A's, Cisco reach deal to build ballpark in Fremont
FREMONT, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics have reached a deal with Cisco Systems Inc. to build a ballpark in southern Fremont, according to city officials who met with the team's owner.
The agreement would create a 32,000- to 35,000-seat ballpark to be named Cisco Field on a 143-acre parcel held by the company. If the plan is approved by the city, the A's could begin playing there as soon as 2011.
A's owner Lew Wolff presented diagrams of the future stadium in meetings with four Fremont City Council members on Wednesday, but details of the deal were not discussed, Mayor Bob Wasserman said Thursday.
Wasserman said the city has not determined how much money it will ask for from the A's to pay for city services to support the ballpark.
"We have to get enough to make it feasible for us," he said, adding that the A's have not discussed with the city plans for financing. "It's going to require a lot of services, it's going to require a lot of things from the city ... I don't have a dollar figure, but it's the kind of thing I'll know when I see a good deal."
A formal announcement of the deal was planned for Tuesday at Cisco's San Jose headquarters, Wasserman said.
Wolff wouldn't speak to reporters Wednesday as he left the meetings. Team and Cisco officials declined to comment.
The deal is contingent on the city approving a large-scale development plan for the ballpark, which will be surrounded by homes and shops on the parcel west of Interstate 880, Wasserman said. Cisco holds a 34-year lease on the land, and has the option to buy the property in the next three years.
The A's, who share the Oakland Coliseum with the NFL's Oakland Raiders, have been searching for a suitable location and funding for a new stadium for several years. Last March, Wolff confirmed the A's interest in exploring a move to Fremont, about 25 miles south of Oakland on the east side of San Francisco Bay. The ballpark would be about 5.4 miles from the Fremont BART station.
Wolff did not indicate when he planned to submit an application to the city for development -- which would prompt a review process that could take two years -- although council members said they expected to receive one shortly after next week's planned announcement.
Some major issues facing the ballpark include traffic, parking and accessible public transportation.
The question of whether to rename the team also is in the air, although Wolff offered "Fremont A's" and "Silicon Valley A's" as possibilities, city officials said.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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