The Oakland City Council is considering whether to sell its half interest in the Oakland Coliseum property to the A’s at the below-market rate of $85 million.
The Coliseum is some of the most valuable land in the entire Bay Area. This public land should not be handed over without full, public deliberation, especially when the sale would be at a discounted price. At a minimum, the City must require that, if the A’s buy the land, they must actually build their stadium at the Coliseum site.
Oakland Always Gets the Short End of the Deal
Among American cities with major-league sports franchises, Oakland has ended up on the short end of the stick more than any other, at least financially speaking. The Raiders moved to Las Vegas, leaving behind a $65 million tab for Oakland taxpayers. When the Warriors left for San Francisco, they left us on the hook for $40 million in arena improvements.
The A’s claim their stadium and the proposed gondola-in-the-sky will be privately financed. The truth is Oakland taxpayers will be on the hook for at least $200 million. That is what the A’s and Mayor Schaaf have said it will cost to upgrade the roads and bridges for the stadium and the environmental clean-up at the Port.
The A’s say that Howard Terminal is an under-utilized, essentially abandoned site that can be partitioned off from the port. The truth is, Howard Terminal is part of the third-largest port on the West Coast and the ninth-largest port in the country. It is actively utilized for port activities, such as trucking, shipping and storage. Fifty railroad trains a day run across Howard Terminal.