Oakland A's stadium plans delayed

February 18, 2009 10:56:43 PM PST
The Oakland Athletics are reportedly delaying and possibly halting a move to Fremont because of opposition from residents who live near the team's proposed stadium site.

A's owner Lew Wolff is putting the brakes on plans for a new stadium in Fremont. "If the stadium is over there, we're going to get trouble in our neighborhood, really bad traffic," Fremont resident John Tu said. Tu is relieved the stadium project is on hold.

Residents voiced strong opposition at council meetings about the site on Warm Springs Boulevard, opposite a proposed BART station.

The decision by the A's Wolff cancels a scheduled pitch to the council next Tuesday. The Major League Baseball president was going to be there.

An A's spokesman told ABC7 that Wolff wants to take a step back and do what's right for Fremont and its residents.

"The opportunity for the city was endless, but that of course is a matter of opinion. I think it may be that we're having the best opportunity we've ever had slip away from us," a disappointed Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said.

Construction of the A's ballpark is projected to create over 3,300 jobs over a two-year period, according to the team's analysis, but it is traffic impact that has bothered residents the most.

"I love the A's, but I don't want them here; I didn't want them on Auto Mall either," Fremont resident Kevin McElroy said.

But some residents say they would welcome a Fremont ballpark.

"Being out of Newark, I would like to have the team here; I would go to more games myself," Newark resident Phil Strong said.

The situation in Fremont rekindles speculation that maybe the A's might want to reconsider a plot in downtown San Jose that is near the Arena. However, sources say they do not want the two cities pitted against each other.

The A's spokesperson said the team might look at the original Fremont site along the bay near Auto Mall Parkway, which also ran into opposition; or it might go another direction, but there is no timetable for the next step.


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