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Tax Payer Funding?? The Answer is YES

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Tax Payer Funding?? The Answer is YES
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By phewall on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:45 am:

I suppose we can all agree that the A's need a new stadium in Oakland. (For those that don't agree on that we can start another thread and hash that out.) Given that reality, the question then arises, where will it be placed and how will it be funded.

This post doesn't address the first issue, but the question of funding will probably be the deciding factor as to whether a new stadium gets built in Oakland or not. I have seen several opinions expressed that the public should not spend any significant $$$ towards a baseball stadium. I disagree.

I disagree because when it comes right down to it, having a Major League Baseball team is just another amenity that the city provides for the citizenry. Just like parks or bike paths or public golf courses, the city spends tax money to improve the overall quality of life in their town. Now the one big difference with a Major League Baseball facility is that, yes, God forbid, the owners are going to make profit from it. Sometimes a great deal of profit. But that is just how it is ladies and gents. If you want a major league franchise, you have to pony up. That is just what the citzens of Balitmore, Denver, St. Louis, San Diego, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Philidelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Chicago etc have all done. And that doesn't count all the new football stadiums and basketball and hockey arenas either!!!

Now, are all these citizens of all these cities just suckers and rubes who have all been HAD by the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA? Some of you might argue that they are. And thats fine. But the fact is that the citizens of all these cities at some point, made the determination that spending all those billions on their sports franchises was worth it. They believed that having major sports adds more to fabric and quality of life to the city and that the benefits outweigh or at least equal the costs.

So the people of Oakland and Alameda County may soon be faced with the choice of weather they want to spend 200-300 million dollars to build a new baseball stadium for the A's. Some will think its worth it, others will not. In the end though, those that think that the taxpayers should not fund a significant portion of the stadium should not kid themselves. The A's will eventually leave to a place that will finance a new stadium for them. I mean how did we get the A's in the first place??? We "stole" them from Kansas City becuase we had a new stadium, a bigger market, and Charley Finley thought he could make more money here. Not rocket science.

So my only hope is that a baseball stadium gets built in Oakland and that the A's, no matter who their onwers are, stay here for a long long time. Let the discussion begin. :-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 09:22 am:

Great post phewall,

I think there are many ways a city can cooperate and help with the financing of a new ballpark, without taxing the city residents.

*The swapping and donating of city owned land to the owners, which could take great advantage as land developers by business choice.

*Redevoping streets and surrounding areas which would in turn benefit both the team and the city dwellers and visitors.

*sin and visitor taxes

*charter seats to corporations and private citizens

There are other creative ways other cities used to build their ballparks.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 05:45 pm:

This idea was brought here a long while ago, but I say the city ponies up 150 million. The A's pay the same amount and give it to a designer/construction team and say, build a new park for 300-320 million.

Build a replica of PNC/SBC for this amount and see if they can. I don't know why a baseball park can't be built with that amount of money. Nothing fancy in it, just a basic brand new park.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:42 am:

even though i like the area where the colisieum is and it would be cheaper to build on the parking lot i just do not see the purpose of spending $$$ to build a new park on the pavement when you have such beautiful areas around the east bay to build a new stadium.

I am not for a new park in downtown oakland but i always thought jack london square or simular bay views would be very pleasant to A's fans, this is what makes pac ball/ sbc park so unique it is near the water sitting all alone,if it were built next to candlestick it would not be the great park it is today so if a new park is built on colisieum parking lots it will be better but never have the great glamor it would have sitting alone on the waterfront with condo's and restaraunts around it,in time by the old park in the parking lot the mystic would wear off fast since there would be no local community supporting it not being in a residential area.

my only guess why schott wants to keep it in the colisieum area is if you put it downtown or near jack london area is a % of your parking goes to lots of private gargages or city parking and schott loses all that extra revenue he gets from collecting what close to 100% of the parking so by the net he keeps the revenue, man is this guy a piece of work or what.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:42 am:

There are many other reasons as to why the Coliseum area is the best remaining location for a new site.

1. Availability
2. Transportation access (public transit, access to freeways, and parking)
3. Cost of land

I'm not defending Schott, but there's more to it than just putting the parking money in his pocket.

Besides, who wants to be accused of *copying" Phone Company Park?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rono on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:07 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:37 pm:

Hey Rono, no need for caps.

And keep in mind that it was the second best location chosen by the HOK study survey, taking many factors into consideration, including cost.

You don't see what it will do for the fans? Well,
the fans are hardly ever a consideration when a new ballpark is built.

All the fans have to know and keep in mind is that if the owners don't get what they want, they will leave town.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ballparkfrank on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:13 pm:

phewall's post at the start of this thread deals with the critical subject of who foots the bill for a new ballpark. Historically, it has been the public, not unlike has been done for other municipally sponsored facilities (convention halls, indoor arenas, opera houses, etc.).

While true in the past, I'm not so sure this sells in today's world. Baseball is providing its owners and its players with riches beyond the imagination of Joe Taxpayer. Baseball is no longer satisfied with its home city providing a place to play ball. Rather it must be a baseball only facility, which is quite different from the typical multi-use arenas that are home to basketball, ice hockey, concerts, and civic events.

Precendent has been set with the Giants financing of its own park. Even Washington, D.C. is apparently coming to its senses as witnessed with this recent Wash Times op/ed:

Say no to baseball subsidy

Last week, during its meetings in Philadelphia, Major League Baseball owners declined to vote on whether the Montreal Expos would move to Washington or elsewhere. Following the meetings, Commissioner Bud Selig said owners would look at all "variables" before casting votes. A decision next month, or even post-haste following the post-season, would give Washington time to pull off stupendous opening day ceremonies in RFK Stadium. Yet April 2005 is not our essential concern.
Question: Who will pay the costs for baseball to return to Washington? Answer: Apparently not the owners.
The foot-dragging by MLB owners is indeed nagging supporters in Washington proper, as well as those in Northern Virginia. It is nagging because baseball's owners know that Washington is the only jurisdiction that meets all of the so-called variables that concern (including a new home on the cheap and demographics to fill the seats and concession stands). Washington has all that and more.
And therein lies our primary rub. Why offer the owners heavily subsidized housing when Washington demographics prove strong enough to sustain a new team and a new home? The city should neither increase taxes nor use tax dollars to finance a new stadium.
Existing sites are another of the variables on the owners' minds as the clock ticks off the weeks left in regular-season play. RFK Stadium, former home to the Senators baseball club and Redskins football team, can be set up for 2005 play in a few months' notice.
As things now stand, there is but one goal of the owners, and that is, as The Washington Times reported on Friday, "to move the Expos in time for next season." The one goal of D.C. officials, it seems, is to lure the Expos at any cost.
The owners and their representatives will again be meeting with D.C. baseball proponents, reportedly within the next two weeks. The owner of the Chicago White Sox Jerry Reinsdorf, who also sits on the relocation panel said the indecision on relocating the Montreal team has "gone on way too long." We agree.
At this juncture, however, whether the owners' decision comes next month or next winter is a point that takes a back seat to the essential question. That question is: Who among the 13 D.C. lawmakers stands poised to say, "Yes," give us the new ballclub, but "No" to subsidizing its wealthy owners?

What is different about Oakland?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bubba69 on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 10:18 pm:

I tried to stay off this topic but can no longer do that. If the City wants to give the land I say go for it...If the County wants to give the land I say go for it...But not dime one out of the general fund of the county.....We east county residents are already getting the shaft over the Raider deal...I never remember voting for that....but still my county money is being drained so that Al could have his big erection! Taxation without Representaion...where have I heard that before?

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