Pages

20 February 2009

Now it's official

Notice of Cancelation [sic]

The A’s Ballpark project agenda item including the Notice of Preparation (NOP) has been canceled from the February 24, 2009 Council Meeting.

The Oakland A's have requested that both the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Notice of Preparation (NOP) processes be stopped while they take time to evaluate the options. The City has also directed our environmental consultant to stop work on the project.

The February 24, 2009 City Council public meeting regarding the A’s proposal has also been canceled.

Should the A’s wish to resume the project a new NOP will be issued and new comment period will be established.


DAWN G. ABRAHAMSON
CITY CLERK

Office of the City Clerk
(510) 284-4060
(510) 284-4061 Fax
cclerk@ci.fremont.ca.us

29 comments:

Dan said...

I think it's official. We can stick a fork in Fremont. Question becomes though, what now? San Jose is of course the elephant in the room, but if the Giants say no and MLB doesn't overrule them where does that leave the A's?

Anonymous said...

Well, there you have it. Next steps will be interesting. Will Fremont twist arms to get PC back on track? Will Wolff now turn his full attention to San Jose? Will he try again in Oakland? Something else? One thing seems certain: they'll be stuck in the Coliseum for awhile.

Zonis said...

If the A's get clearance from MLB to move to San Jose, how long would it take to get things done? How soon could they start working? How long would land acquisition take? Clearing the site? Building the Stadium?

Marine Layer said...

That's not how I think it's going to work, Zonis. MLB won't put themselves out on a limb like that. They may allow the two parties to talk. Only after the deal gets done will MLB officially bring up T-rights.

I have no idea whether a deal template is in place. I assume that it would take the rest of the year to consummate.

lemur's poker said...

ML, do you think that Crywolffisher would have bailed on Fremont in such a public fashion if they didn't have at least the rudiments of, or preliminary talks for, an alternative deal already in place? Without that precondition, it seems to me that they'd leave themselves with absolutely no leverage whatsoever for a deal with *any* municipality.

Marine Layer said...

The biggest lie Lew ever told was to say that he never had a Plan B.

Anonymous said...

Wasserman couldn't have sounded any more despondent in his assessment of what happened---I doubt that there will be an arm twisting by Fremont---like Dan said--time to stick a fork in it and move on-

ML--you mentioned a second site in SJ besides Diridon--can't wait until you give us your insight here--although Diridon seems pretty damn near perfect to me--

Jesse said...

I dont like the idea of dealing with the Giants, they might demand something like controlling the A's TV and Radio rights like the Orioles did when they negotiated with MLB on the Nationals deal.

That was the coolest part about Fremont, no dealing with the Giants and controlling your destiny.

The Giants are as close to a single team market as they could be right now, in every way that matters, the A's radio presence is volatile, they get piss poor attendance mon thru Thur each week, diminutive luxury suite revenues, weak TV ratings. The Giants dont want the A's in San Jose.

Nukom is no less a business man than Angelos, he will want the best deal and could care less about whats best for the A's. The A's better make Fremont or some other east bay site work.

Anonymous said...

Interesting email #1 from: Dirk Lorenz
Interesting email #2 from Nina Moore
http://www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat/

Tony D. said...

As has been stated in the past, the onus is now on San Jose to make something happen. As R.M. stated, MLB won't go out on a limb regarding the T-Rights UNLESS a ballpark will happen for sure in San Jose. Mark Purdy presented this same logic back in December; the MLB votes to deal the T-Rights are there, BUT ONLY if a ballpark in San Jose will happen as a result.

Jesse, it's not just about what's best for the Giants. It's about the A's and MLB as a whole. And in case you haven't noticed, the A's have new deals regarding radio and television, thus greatly enhancing their revenue. Add a NEW A'S BALLPARK and BAM! They're set!

Yes Jesse, as someone said here back in December, the Giants will "get their pound of flesh" in a possible deal for the T-Rights, but it won't be nearly as bad as you suggested.

For the record, not getting excited or overly optimistic for SJ yet, but it's looking pretty good.

bbison said...

I can't see the potential pound of flesh here being at all comparable to what the Nats paid. MLB was selling off/adding a second team to a regional market playing 40 miles away from an existing team. Here we have a team already in an existing market moving from 17 (driving) miles away from the other team to 48 miles away.

