A’s Submit Proposal for New Ballpark

The Oakland Athletics on Thursday formally submitted their application to build a new ballpark, to be named Cisco Field, in Fremont, California.

The plan calls for a 32,000-seat ballpark (which will make it the smallest ballpark in the majors in terms of capacity) to form the centerpiece of a $1.8 billion mixed-use ‘ballpark village’ on a 226-acre site in the Pacific Commons area of the city, which is approximately 30 miles southeast of Oakland. The selected site is 22 miles from McAfee Coliseum, the A’s current home.

The project is to be financed by private equity and real estate sales.

The Athletics have spent several months working out the details of the plan in negotiations with the city of Fremont, not all of which have been going according to plan. A’s owner Lew Wolff acquired the land in May of this year.

The development will include 3,150 new residential units and 540,000 square feet of retail and mixed use space, as well as a new elementary school to serve the village.

The team now faces a wait of between 12 and 18 months for the City of Fremont to review the application. An Environmental Impact Review must be carried out, while residents and tenants in the surrounding area will have a chance to put their ideas regarding the transportation and parking impacts of the ballpark.

The Athletics have already agreed a 30-year naming rights deal for the new ballpark with Cisco Systems, which will use the ballpark to showcase new technology. Cisco envisions a ballpark where fans can gain ticketless access via their cell phones, and order concessions from their seats using mobile technology. This is going to be the ballpark of the future. Depicted below is an early artist’s concept:

Cisco Field

The benefits of this new ballapark, according to the A’s, will be to:

  • Bring thousands of jobs to Fremont and the surrounding area during the construction phase, and then the hundreds of ongoing jobs at the ballpark and surrounding village.
  • Address transportation challenges with a comprehensive approach that will include utilization of nearby rail and bus route options, and a link to the future Warm Springs BART Station.
  • Include a unique mixed-use plan that calls for new residences, along with entertainment and upscale shopping options, creating a vibrant neighborhood for all Fremont residents to enjoy.
  • Implement “green” building standards into the stadium and sustainable development practices, while also creating a significant number of new landscaped open spaces for activity and relaxation.
  • Generate additional revenue from the ballpark and accompanying baseball village that will contribute to the city’s general fund and help pay for vital city services, such as police, fire and street repair.
  • Include a brand-new, state-of-the-art elementary school to serve the student population generated by the project, constructed at no additional cost to the Fremont Unified School District. The school will be built so children living in the village won’t affect the student body size at Fremont’s existing elementary schools.

This sounds like an exciting project. The A’s are playing in a pretty crappy stadium right now, and they deserve a new ballpark. I hope it gets resolved sooner rather than later.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on November 9, 2007.

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