FREMONT -- Nearly two-thirds of Fremont residents support the Oakland A's ballpark village project, according to a telephone survey commissioned by the ballclub.

Team officials on Wednesday released a portion of the 66-question poll of 400 registered Fremont voters conducted in September.

Sixty-two percent of recipients said they favored the project, compared with 34 percent who opposed it.

The A's organization was viewed favorably by 69 percent of respondents, and A's co-owner Lew Wolff was viewed favorably by 44 percent of respondents and negatively by 18 percent.

The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Team officials trumpeted the findings as evidence that most Fremont residents support their ballpark plan despite fears of game-day gridlock.

"We wanted to go and just confirm that the support throughout the community mirrored what we were seeing (at council and community meetings)," A's co-owner Keith Wolff said, explaining why the team commissioned the study.

Last week, the A's submitted an application to build a privately funded ballpark surrounded by up to 3,100 residences, a hotel, an elementary school and retail shops on 266 acres west of Interstate 880 and south of Auto Mall Parkway.

No organized opposition has emerged to the plan, but former Fremont mayor and project critic Gus Morrison expects opposition to grow once a city-authorized traffic study is performed.

"Everyone knows (traffic is) going to be bad, but no one realizes how bad it's going to be," he said.


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The only traffic-related polling question released by the A's queried the importance respondents placed on connecting the stadium with BART, Caltrain and ACE train service.

On a scale of one to seven, 53 percent ranked the transit connections as a seven, the highest level of importance.

The A's did not release much of the polling data. Those findings are considered the team's proprietary information, said Alex Evans, principal of EMC Research, which conducted the poll.

Polls similar to the one commissioned by the A's typically give the sponsor insight about how to market their proposals to the general public.

When respondents were told that the A's ballpark village would create hundreds of new local jobs, 73 percent indicated they would be more likely to support it.

Similarly, 72 percent of respondents told pollsters that they would be more likely to support the project when told that it would generate revenue for city services.

When pollsters asked respondents to rate "a brand new, technologically advanced elementary school," 69 percent ranked it as "very important" or "high importance."

Park and open space was viewed as highly or very important by 73 percent of respondents, and 64 percent were in favor of for green building practices.

Pollsters did not give respondents prior questions that would have influenced their responses as to whether they favored the A's project, Evans said.

Of those polled, 36 percent "strongly favored" the project, compared with 26 percent who "somewhat favored" it. As for opponents, 22 percent were "strongly opposed" and 12 percent were "somewhat opposed."

Only 2 percent of respondents had not heard of the project -- an extraordinarily low figure, Evans said.

A's officials said this was the first poll they had commissioned or knew about concerning their development plans.

Morrison said he had seen a poll commissioned by an unnamed developer, which found 50 percent supported the project and 42 percent opposed it.

Mayor Bob Wasserman said the A's poll was "certainly a good reflection of support" for the project, adding that the city had no plans to conduct a poll of its own.

He said the findings were similar to sentiment he has been hearing from residents, but he still was surprised to see the support top 60 percent. "I didn't expect it to be that high," he said.

Reach Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002 or martz@bayareanewsgroup.com.