OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: People walk to the stadium prior to the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders NFL game at McAfee Coliseum on September 8, 2008 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff had chosen Fremont as his proposed new home of the Athletics because of the cheap land, built-in fan base, and access to public transportation. But he's being held up by something he didn't know Fremont had to offer -- angry residents with pitchforks and torches.
Fremont community advocates have become increasingly vocal over opposing the new A's ballpark -- and now they've got the plan in legitimate limbo. Wolff cancelled an appearance before Fremont City Council next week and says he's reconsidering his options.
"I've postponed the meetings because we had so many people lined up to yell at us," Wolff said, at least getting points for honesty.
In turn, Fremont officials have suspended an environmental impact report underway. What they have not sduspended is the 30-day period for citizens to submit their feedback. See how that works? The process is officially suspended, but the clock is still ticking on residents to provide feedback. Said activist Kathy McDonald, "This is just another one of Lew Wolff's games."
The A's have proposed two stadium sites. One is adjacent to the Pacific Commons Shopping Center, and is opposed by several shopping center tenants. The other is in Warm Springs, next to an automobile plant owned by New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (deliciously abbreviated as NUMMI). The NUMMI plant contends that 82 games of baseball would interfere with the speedy production of automobiles.
Bay Area sports fans have long despised any attempts by local franchises to relocate. But fans may not appreciate that they always one ace up their sleeve -- the constant inability of ownership to perform due diliigence in the communities they think they're moving into.