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December 14, 2009
Oakland considering stimulus funding for A's
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.