The Oakland A's Ballpark Village - Should the City of
Fremont Take the Risk?
Tri-City Voice, August 20, 2008
is a sense of excitement that Fremont could get a major
league sports team. I like baseball myself. My son even
played on a team called the A's this year. But one
should not let this excitement lead us into making a
decision that could cost the City in the long run.
needs to remember that this is not just about a
ballpark. It's about a ballpark, 3,150 homes, and over
500,000 square feet of retail. All three of these items
will generate significant traffic and demand for city
it's possible that a Ballpark Village could function
well and improve Fremont's financial situation, the
current proposal is fraught with numerous potential
problems and uncertainty. I believe that it would be
irresponsible for the City not to thoroughly analyze and
discuss all of the potential problems that a project of
this size could bring.
Traffic, parking, and transit options - Stadiums create
very intense traffic and parking demands. The solutions
that have been mentioned to date are still problematic.
Unlike the high-tech jobs that Cisco, or other high-tech
employers, would have brought to the area, the retail
and ballpark jobs that this project would create are
virtually all lower-paying, service-sector jobs. They're
not the kind of jobs that typically would allow one to
buy a house in Fremont. Thus, these workers would likely
be coming from other locales, adding hundreds of
additional cars to the local freeways and parking lots.
Remember that 3 out of 4 days of the year are not game
days. If 75% of retail sales at the Ballpark Village on
non-game days come from outside of Fremont, this would
create significant additional traffic on 880. This
project would undoubtedly pull retail dollars away from
existing retail centers in the City's historic
Also, let's take a closer look at where this projected
$19 million dollars in tax revenue will go. Roughly 80%,
$15.6 million, will flow directly to the Redevelopment
Agency (RDA), not into the Fremont general fund.
Redevelopment Agency funds are used solely to pursue
further development and to make payments on bond debts
from previous RDA projects. They cannot be used for
funding city services such as the fire department, the
police department, and maintenance of roads and other
city facilities. Only $3.6 to $4.7 million/year will
actually be paid into the Fremont General Fund, to
provide the extensive city services that this complex
Before approving this proposal, the city needs to take a
serious look at how to address the traffic issues,
whether this development will generate enough funds to
cover its costs, and whether it might not be a better
idea to preserve this land for businesses that could
provide high paying jobs to Fremont residents.
more detailed analysis, view my complete statement at:
Candidate for Fremont City Council