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DLD 020609: Warm Springs Infernal

There’s an axiom in political event planning: never book a room you can’t fill. Nothing looks worse on camera than a bunch of empty seats, but by contrast, a standing-room-only crowd makes your (candidate/cause/publicity stunt) look vibrant and in high demand.

The A’s apparently took this thought to heart, as the intimate event they’d planned for 25 or so Fremont residents became a throng of 700 protestors who turned out in opposition to what’s become the A’s new preferred Fremont ballpark site, near the future Warm Springs BART station. Also near the New United Motors (NUMMI) plant, and a bunch of current residents just across the 680 freeway.

More than 700 protesters, according to police estimates, lined the street outside Weibel Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. holding up anti-A's signs and chanting "No Stadium."

…The rally was organized to demonstrate the opposition in Fremont's Warm Springs district to the team's proposal to build a ballpark near the planned Warm Springs BART station, and across Interstate 680 from a residential neighborhood. Residents fear the ballpark would lead to added traffic problems and result in fans parking on their streets and walking through their neighborhood.

…With such a large turnout for the rally, A's officials cancelled the planned information session and invited 500 of the protestors into the school's multi-purpose room to field their questions.

As usual, the Newballpark Blog is a fine place to find information. The A’s plan for the Warm Springs site appears to be "decoupled" from the housing component which ostensibly will pay for the park…in other words, no more "ballpark village," just a village at Site A to pay for the ballpark somewhere at Site B. That presumably would be the same plan to be used for a San Jose ballpark. Or an Oakland one.
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