Oakland owners submit development bid for new stadium
FREMONT, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics' ownership group on Thursday applied to the City of Fremont to develop 226 acres for a new ballpark and surrounding village.
The City of Fremont is expected to take between 12 and 18 months to review the team's application. If approved, the A's would like to break ground on a new stadium -- to be called Cisco Field -- as soon as possible.
The stadium -- with a price tag of around $500 million that will primarily come from private funds -- would seat between 30,000 and 34,000 fans, an intimate venue with an impressive range of technological capabilities and surrounding features outside the fences.
A's owner Lew Wolff, a Los Angeles real estate developer, also plans to build residential and commercial properties on the land along with a new elementary school. Public transportation to the venue is still a hurdle.
"The intense planning process has helped us create a proposal that we believe will benefit both the city and the A's,'' Wolff said. "We have spent a lot of time in the last year listening to the community and engaging experts in the fields of transportation, architecture and technology.''
The A's, in partnership with Cisco Systems, Inc., agreed to purchase 143 acres of land from Cisco in Fremont, about 20 miles south of the current stadium. The team hopes the new ballpark could open in time for the 2011 season.
"We're not moving to Timbuktu, we're going down the road in our mind,'' Wolff has said. "We're doing the best we can.''
All Wolff has said regarding his team's new name is that there will be something in front of the phrase "Athletics of Fremont.''
The A's had been trying unsuccessfully for years to find a suitable site in Oakland for a new stadium. Moving to Fremont, Wolff said, was the only option to keep the A's in the Bay Area and not force the franchise to move out of California.
Oakland team officials realize that sharing the run-down Oakland Coliseum with the NFL's Oakland Raiders is no longer a viable option.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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