Thursday, January 28, 2010

Congratulations, San Jose Earthquakes

Congratulations to the San Jose Earthquakes (owned by A's co-owner Lew Wolff) on breaking ground for their new training facilities. The facility, across from SJC, is adjacent to land for the team's proposed European-style stadium. The training facility, as well as the eventual stadium, will solidify Major League Soccer's presence in Silicon Valley, but it also bodes well for efforts to bring the A's to town. Let's hope its a sign of things to come in 2010.

Read the Mercury article here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Discontent in Fremont

Not surprisingly, Fremont is not united in its new pursuit of the A's. Amongst other things, the powerful Fremont Citizens Network has this to say about plans to transform NUMMI into a ballpark:

Mr. Diaz [Fremont city manager] needs to look at the recent decline in city services, rise in crime, and the dissatisfaction of our residents. He must realize that every time he moves a dollar to the Redevelopment Fund ... It is taking away education dollars the schools desperately need.

Until it closes, Fremont's NUMMI is the only auto manufacturing facility in California. It is also the only one west of the Mississippi. It currently maintains about 4,700 jobs on-site and has created about 20,000 jobs state-wide. Read more at FCN's forums here.

And here's what The Oakland Tribune has to say about mounting citizen opposition to Fremont's plan:

Hundreds of residents rallied against a previous stadium plan last year, with some saying they would welcome a vote and a chance to unseat council members who support the stadium.

"We're better armed this time," said Kathy McDonald, president of the Fremont Citizens Network, which worked to kill a previous stadium proposal.

"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."

Read the full article here.

Unlike Fremont, San Jose has actively sought community input. In fact, the next Diridon Good Neighbor Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27th. Details can be found at the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Here We Go Again...

The Mercury News has just reported that Fremont is making a new bid for the A's, this time at the soon-to-be abandoned NUMMI site:

At the request of Major League Baseball, the city has developed plans for a 36,000 seat ballpark in south Fremont on land owned by the NUMMI auto plant.

The city proposes to buy the land and make infrastructure improvements, including a pedestrian bridge to a new BART station, while the ballpark would be built with private funds.

The city of Fremont will release details this upcoming Tuesday. Read the full Mercury article here.

If Fremont begins to actively pursue the A's at NUMMI, it will be interesting to see what the reaction from the plant's 4,500 workers will be. This weekend, they are picketing The Silicon Valley International Auto Show in San Jose, hoping to discourage buyers from purchasing cars from one of NUMMI's two occupant automakers, Toyota (Read KCBS' story here). We will be watching for their reaction to the city's new plans for the site.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More Giant Missteps

Yesterday, the San Francisco Giants illustrated, yet again, how dirty they're willing to get in their attempts to block San Jose's pursuit of the A's. Watch Dog Silicon Valley was the first to report that the Giants have begun to employ push poll tactics by asking San Jose citizens how likely they are to support "Team owners [receiving] millions in city funds leaving less money for San Jose firefighters, police, libraries, and parks."

Interestingly, the poll does not ask how citizens feel about city money going to a minor league team's facilities. Aside from being completely erroneous and misleading, the Giants' latest tactics illustrate an increasingly panicky tone inside their organization. One also has to wonder how the Giants' loyal San Jose fans are going to react to being denied the opportunity to decide for themselves if the A's should come here. I would suspect not very well. Yet, the Giants clearly believe that they, not San Jose, know what's best for the city. Read WDSV's whole post here.

Meanwhile, San Jose Inside has Councilman Sam Liccardo's reaction, including what bringing the A's to town would mean for the San Jose Giants:

The poll also asks people if they’d be okay with bringing a team to San Jose if the San Jose Giants are forced to leave. “That’s a message we’ve been hearing over and over, which by the way, is not true,” he says. “I expect they will soon present poll results that reflect that manipulation.”

Read SJI's whole post here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Major Fail

Happy New Year to everyone!  I have one prediction for this year: San Jose will become a Major League City, regardless of what some San Francisco based front groups want you to believe.

Speaking of front groups, how is it that the SF Giants front group "Stand for San Jose" didn't think through their name better?  "SFSJ" clearly isn't putting San Jose first, it is a group founded, funded and formed by the SF Giants, and one look at the abbreviation of their group's name clearly shows what the groups focus really is: San Francisco first.

We also have another major fail by SFSJ, which decided to send a one page letter to the Mayor of San Jose, Chuck Reed.  The letter, as expected, is short on substance and contains false information (but what else would you expect from SFSJ?)  The San Jose Mercury points out in today's paper:
In its letter, the coalition also writes that the terms of the agreement would require an annual economic benefits report card issued by a major accounting firm. "Responsible City governments like those in Washington D.C. and Phoenix, Arizona instituted similar Taxpayer Protection Policies," the letter reads.

In fact, neither city has anything like the coalition's proposal on its books, according to spokesmen in both places.
 Kudos to Mayor Chuck Reed who stepped up to the plate and hit a home run with this great quote:
"I think this front organization for the San Francisco Giants should go to San Francisco and talk to their puppet masters and tell them to get out of the way so we can negotiate some guarantees,'' Reed said.
 Speaking of guarantees I guarantee that SFSJ will continue to use lies and deception in their misguided attempt to keep San Jose shackled to San Francisco. 

And I want to thank everyone for their continued efforts to grow our Facebook group, we are almost at 1100 members!  Keep on sending people to our group and don't forget to follow us on Twitter.

Play ball San Jose.