Bay Area Council releases Oakland Ballpark Economic Impact Report

This is not our first rodeo, folks.

What am I supposed to do with this? Yes, take with a grain of salt. Or a whole shaker full of salt. Reference Lyle Lanley, perhaps? That’s an homage. Maybe the original is more appropriate?

I do have some thoughts, such as Why were they so quick to tout ongoing spending by the team inside the stadium? Is it because it’s expected that the team will pay for it, instead of some sort of subsidy stream? Private enterprise is supposed to do that! Let’s not lower our standards because we’re used to sports franchises ripping municipalities off, or because a certain Oakland team continues to be subsidized even though they are leaving.

Or how about the construction spending? Could the Bay Area’s still white-hot real estate market throw that same money and resources into alternative projects such as housing or offices? Yes they could. The biggest hangup at this point is the approval process. Back in 2010 when Oakland was still struggling coming out of the recession, this argument might hold weight. Now it’s just noise.

That 2010 study even spent a couple slides talking about how assessed property values would explode thanks to a ballpark. Today that talking point is anathema. Property values is practically a four-letter word.

These documents are sales pitches, always prematurely staged and distributed. They don’t hold up under scrutiny, but they also don’t get much scrutiny. So it does the job. I’ll let you discuss the various inconsistencies, or question the methodology. To me these are pamphlets, no more, no less.

5 thoughts on “Bay Area Council releases Oakland Ballpark Economic Impact Report

  1. has anyone gone back and looked up the economic impact report on Levi’s to compare if the projections were accurate or not?

  2. Really hoping they choose the Laney College site. If they design it well, it would be spectacular.

  3. If Laney College doesn’t work out, what if they built the new ballpark on a barge??? One wouldn’t have to worry about sea level rise!

  4. Economic analyses are only as good as their assumptions, and depending on what assumptions are made, can easily result in bias. That is why no one should accept this at face value, and it would be nice if an independent analysis/review is performed, one that it is targeted specifically to the chosen site.

    After walking around the Laney College area, I came away with the following impressions:

    – It would be much better to locate the ballpark where the existing athletic fields are, not the Peralta CCD office site — closer to BART, closer to downtown, closer to sites which could accommodate ancillary commercial uses, better view of and access to the Lake, further from the freeway.

    – The impact on Laney College would be greater on the athletic field site, and there are other schools and a few homes right across 10th Street. However, most existing neighborhood residences and businesses are a reasonable distance away; existing commercial property owners, although not necessarily all of the existing businesses, could benefit with higher-end commercial establishments.

    – The A’s will need to spend money mitigating impacts — moving the fields, securing Laney from intrusion (the place is fenced off pretty well now), parking, etc. Kaval says he is meeting with stakeholders — let’s hope that includes neighbors and that he listens to and mitigates their concerns.

    – The ballpark should incorporate the channel as an amenity, providing a reasonable, landscaped area between the ballpark and the channel.

    – Some parking will need to be provided.

    – Is the Lake Merritt BART station adequate to handle the ballpark?

    – Although I see the attractiveness of HT, I think that the Laney athletic fields would be the best site in terms of creating an urban ballpark that is integrated with the town and could best meet the A’s goal for a “ballpark village.” But they would still have to spend money on non-ballpark related stuff to make it work. But will Laney and Peralta CCD go along with it and agree to re-locate their fields and possibly their offices? Will the neighbors protest? If they do, how will the Libby and City Hall respond? That is probably why Libby prefers HT — not as many neighbors. The A’s will have to come up with some pretty nice carrots if this is their preferred site.

    • @Jerry,
      I agree that the Laney athletic fields is the better of the two proposed Laney area sites for the reasons that you so stated. That said, either site would be much better for the A’s long-term ballpark success than either HT or the current Coliseum. With all three of Oakland’s teams appearing to be vacating the Coliseum area within the next few years, the vacated site could be used as a new and relocated campus for some or all of Laney College, including the athletic fields.

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