Oakland has become the place for people to live in the Bay Area but is losing sports teams at the same time.
Oakland, California is on the verge of losing two major league sports teams. The NBA’s Warriors ownership has broken ground on a new building on the San Francisco side of the bay and Mark Davis and his partners plan to move to Las Vegas. After the two teams leave, that doesn’t end Oakland taxpayers’ commitments to sports. The two teams, which received upgrades in the Oakland arenas that were used, will be gone but the melody lingers on as the taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars to pay off the creditors who lent the city and county money for the upgrades. In 2015, it was reported that the bill on the upgrades came in at $179 million, 99 million on the stadium, 80 million on the arena.
The Coliseum Arena was renovated in 1996 for Warriors ownership. The stadium upgrades came in 1995 following Raiders owner Al Davis returning the franchise to Oakland after 13 seasons in Los Angeles. One of the major stumbling blocks in the negotiations between Oakland officials and Raiders ownership was the stadium debt. Oakland officials wanted someone to pay down the debt, someone such as Mark Davis, and Raiders ownership saw no reason to agree to doing that. There are always cities desperate for an NFL franchise whose elected officials will spend whatever it takes to get a team. Nevada state officials are throwing three quarters of a billion dollars as seed money for a Raiders-Las Vegas stadium. Oakland is not going to do that. The Oakland Coliseum still has Major League Baseball for the foreseeable future but will have no anchor tenant in the arena once Warriors ownership leaves. But the arena has bills until 2026. Oakland will pay for a useless building for years.