Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Walking Tour of the Future A's Stadium + Diridon Area

I was fortunate enough to make it to the walking tour of the proposed A's stadium and Diridon area improvements. Imagine a state of the art ballpark along a new riverfront park, a short walk away from a bustling HSR/BART/Light Rail/ACE/Caltrain station, and adjacent to a massive retail and entertainment hub (this is the new plan for the area in front of Diridon and the HP Pavilion). It's a very realistic vision with a lot of intelligent and passionate people leading the charge.

I also noticed several friends at the walking tour:


At the Proposed Ballpark Site Walking Tour

About 50-60 people, including several Baseball San Jose supporters, joined the San Jose Redevelopment Agencey for their Proposed Ballpark Site Walking Tour on Monday.

The agency's Dennis Korabiak led the tour, which consisted of updates on not only the ballpark, but the Diridon Station general plan, inlcuding BART and HSR. In short, the city plans to transform the area into a major retail-entertainment center, anchored to the north by HP Pavilion and to the south by Cisco Field.

Tour guests also got to hear from High-Speed Rail Authority board member, Rod Diridon. He made an impromptu pitch for the ambitious vision the city has for the area surrounding the station.

Korabiak led the group to the corner of San Fernando and Autum, which will be the main gate to Cisco Field. It's not much to look at now, but soon it may be the site of a grand plaza welcoming A's fans to the game.

Throughout the tour, Korabiak outlined the general ballpark concept. The agency's focus is on creating a comprehensive ballpark experience for fans, including a realigned Autumn Street, riverside parks, and plenty of new retail.

The tour concluded with a few words from Baseball San Jose co-chair, Michael Mulcahy. In anticipation of a spring ballpark campaign, he urged baseball supporters to get the word out to as many people as possible.

It was interesting to get a peak at the city's grand vision for Diridon. If they come, the A's will have an dynamic new home in a bustling area of downtown. Of course, many things have to happen before that can become reality, but as Michael Mulcahy points out, MLB in San Jose begins with you.

You're up to bat, San Jose!

Tour of Proposed Ballpark Site Sparks High Hopes

Okay, I can only speak for myself but as I stood on the corner of San Fernando and Autumn and looked at the proposed site of the San Jose Athletics ballpark I couldn’t help picturing myself walking through the main entrance of the ballpark on game day and I got pretty excited.
Corner of San Fernando and Autumn

Last night Dennis Korabiak of the San Jose Redevelopment committee took a small group of fans(?) on a tour of the area between Diridon Train Station (Rod Diridon just happened to show up)
and the corner (and hallowed ground if hallowed ground can be secular?) that I hope will one day be the home of a major league ball club. The planners envision extended mass transit such as high speed rail, public art, trails, retail shops, restaurants and clubs. The beautiful artist’s renderings of the proposed ballpark made it easy to imagine this vision coming true. You can go to Pro Baseball San Jose for more details and links to the ballpark plans.

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