Daniel Borenstein, editorial page editor of the East Bay Times and one of the Bay Area’s leading media voices, shared a thoughtful essay on the disingenuous nature of the A’s financing structure in their recently released Howard Terminal proposal. In the piece penned for the East Bay Times, Borenstein reminds Oaklanders that the proposed stadium, 3,000 residential units, hotel, indoor performance center and about 1.8 million square feet of commercial and retail space “would be a development deal that includes a ballpark, not the other way around.
Kaval promises the team would provide $450 million of community benefits. But taxpayers, not the A’s, would foot the bill for those benefits — and the value is minimal because the amount is stretched over 45 years with no adjustment for the lost value due to inflation.” Our coalition has long understood that sports franchises often “promote the false rationale that pro sports boosts local economies” and that “falling for that claim can be costly.”
The A’s messaging and focus on the the project’s potential for providing community benefits from increased tax revenue is misleading. We couldn’t agree more with Borenstein’s assertion that “Kaval portrays the team as a paragon of charity while proposing using public money to fund the supposed generosity,” and that “The A’s never intended to fully fund this project. Not even close. It’s time for city officials to call him out on this bad deal for taxpayers.”