Screw territorial rights...once they broke ground at 3rd & King (7 miles farther away from Santa Clara County) those rights should have been nullified.

58edsil said...

I am very disappointed by the Fremont news. I was hoping a resolution at PC would surface, now I can only hope Oakland or San Jose will make an offer. After reading the Fremont resident's comments regarding Lorentz and Moore's e-mails, all I can say is wow. I have followed the potential stadium moves since the beginning and I am surprised how nasty these comments are getting. It's one thing to say you don't want the stadium in your area, but the lies and comments towards the A's and Mr Wolff are disgusting.

Tony D. said...

R.M.,
Just my own personal opinion, but I think the "two parties" are already talking with MLB's blessing (see last Thursdays meeting between Wolff, Reed and SJRA). It's just being reported in the press as talks regarding the Earthquakes proposed SSS only. Not suggesting they aren't talking soccer; just in conjunction with possible ballpark.

Jesse said...

The radio deal is only for a year. And the TV deal, I cant find anything on the internet about its length. I dont know if its 3 years or 5 years. How do we know its not 5 years, and the Giants cant say well when your stadium opens in 2014, you're coming back to Comcast Bay area and radio on 1050? Why NOT? San Jose is the Giants territory.

Fremont is the best place for this trust me. They shouldnt give up on PAC Commons, they should just design the damn thing to make the big box stores happy, and its not like theyre so married to the original concept. They were ready to bolt for warm springs.

None of this makes any damn sense right now. None of it.

Marc said...

In light of the stadium opponents logic, I think Santa Cruz should take similar steps by closing it's beaches to weekend access. All summer long, weekend beach goers from across the bay area travel to Santa Cruz, creating unsustainable traffic jams on Highway 1 and on streets throughout Santa Cruz. Think the beach has a positive economic impact? Just take a look at the blight that is the beach flats neighborhood. Nothing but crime and drugs. Look at all the low paying jobs at the boardwalk and surrounding tourist dives that attract the wrong element and drive down property values. Who pays the cost? The community. Who benefits? A bunch of developers and greedy tourist traps (and various people who think maybe freedom of culture and diversity of recreation needs for the larger bay area should come before the bottom dollar). Santa Cruz First!!! Stop the beach access. Who cares if anyone else can enjoy summer the way it was meant to be enjoyed, as long as I can avoid an occasional extra traffic jam. Me first, screw freedom, that's the new American way right?

Transic said...

We were told that this was a possibility but it's sad, nonetheless. Fremont would have given the A's their own facility for the first time since they arrive at Oakland 40 years ago. They really needed to control their own revenues to better compete against the Giants for the attention of the sports scene over there.

At least their lease isn't really that bad. They might pay a little more to re-up since they don't have much leverage now unless they settle at building the ballpark in Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Transic--they might have to re-up since they lost their leverage--what are you smoking---sure the Colisiem is gonna play hardball and turn down 81 plus dates of use---come on---who else they gonna get to use that pile?? They will be happy to have the A's play there until the ballpark in San Jose is done--

Anonymous said...

R.M.,

In retrospect, don't you think that the first bad move from Wolff is turning the focus to Warm Springs and not redesign the Ballpark Village project to please the BIG Box retailers? Think about it, they could have been ground breaking the darn stadium if they hadn't turned to Warm Springs and allowed the residents to wake up and notice.

Anonymous said...

Marc,

The ocean has been there for a long long time, together with its recreational users during the summer, correct? You moved there with that in mind. On the contrary, people moved to Fremont, for its good schools, clean streets and nice and quiet neighborhoods. Of course a developer's plan to come and destroy all these without creating anything better in its place will run into opposition by the residents.

BleacherDave said...

Thanks for all your hard work, ML. But, as I predicted on Day 1, this deal was unlikely to happen.

Let's go OAK-LAND!!!!

Marine Layer said...

BD, take the Oakland challenge! You're good with numbers, I know you can do it.

