New poll finds big sup­port for ball­park

Of the 503 vot­ers sur­veyed, 62 per­cent sup­port pro­posal

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - OAKLAND A’S STA­DIUM By David DeBolt dde­bolt@ba­yare­anews­group.com Con­tact David DeBolt at 510-208- 6453.

OAKLAND » An Oakland Cham­ber of Com­merce poll re­leased Wed­nes­day found vot­ers sup­port a new A’s ball­park at the Per­alta Com­mu­nity Col­lege District site by a 2-1 mar­gin.

Of the 503 likely vot­ers sur­veyed, 62 per­cent sup­ported the sta­dium project, 31 per­cent were op­posed and 7 per­cent un­de­cided, ac­cord­ing to cham­ber CEO Bar­bara Les­lie. Eighty-two per­cent re­ported know­ing of the A’s plan to build a 35,000seat sta­dium be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in the poll.

“Many peo­ple have made up their minds about how they feel about it,” Les­lie said.

Team Pres­i­dent Dave Kaval an­nounced the site se­lec­tion in Septem­ber, pre­fer­ring the lo­ca­tion at Fifth Av­enue and East Eighth Street near Laney Col­lege over Howard Ter­mi­nal ad­ja­cent to Jack Lon­don Square or the Coli­seum.

While mem­bers of the Oakland Cham­ber, Visit Oakland and the Alameda County Build­ings Trades have stood along­side A’s sta­dium sup­port­ers, the re­cep­tion at City Hall and among vo­cal Chi­na­town and East­lake res­i­dents has been chilly. In a telling mo­ment on the day of the A’s big an­nounce­ment, Mayor Libby Schaaf and Coun­cil­man Abel Guillen held a City Hall press con­fer­ence separate from Kaval’s Coli­seum ap­pear­ance.

Schaaf and Guillen each ex­pressed con­cerns over dis­place­ment of res­i­dents and small busi­ness own­ers from Chi­na­town and East­lake. Schaaf has said she sup­ports the A’s pri­vately f inanc­ing a sta­dium but pref­ered the Howard Ter­mi­nal lo­ca­tion. Guillen said the res­i­dents in his district, which in­cludes Per­alta, want the A’s to stay at the Coli­seum.

The sur­vey first asked par­tic­i­pants if they had heard of the project, and then gauged sup­port and op­po­si­tion by de­tail­ing the park’s lo­ca­tion. Poll­sters de­scribed the ball­park as “a new, 100 per­cent pri­vately- fi­nanced site, near In­ter­state 880, four blocks from Lake Mer­ritt BART and walk­ing dis­tance from down­town,” ac­cord­ing to Les­lie.

One of the poll calls went to Alv­ina Wong of lead­ing op­po­si­tion group “StAy the Right Way.” Wong said the find­ings run counter to what she is hear­ing from res­i­dents, who want more in­for­ma­tion about why Howard Ter­mi­nal and the Coli­seum are not vi­able op­tions.

“Most of our neigh­bors in East­lake and Chi­na­town don’t want it here,” said Wong, who also works for the Asian Pa­cific En­vi­ron­men­tal Net­work.

Over the next year, the A’s plan on re­ceiv­ing feed­back from neigh­bors of the Laney site, as the Per­alta Com­mu­nity Col­lege District Board of Trustees will be­gin dis­cussing on the pro­posal. In a state­ment, Kaval said the poll “jus­ti­fies our de­ci­sion about mak­ing sure we have a ro­bust com­mu­nity process. We be­lieve this project can be trans­for­ma­tive for Oakland and are ex­cited at this stage to have the sup­port of so many Oakland vot­ers.”

The A’s sta­dium ques­tions were part of the cham­ber’s an­nual Pulse of Oakland sur­vey con­ducted be­tween Oct. 2429 by the FM3 Re­search firm. The poll of likely Novem­ber 2018 elec­tion vot­ers had a mar­gin of er­ror of 4.4 per­cent.

STAFF FILE PHOTO

The Oakland A’s are propos­ing a new sta­dium at the Per­alta Com­mu­nity Col­lege District head­quar­ters near Laney Col­lege in Oakland.

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