Saturday, January 12, 2008

3 sports team are moving to suburban

Oakland A's are moving to Fremont.
San Francisco are moving to Santa Clara.
Oakland Raiders eye Dublin Site for Stadium
Dublin officials don't share Raiders' interest in site
City officials were surprised to find Oakland Raiders representatives at a Thursday event for developers interested in Camp Parks land.

Mayor Janet Lockhart said it was a "very casual exchange," but Raiders officials approached her to say "they thought it would be a cool idea to put a stadium out here."

No formal presentation has been made to Dublin, and Raiders officials say they are committed to Oakland, but they were interested in learning more about the federal land swap process. The Army is looking at giving 180 acres of Camp Parks, along Dublin Boulevard, to a developer in exchange for improvements on the remainder of the Army Reserve base.

Mark Davis, the son of Raiders' owner Al Davis, and Tom Blanda, the Raider's finance and technology director, attended the day-long session in Dublin. Although the Raiders' lease at McAfee Coliseum is set to expire in 2010, the Raiders' chief executive Amy Trask said Friday not to put too much stock into the Dublin visit.

"We have had discussion with the city Oakland and county of Alameda and are working with them in good faith, as they are working with us in good faith," Trask said. "We are exploring opportunities for the team to remain in Oakland."

Speaking to the East Bay Business Times on Friday, Blanda said, "Our comments were more hypothetical, not based on a desire to move this club." Blanda too said the team is meeting in "good faith" with Oakland and Alameda County but said the team wants to investigate tax breaks or other advantages there might be found elsewhere.

"That just helps us to continue to negotiate in good faith and to continue to negotiate with the highest level of ... not options, but knowing as much as we can know going into negotiations," Blanda said.

Lockhart said Dublin would not be interested in becoming the heart of the Raider Nation anyway. The suburban city of 43,000 could not handle the impacts of a huge Raiders fan crowd.

"It would shut down Dublin on game day," Lockhart said.

Football stadiums belong in bigger cities that can provide parking and buffers to shield residents from game day revelry, Lockhart said. That could not happen in Dublin, where fans would either come on BART or pack an already congested Interstate 580 to get there.

Then there is also the question of what to do with a giant stadium during the rest of the year.

Councilman Tony Oravetz, who first heard about Raiders stadium interest on Friday, said he would be interested in learning more. He said four years ago when Bishop Ranch Developer Alex Mehran was interested in putting a baseball stadium in as part of proposed large-scale project, Oravetz was interested.

"That I was highly in favor of," Oravetz said. "As a sports fan, those things I don't reject out of hand."

Camp Park spokeswoman Amy Phillips said she wasn't aware of any Raiders discussion. She said Camp Parks itself wouldn't pick a developer or have a say on what goes on the land, those decisions would be made by Army Reserve national leaders.

This isn't the first time a professional team has shown interest in Dublin. In 1996, there were talks of the Oakland A's building a stadium near the I-580/680 corridor.

Five years later, the San Jose Sharks wanted to build two ice rinks and gym at Emerald Glen Park for public use. That project sparked resident outrage and the hockey team backed off from the idea a few months later.

No comments:

Subscribe To My Podcast