Borenstein: Oakland A’s private ballpark will be taxpayer-subsidized

The Oakland A’s, after claiming the team would privately finance its new ballpark, could receive a taxpayer subsidy worth tens of millions of dollars.

Once again, government officials are preparing to spend public money to try to keep a professional sports team under the false rationale that it would boost the local economy. We’ve seen this play before: Taxpayers are still paying off debt for stadium improvements that brought the Raiders back to Oakland in 1995.

Now the A’s are seeking a sweetheart deal to co-own and develop valuable public land at the current ballpark site to help fund their new venue six miles away. The deal is particularly underhanded, with one government agency, Alameda County, not only wasting public resources but also undermining another entity, the city of Oakland.

Taxpayers should be outraged by county supervisors’ tentative approval of the deal and by A’s President Dave Kaval’s duplicitous behavior. The deal doesn’t even guarantee that the team will complete its new ballpark and stay in Oakland.

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