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December 14, 2009

Oakland considering stimulus funding for A's

Largely lost in the to-do about Oakland's bid to keep the A's was this from the East Bay Express:

The City of Oakland would not spend any public money on constructing a new ballpark in Jack London Square for the Oakland A's, but would assemble land and provide infrastructure and parking for the stadium, Mayor Ron Dellums said at a City Hall press conference this afternoon. Dellums and city staffers said the city would use redevelopment funds to acquire property, and not the city's debt-ridden general fund, and hoped to obtain more federal stimulus money for infrastructure if the project goes forward.

As we've seen before, land and infrastructure and parking can add up to a hefty chunk of change, especially in downtown locations like Oakland is considering, where land costs for both the stadium and accompanying garages are likely to be high. Also, add this to the list of sports projects seeking federal stimulus subsidies — not that stadium building doesn't create construction jobs, but if you're going to put people to work just to get them work, you'd kind of hope they'd have a bit more public benefit.

Finally, if you had any doubt that stadium-chasing is a phenomenon that affects local elected officials across the political spectrum, the fact that friggin' Ron Dellums is advocating public spending on behalf of a private sports team should make things eminently clear.


Normally I'd balk at the idea of using Fed Stimulus money for a stadium or stadium related items, but in Oakland's case it may be their only hope. They're dealing with an ownership group that has already given up on their city (hell I'd also point out that by cutting out the possibility of public funding, while being responsible, they may also have signed their death warrant in the stadium hunt as Wolff seems willing to spend private money on the stadium in San Jose or Fremont, but not crime ridden Oakland). They're going to have to not only offer a good location but a better deal than San Jose at this point if they want to keep the team. SJ is literally years ahead of them with the site purchased, the EIR complete, and the owner and city council already working on getting the privately financed stadium to reality actively.

Posted by Dan on December 14, 2009 12:50 PM


What is a shame is the prospect that instead of helping to improve the current community and aiding in correcting the crime-ridden nature of Oakland . . .. . Wolfe and Co need to run somewhhere else - - - I guess thatt they'll build some condo's and sell some of the real-estate they are bequeathed and when the local crime gets out of hand in their new digs . . . . well, time to move on again.

Posted by Fremont Taxpayer on December 18, 2009 05:42 PM

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