You can re-enter Fremont in the Oakland A’s sweepstakes after the city — as predicted here last summer — has pitched the now-closing NUMMI auto plant site as a possible stadium site. This is adjacent to the Warm Springs site that was previously rejected, in part because of opposition from NUMMI.
The Fremont plan is still a bit hazy, but would apparently involve the city buying the 370-acre property with redevelopment funds (i.e., bonds based on kicking back future property taxes, aka TIFs), building roads and other infrastructure, then handing over 120 acres to the A’s for a stadium. No word on whether the A’s would pay rent on the site, though it’s probably ominous that Mayor Bob Wasserman called a ballpark a potential “catalyst for development,” which in these cases usually means “loss leader.”
The one new twist is that the plan would be put up to a public vote in November, something that previous Fremont plans would not have. The Fremont Citizens Network, whose protests helped kill the earlier plans last year, has vowed to defeat this one too, with president Kathy McDonald promising, “If this ridiculous thing actually goes to a vote in November, I guarantee that our campaign will not only be about defeating this proposal, but replacing a few heads.”
Meanwhile, Oakland city leaders are still pushing for their own stadium plans, with local political bigwigs starting the nonprofit group Let’s Go Oakland! to stump for a stadium at one of four sites. They already have 30,216 Facebook fans, so look out, San Jose!