Suprise Poll shows 51% of Oaklanders support downtown ballpark
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| By ramjet1 on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 08:32 am:|
Surprise support for A's ballpark Backing linked to revitalization plan
By Robert Gammon
OAKLAND -- A recent poll commissioned by the city reveals that 51 percent of Oakland registered voters would support a downtown revitalization plan that includes a new ballpark for the Oakland A's.
The poll also showed unexpected support for spending public funds on a new ballpark if it were part of a larger plan to redevelop downtown.
The poll found 45 percent of voters said they would be willing to use $180 million in public funds on such a project, while 48 percent said they would vote "no."
The results surprised some Oakland City Council members who had expected far less support for spending public money on a new stadium for the A's, especially in the light of the Oakland Raiders financial debacle.
"That's pretty high," said City Councilmember Jane Brunner (North Oakland). "It's not bad at all, given there has not been much work done on (a downtown ballpark plan). "It shows that people really like the A's."
Poll respondents were told the public dollars would come from taxes and other revenue generated by the project and not from new taxes or other city funds. Respondents also were told the A's ownership would contribute 30 percent toward ballpark construction. A downtown stadium is estimated to cost at least $385 million.
The poll of 400 registered Oakland voters was conducted May 14 to 16 by Evans-McDonough Co., a national market-research firm with an office in Berkeley. Company principal Alex Evans declined to comment on poll results. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
The poll was part of initial research done this spring by Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb and his staff on a plan to revitalize downtown Oakland and build a ballpark for the A's. Bobb was not available Thursday for comment on the poll.
Bobb's work on the downtown ballpark plan -- which included a tour this spring of cities that have built new baseball stadiums in recent years in or near their downtown areas -- was short-circuited last month by Mayor Jerry Brown and the Oakland City Council.
At the behest of the mayor, the council voted 5-3 behind closed doors to move forward on a large housing project on the same site being eyed for a new A's stadium, between 18th and 20th streets. The council is expected to affirm that vote in public next month.
Brown believes it would be a mistake for the city to turn down the housing project -- which includes 807 apartments and condominiums -- in favor of a ballpark that may never be built. Brown has pointed out that while the A's say they want a new stadium, they have yet to make a financial commitment.
The council earlier this week also delayed indefinitely a planned presentation of the ballpark tour results.
Poll results indicated that for a ballpark to receive support in Oakland, it must be part of wide-ranging downtown revitalization plan. Respondents were told such a plan would include restoration of the historic Fox Theater and formation of an entertainment district, along with a plan to build 2,000 housing units around the ballpark.
When voters were queried just about the ballpark, support dropped to 40 percent, with 54 percent saying they would vote against it. The housing and Fox Theater proposals, meanwhile, garnered 74 percent and 82 percent support, respectively.
In addition, the terminology used to describe "public funds" also appeared to affect voters. While 45 percent said they would vote to spend $180 million "in revenue and tax increment bonds" for a stadium, 71 percent said they "somewhat agreed" or "strongly agreed" with the statement that "public money" should not be used to build a stadium "even if there is significant private money too."
| By tekgraf on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 09:06 am:|
I read this and it sounds great. Hell, we already knew this but apparently the idiot politicians did not. Jane Brunner says "It shows that people really like the A's." duh!!! gosh, these people really are insitfull, aren't they? Now all we have to do is convince Mayor moonbeam, Danny Wan, and IDLF to do the bidding of the people.
I think time has come to identify and name the politicians who have been pro and against the ballpark idea from the start.
The ones who voted pro Uptown site incorporated with redevelopment, even pressured by Mayor Brown:
The mayor is probably NOT a happy camper with the publication of this poll. Especially when the Oakland residents haven't even really seen the presentation and plan which he derailed.
I think that if another poll were to be taken after residents see what can be done in that area,
results of a poll would be much higher for sure.
| By dorrit on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 03:52 pm:|
This was a news item also aired on radio station KCBS, so people heard it, if not read it..Hope something comes out of it-it makes so much sense!
| By tekgraf on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 03:56 pm:|
You're absolutely correct. However, I just read an article in the EastBay express and read that DLF says he knows that his constituents, the Fruitvale, do not want to spend tax payers money. I don't believe that one bit. I think I know that the hispanic population loves baseball just as much if not more than, lets say the asian community. I am so tempted to conduct my own poll in the Fruitvale just to find out if indeed IDLF's constituents are in fact against tax payers money being used for something as important as the A's ball park. Maybe I'll spend some time writing up a poll and taking it to the streets of the Fruitvale. Can I get some support for this? Even if it's verbal, I need to know if this will indeed help in our cause to keep the A's here in Oakland. Hmmm, wouldn't that be cool to put the ballpark in the Fruitvale? Fruitvale Park/Fields. Perhaps Del Monte Park? Named after the old, near by Del Monte Cannery that once dominated the area.
I think by the end of this month we will have the official presentation of the financing options and the complete Uptown area master plan to the public and to the City Council.
I'm sure they will they run other polls because that is the way politicians do things.
I think this is all going to come to a head by mid or end of July. Until then expect to be flooded by rumors and articles from different agenda camps.
There are several financing options which will involve tax on Alcohol and Tobacco or "sin tax"/user fees in order to help cover construction. There will also be proposals for the use of redevelopment funds, hotel/rental car taxes etc...naming rights...and of course the owners will have to step up with some sort of financial commitment.
I think the best thing right now is to keep our eyes and ears open, show our support for the politicians who are working for the most viable proposal and rally around out cause and our team.
The naysayers and rats will be coming out of the woodwork, especially if/when they see the community is showing support for keeping the A's and incorporating the ballpark in the revitilization of the downtown area. We should be prepared to read in between the lines and expect a lot of opposition coming from many camps, including from across the Bay.
We must try to act as watchdogs, keeping information flowing and at the same time keeping the media and politicians honest about this process.