The Oakland A’s could raise the stakes and leave Northern California for Las Vegas.

But if Norm Jarret had his druthers back nearly two decades ago, they might have moved to Lathrop instead.

Before River Islands moved forward, there were two other concepts set to develop the 4,995-acre Stewart Tract – Gold Rush City and Califia.

Gold Rush City was by far the more intriguing of the two.

Gold Rush City was a planned amusement park that had a western theme.

Plans called for it to be joined by a wildlife park, a space-themed amusement park, and a huge outdoor water park.

Gold Rush City – the general name given to the company as a nod to regional history – was to be “the” Northern California amusement park.

It was the vision of Jarrett who scoured the Great Bay Area to find a suitable location.

In 1989, he found the ideal site. It was Stewart Tract, one of 57 islands reclaimed from the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta that was encompassed in the general plan for the city of Lathrop that was formed in 1989.

His proposal sparked a series of lawsuits seeking to stop the project, including those filed by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups.

Unfazed, Jarrett advanced. At one point, when the Giants and A’s were looking to leave their home stadiums at the time – Candlestick and the Coliseum – he floated the idea that Stewart Tract was roughly equidistant from the San Jose markets. , San Francesco-Oakland and Sacramento. was an ideal place for one of the two teams.

It was timed just as Sacramento boosters were trying to make a play for a second major league sports team — possibly baseball.

Sacramento’s field was just as long at best – much like a major league stadium on what is now River Islands.

After unsuccessfully trying to sell the theme park concept to investors who didn’t want to get involved in lengthy litigation, Cambay Group went back to the drawing board.

Today, River Islands has a baseball diamond that is in a league of its own.

Four years ago this month, Cambay Group completed the 500-seat floodlit Islanders Field nestled against the levee of the San Joaquin River, near the future downtown area of ​​the 15,001-home planned community of River Islands. at Lathrop.

The land features a concession stand with a terrace dining area on the decks located on either side of the announcer’s cabin. The state-of-the-art scoreboard has a PA system that distributes sound so everyone in the stadium can hear at the same level. A grassy area was created to “sit” on the side slope of the seawall island, much like Banner Island baseball park in Stockton, beyond the outfield fences. This is in addition to a mix of stadium-style seating and bleachers.

The field was built specifically for baseball with players ages 13-18.

The addition of The Islander gave San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties its sixth quality regulation baseball field.

In addition to minor league facilities Banner Islands in Stockton and John Thurman Field in Modesto which seat 4,200 and 4,000 respectively, there is the former Ports Home in Stockton’s Billy Hebert Field which seats 3,800. The Islander has more fixed seats than Delta College or the University of the Pacific.

The Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Manteca with its six replica Major League Baseball fields is designed for softball. It has over 1,200 stadium style seats as well as grass seating.

Buildings take repeated

hits in downtown Manteca

The speed – coupled with erratic driving – is taking its toll on buildings on the 100 block of North Main Street in downtown Manteca.

Last month, just weeks after an extensive facade improvement was completed, a car slammed into the southwest corner of the Accent Carpets building.

This was the first vehicle strike for Accent Carpets.

Across the driveway, the two-story building on the northeast corner of Yosemite and Main has been hit three times by cars.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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