Transic said...

sure the Colisiem is gonna play hardball and turn down 81 plus dates of use---come on---who else they gonna get to use that pile?? They will be happy to have the A's play there until the ballpark in San Jose is done--

If the Fremont fail has taught anything it is that whatever you think would be the worst-case scenario might become more of a likely outcome than not. I would not be shocked if the Oakland stadium authority would use this as an opportunity to raise the rent a bit. Not prohibitively but something noticeable. If they have good accountants they would know how much money the A's would have gained if they had moved into a new ballpark with generous amounts of luxury and club seating minus the cost of relocating if it is even possible today, using those numbers as a basis of negotiating for better terms on their side. Two caveats to that are: 1. If the stadium authority does not have competent people and won't give the A's a hard time (definitely a possibly given recent history, the Raider thing notwithstanding); 2. The San Jose option actually pans out (the scenario you're most hoping for).

Right now it looks like MLB has two major headaches on their plate in the A's and Marlins. Neither are any closer to getting a permanent new facility any time soon. Neither have credible back-up locations if they can't get a new facility at the current cities, unless a miracle happens in Santa Clara or the ownership group postpones buying that new yacht or trips around the world to put in real $$$ for a ballpark. The Marlins may be in a worse financial shape because they're grossly underfunded but the A's ownership group seems to be getting gun-shy in spending funds for that ballpark, for various reasons.

Marc said...

Anonymous,

Citizens of Santa Cruz have as much right to look out for their interests as those of Fremont. Also, the beach has been there for a long time, but cars have not, and the number of cars has increased every decade far out of proportion with any monumentally expensive propositions of widening highway 1. The fact is that a certain parasitic element in Fremont has clearly demonstrated that we live in an America where private land ownership means nothing, and where the will of the most vigilant mob decides which cultural activities are allowed to create a little traffic and which are not. Apparently baseball is not. I wonder if churches will pass the Fremont test. They generate zero tax revenue. They tend to attract too much of the blue collar element and not enough high tech workers. They create neighborhood traffic jams and are usually built on lots that could house a large number of upscale residences. I guess there is a sympathetic elements with churches, but then what about mosques and synagogues. Fremont First! Freedom Last!

NoAsWS said...

The citizens of Santa Cruz have the right to make their decision. If they decide they don't want the beach business, they can close the beach. Then people will just go to other cities. If they decide the beach is good for them, they will keep it open.

Marc, thank you for reminding Fremont mayor this is a free-speech country. His job is to allow people to present opinions on both sides. There have never been an open forum to address the benefits and risks of the A's stadium in Fremont. The city and council keep saying this project is so important so the 5-member council should make the decision, not the citizens of Fremont.

Now, more and more people have the chance to study the proposal, and see many flaws in their pan. Have you seen any council member or city official challenge the A's? [One example is about property tax. The A's don't need to pay property tax. After residents point out, they "suddenly" say they will consider paying property tax.]

For two years, the stadium proponents fail to provide concrete facts and evidences to show the benefit of a baseball stadium. They just use the A’s rosy projection and tell people “it’s good for Fremont and we want it.” They purposely ignore all the risk and negative impacts, thinking they already have the council’s votes in their pocket.

Now, with A's pulling out from Fremont, the proponents "suddenly" feel the sense of urgency. Mr mayor, if the proposal is really so good to Fremont, why couldn't they make it work for the past 2 years? Where have you been to resolve all the issues and concerns?

A well-planned stadium would have been great for Fremont. But if it really cannot work out, why should Fremont take the risk?

Marc said...

