are another matter. Cities often have large marketing budgets, and benefit directly from raising their profile by increased tourism as well as businesses seeking to relocate there.

Hmmm, now can anyone think of a large, affluent city in the general vicinity of Fremont, with a keen interest in raising its profile?

(Can't say I like the precedent this would set though, of cities being shaken down to keep their names on local teams).

James said...

That's no better than the "I-hope-I-don't-get-shot-or-carjacked-going-to-a-baseball-game-in-Oakland-A's."

Kinda accurate, don't ya think?

accountablevta said...

Don't get all too excited. BART can only build a tunnel only without tracks and the station with that available funding. The remaining funding requires the San Jose extension to go forward. VTA already one strike against them in raising the sales tax for BART two years ago and the time is running out.

BART is no longer a major consideration once the decision was made to move the stadium. The proposed stadium is no different than the existing Candlestick from BART and Caltrain.

Anonymous said...

annon 8:51 is correct, you are one of the good anons and I agree with you.

Now, as to the last caller, I don't think there have been any shootings or crime at the coliseum and parking lot itself. There's not a lot of crime in the parking lot other than raider games and the area right outside is bad, but not the worst becuase no one lives right next to it.

anon-a-mouse said...

Bravo James! Keep swatting those flies.

Marine Layer said...

Can you explain further, accountablevta? The EIR has in the original budget the tunnel, RoW acquisition, and the single Warm Springs station. The Irvington station was considered optional almost from the beginning.

accountablevta said...

The local funding from the Alameda County sales tax requires a rail connection or extension from Warm Springs before any funding can be provided for WSX. Since the commitment from Santa Clara County is uncertain, since there's no new sales tax passed, the local funding cannot be spent, although has been programmed.

BART is planning to spend what they have for the tunnels, with tracks and the station. The ROW has been acquired.

Whatever bond money provided for WSX comes from the deal with SamTrans for handing operating cost responsibility for the SFO extension. SamTrans basically gave up its shares of Prop 1b transit funds, in addition to giving about $1 million every year. SamTrans was originally required to contribute operating surplus (which there's none) for the WSX.

Is there a $1 billion extra Prop 1b bond funds for BART in Santa Clara County? Nope. Whatever it has is committed for bus rapid transit in the South Bay.

Anonymous said...

anthony dominguez

Can you prove your last paragraph regarding Prop. 1B funds and bus rapid transit in SCCo.. (link to source). I have never heard this one before. And while a $billion may be a stretch, how do you know no Prop. 1B funds will go towards BART to SJ? Again, site your source, thanks.

Anonymous said...

How about the ...

"Toxicwastedumpsite A's at Fremont"

James said...

Anon 4:19 -- ahhh, I see you've been spending time over at Camp OAFC. Let me set the record straight. The Cisco Field/Pacific Commons site is not now and never has been a toxic waste site or a dump. It was a former airport (Sky Sailing Airport) and auto race track (Fremont Raceway). If you want to post crap like that, you really ought to learn the facts first.

anon-a-mouse said...

"you really ought to learn the facts first."

Ha! That would be a first from that crowd.