The Oakland A's plan to relocate the francise ballpark to Fremont, a plan to which local opposition had been growing increasingly fierce, has now officially been cancelled and read it's last rites.
The Fremont project named above involved building not just a stadium, but a "ballpark village" at the cost of $1.8 billion. Yes, that said billion with a "b."
A "ballpark village" is apparently a new baseball park that also includes over 3,000 units of housing and a half million square feet of high-end retail shops, all built immediately adjacent to a wildlife reserve. This esoteric "ballpark village" idea made only slightly more sense than the 49ers unhinged mid-90s quest to build a "stadium-shopping mall" in Bayview-Hunter's Point. Because, you know, Bayview-Hunter's Point is such a logical place for a Nordstrom's.
Now the hot theory is that the A's will attempt to finagle their way into San Jose. While the Peninsula and South Bay areas are technically deeded by Major League Baseball as Giants' territory, there's this enormous, horrible recession currently in progress which might soften up MLB's resolve. South Bay residents are already photoshopping their big ideas as we speak.
So the status quo is safely intact for at least another few years -- A's fans can still watch their team play home games in Oakland, and the Raiders will still play much of their early season in the infield dirt. It's not exactly the Cadillac of stadium arrangements, but it's been the local custom for awhile now and it's essentially become established tradition. In my day, we played football on baseball field dirt, and during baseball season we had 10,000 empty seats in the upper deck! That's the way it was, and we liked it that way!
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is still holding his breath for them to build a Nordstrom's in Bayview-Hunter's Point.