The idea of bringing the A’s to San Jose is quickly moving from thinking out loud to formal campaign:
The campaign to bring the Oakland Athletics to San Jose will be launched at the April 7 City Council meeting, city officials decided Wednesday.
Speaking before a crowd of 40 plus representatives from TV and radio stations at the city’s rules committee meeting, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said the city has a second chance to bring baseball to San Jose now that Lew Wolff, owner of the baseball team, has given up on Fremont.
“All right, it’s time for baseball. We know we have a great market for professional sports and we have a site identified,” the mayor said referring to the property assembled by the city on Park Avenue and Autumn/Montgomery streets. “Although the EIR is done, it’s not 100 percent ready. But we can prepare ourselves.”
Not that everyone is on board:
In the crowd were several people who spoke against the idea of building a stadium near downtown, including one man who hoisted a sign that read “A’s OK in San Jose But Not Taxes.”
Kathryn Mathewson, a representative of the Shasta Hanchett neighborhood, said no other issue has raised as much interest among her neighbors as reopening the discussion of whether to bring the A’s to San Jose.
“There’s so much interest, mostly negative,” she said. “It’s the location. From what I’ve seen of the ballpark in San Francisco, it destroyed the neighborhood. A deadening happens. The kind of businesses that come to a ballpark are not what I want to see in San Jose.”
“A deadening?” Is that really true? I’m no expert on San Francisco history, but my understanding was that the South Beach neighborhood — where AT&T Park sits — was basically homeless encampments, dilapidated warehouses, grown-over storage yards and rusty piers. Sure, the kind of development seen around the ballpark there comes with its own set of concerns — pricing out lower income people and businesses chief among them — but we’re not talking about an even arguably vibrant working class neighborhood, are we?