The Oakland A’s plan for a $12 billion development and ballpark deal ran into a snag this past week that probably won’t kill the project but should prompt Bay Area residents to ask whether it’s a good idea.
With shipping imports rapidly rising, why should the Port of Oakland give up 50 acres of land at Howard Terminal, and why should taxpayers provide hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidies so a billionaire baseball team owner can further fatten his pocketbook?
If the goal is to provide needed housing and keep the team in the Bay Area, there’s an excellent alternative site just six miles away with a BART station and freeway access that could be developed — and greatly benefit a neighborhood that needs an economic boost.
Of course, we’re talking about the existing Oakland Coliseum site, of which, thanks to a sweetheart deal at taxpayer expense from Alameda County supervisors, the team already owns half. In other words, A’s owner John Fisher already has veto power over the Coliseum and now wants to control Howard Terminal.
The greed is astounding. The willingness of state legislators, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Libby Schaaf, the Oakland City Council and Alameda County supervisors to enable this taxpayer abuse is unconscionable.