Oakland mayor on Raiders stadium: We’ve got better things to do with our money

Add another mayor to the growing list of those speaking out against throwing public money at local sports teams without, like, a good reason:

“That money we’re paying now is general-fund money we could spend on police, parks or libraries,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who has said she cannot support spending a dime of public funds for a new stadium.

This is the strongest statement that Schaaf has made to date against subsidizing a Raiders stadium plan — back when first elected in January she said the Raiders and A’s should be asked to bid for the land they both want — and while it provides plenty of wiggle room (is public land the same as public funds?) it’s certainly a strong indication that she, like Anaheim’s Tom Tait, Minneapolis’s Betsy Hodges, and Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi, doesn’t see a political downside to standing up to local sports owners’ subsidy demands. Which is probably accurate, at least if you’re going by mayors being punished at the ballot box (being punished at fundraising time is another story), but there does definitely seem to be a mini-trend going on here. Will be very interesting to see if it spreads, not to mention how hard a line the Gang of Four are willing to take if teams start busing in commissioners to threaten that they’ll move — though the Raiders are already there and Schaaf doesn’t seem overly concerned.


9 comments on “Oakland mayor on Raiders stadium: We’ve got better things to do with our money

  1. Kudos to Libby Schaaf!!!
    Oakland has so many more issues to deal with than building new stadiums.
    Her message to the Raiders and A’s should be, “You’re welcome to play in O.co stadium as long as you want, but if you want a new stadium, then build it with your own money. If you find a better deal elsewhere, good luck to you!”
    I suspect both the A’s and Raiders will still be playing in the same stadium for another decade. Who’s going to build them a brand new state-of-the-art stadium? The Carson deal is a mirage. The Inglewood stadium will get built first. Raiders can only hope to piggy back on the Rams. The A’s, who knows?

  2. I think if the City would simply help out with the land, the rest will fall in place but then again lets let good land go to waste instead of letting something good come of it.

  3. The A’s will be playing in that concrete bowl in 2020. And the Raiders?? Who the $%#@ cares?

  4. tcards, the city has already made the land available. The problem is that even having provided the land there’s a $400 million to several billion dollar shortfall in funding the stadiums. They’ve all danced around it for years assuming that the other party would fill the gap. Problem is, the Raiders in particular don’t have any way to fill their portion of the gap, and the city is unwilling/unable to fill the gap. Schaff’s statement just reiterates that fact, though it seems to be the strongest reminder of that fact to date. And for it to come so closely after the NFL sent the city yet another public ultimatum last week would indicate this is the city’s response to that ultimatum… They’re not helping any further. If the team wants to leave Oakland, go right ahead.

  5. Now let’s see how those behind the Carson mickey mouse deal will pull it off.

  6. Dan,
    You state “Problem is, the Raiders in particular don’t have any way to fill their portion of the gap…” Actually, the Raiders can easily fill the gap. It costs $64 million per year to fund 100% of a billion stadium for 30 years at 5% . The Raiders, like every other NFL team, gets $200 million per year, just from network TV revenue. With salary cap at about $143 million per year and with gate receipts of $50 million or so, we can see that there is a huge surplus of funds for the Raiders, as well as every other NFL team. It’s time to end ‘Stadium Stamps for the Rich”.

  7. Hi SY34,
    You state ““You’re welcome to play in O.co stadium as long as you want, but if you want a new stadium, then build it with your own money. If you find a better deal elsewhere, good luck to you!”

    Well put! That exact message, with just substituting the specific name of the stadium, should be stated in San Diego, St. Louis, and no doubt other cities as the years go by.

  8. The City of Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers are still paying off the renovations to the Coliseum made to attract Al Davis to bring the Raiders back to Oakland. That debt is still substantial.

  9. I believe that giving a private business free land owned by the public is no different than cutting a check.