NoAsWS,

The problem is that this "whats in it for me" philosophy you expound will ultimately lead to the breakdown of society. Santa Cruz should not have the right to close its beaches and Fremont should not have the right to drive out the A's. Communities should have a right to not pay for projects, and to limit projects which have clear moral or extreme environmental impacts. However, communities should not, on the mere incidental impacts like traffic, have the right to decide what cultural activities of a wholesome nature should be available to their society as a whole and which are not worth the traffic or lack of tax revenue. At that point, we see the beginning of the breakdown of civilization and the transition from community activism to selfish tribalism. The same arguments that destroyed the A's honest efforts could be used to drive away all cultural activities like parks, public beaches, churches, etc. They can all create traffic and none pay much tax revenue, in fact all pay less than the A's. As for this bs about a better plan, that is just a stalling tactic. Plans take 5 years to reach approval and during that 5 year period every imaginable disadvantage of a plan will be brought to light. What happened with warm springs is that the original plan was dissected under a microscope, warm springs was brought forward as an alternative that did not have some of those disadvantages, the original plan was interfered with, and it only took a few weeks to realize warm springs was clearly an inferior site overall. The A's would not have proposed the original plan if it was not reasonably assessed as the best overall. It's only real flaws were some traffic issues that most popular entertainment venues face and bothering a few greedy big box retailers. It is unfair to take one plan that has been put under a microscope for year and put it against other plans which have not been studied for their disadvantages. There will always be a plan that seems better and thus the 5 year process will always restart and never complete with infinite cost to the A's. The A's secured private land and were prepared to privately finance a structure providing cultural activities that a portion of the community enjoys. For another portion of the community to block that is simply tyranny of the mob and a complete breakdown of the free and cooperative spirit that civilization requires to survive. You thank me for reminding the Fremont mayor that the citizens must be free to speak to block this stadium. I say you are wrong. The citizens of Fremont should not be free to abolish property rights and to create a new standard for building which requires that every construction project must create tax profits unless it is so popular that not just a large number, but a majority of citizens want to attend it. That 'freedom' will lead to tyranny in which every church, mosque, park, theatre, museum, etc is seen as nuisance and anyone who enjoys a cultural activity that is not that of the majority of the moment will be persecuted. Either it makes it ok to persecute everyone who is not the majority, or else there is some reason that people who enjoy baseball must be a lower class of human being that beachgoers, muslims, christians, picnickers, opera fans, jews, etc.

Calvin said...

Maybe we should let people all over the world vote on the United State Presidency.

Marc said...

Calvin,

You are comparing Fremont to a sovereign country, that is the problem, Fremont is not a sovereign country. The freeways exposed to traffic and the mass transit options available were all built with state and federal money. Every little municipality in the country should not be going around trying to redefine property rights and making it so nothing can be built unless it can guarantee net tax revenues and not create traffic by drawing hard working Americans who freely want to visit it.

Calvin said...

Marc,

If you read enough news then you will know that China, Japan, and a lot of countries buy American debt. Without them we might unable to survive this financial crisis, and then there will not have such thing called the United States of America. There are export and import. We get oil from middle East, ship our design to China, and China manufacture the product and sell it to the world. People come to the States for business or for fun. They spend money here. The whole world is just a big model like Fremont -> California -> the United States.

If your cash flow philosophy really make sense, then people all over the world should have the right to vote on the USA presidency, but they don't. Why? because we have constitution and laws to regulate it.

So, let's go back to the basic. Does the law give Fremont residents right to decide this ballpark issue? If it does, then we do. No matter what you say.

We do not push the A's ballpark away. We only protest it. That is our right. A's choose to back out, not we. The reason they are leaving, I think M.L has very good point in one of his previous article "Let's just be friends".

Marc said...

Calvin,

I do recognize that some blame falls on the real estate market. However, it is possible that the A's would have moved forward with the project if things were going particularly smoothly, to avoid a straight out loss of everything they have already invested in the plan which they cannot get back if they cancel it. Also, I think there is blame to be placed on these greedy big box retailers, which probably bankrolled half of the protests because they are worried about construction blocking access to their going out of business sales.

However, reducing the sovereignty of Fremont and reducing the sovereignty of the USA are not the same thing. After all, below the level of the sovereignty of Fremont is the level of the sovereign rights of the private land owner, Cisco. So then does letting Fremont decide how Cisco should use its private land mean letting the world vote on the US president also? The fact is that a US city fighting and killing with red tape a privately financed stadium on private land is relatively unprecedented. Is it legal? Yes, currently. Would blocking a church, closing a park, etc be legally. Yes, also currently. But such laws were intended to block giant construction in the middle of existing residential neibhorhoods, undesirable industrial activities like sewage and chemical plants, etc. They were never designed to block cultural works on the outskirts of a town. The fact is that laws are typically created with some expectation that they will be responsibly used. For a patriotic citizen to be outraged when such laws are twisted into instruments of monoculturalism is perfectly understandable, and has nothing to do with US foreign policy.