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Do Cisco Field troubles signal the end of the ballpark boom?

Big League Stew

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If you checked out early on Friday, you most likely missed the news that the A's are halting their plans to build that super-fancy ballpark village down the way in Fremont

And if you're surprised to hear that now, you most likely also didn't see the holes in a Cisco Field plan that involved uprooting a team from its rightful city, plopping them into the middle of a $1.8 billion real estate development (in this economic climate, no less) and then hoping no Californians would say boo about the wildlife refuge next door.

Writes Ray Ratto of the SF Chronicle:

"(Owner Lew Wolff) has given up the ghost on a project that would have hosed the A's financially, annoyed Fremont residents and made the Giants extraordinarily happy: three things that any right-thinking A's fan would wish to avoid.

That it took Wolff this long is a testament mostly to his stubbornness, as many people already saw the ballpark village nobody could get to as a moonstruck plan even before the economy made it a total nonstarter. It was a real estate deal with the baseball team as a hook, and made less sense than any other plan, including moving the team back to Philadelphia and exhuming Connie Mack.

Cisco Field still isn't officially dead, but in the days since the announcement, there has been speculation that the A's are just bluffing so they can throw opponents off their trail or that they'll head toward San Jose for a new home. However, Wolff claims not to have a Plan B and it's hard to believe anyone would want to finance such a large project in the current market. A publicly-funded park isn't going to happen, either, even if constructing a new ballpark would be an interesting take on FDR's public works project.

So when you combine this news with the ongoing troubles the Marlins are having in south Florida, it raises an interesting question: Is the modern day ballpark boom — which started in Toronto in 1989 and involved 20 other franchises before its current scheduled end in Minneapolis in 2010 — officially over? Discuss below.

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