Perhaps you all have heard, Let’s Go Oakland commissioned an Economic Impact Analysis and held a press conference about it yesterday? Before I give you my impression, a few things… I am not going to compare this to the Economic Analysis conducted by San Jose or Fremont (Marine Layer is working on that now, stay tuned). Second, I won’t use this report to compare San Jose or Fremont’s business value to Oakland’s for the simple fact that it is not an appropriate application for a report like this. All that said, here is my summary:
- I was a bit disappointed that the report still leaves us in the dark about what a final location might be. I had hoped we would get some clue about what Oakland’s preference would be for a site. I don’t like that they estimated the impacts of Howard Terminal, Victory Court and JLS North to be the same, but it is true that the conclusion is the same: Oakland should prefer something in JLS to a stadium in the Coliseum parking lot. The cost to purchase the sites is most favorable at Victory Court ($22M) and most expensive at JLS North (over $100 M). The valuations for the parcels is included on pages 33 through 35.
- While it could be argued that much of the benefit of JLS is overstated as “spill over development,” it is true that the potential for spill over development exists at JLS in a way that it doesn’t at the Coliseum. So take the spill over development specific number (the report puts it at $4.7B over 30 years based on increased property values and $980M in property tax as a result, in the chart on page 60) with a large grain of salt, but not the concept that spill over development in JLS is a clear benefit to the City versus keeping the A’s in the Coliseum complex.
- The report concludes that the largest negative immediate impact of the A’s leaving Oakland altogether would be the loss of one time stimulus of $500M over three years in stadium construction expenditures (which the report estimates to create $790.8M in Total Output). It’s hard to argue with that.
Ultimately, after reading the report, I am pretty confident in the direct impacts that are outlined because a conservative approach was taken. These direct impacts, such as fan spending, are potentially understated if anything. The indirect stuff, like the positive impact of spill over development, is sort of pie in the sky rose colored glasses optimism. But that is how these reports work.
It will be interesting to see what comes next.