Billy Beane: Oakland Deserves A New Stadium


Athletics owner John Fisher wants a new stadium somewhere.

Billy Beane, the Oakland Athletics’ executive vice president of baseball operations, is of the opinion that the Athletics business is going to eventually get a stadium-village built on the Oakland waterfront. Oakland and Las Vegas interests are trying to win Athletics’ owner John Fisher’s heart by throwing money at him so that he can put his business in their municipalities. Fisher is finding a lot of opposition to his Oakland waterfront plan and may have another obstacle. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is term limited and will be out of office after the November election. That means it is possible that Fisher might have to start all over with a new set of politicians to get his waterfront stadium-village built. But Beane said something that should have people scratching their heads. “Listen, at some point we will have a new stadium, that’s what makes me feel good. I hope it’s within my tenure. But we will, and I think the organization and the city deserve it. It’ll happen.” The city deserves a new stadium? How is a new stadium going to impact most of the Oakland population, some of whom cannot afford to go to a game?

A stadium does not provide a living wage for most of the people who work in the stadium selling merchandise or directing people to parking spots. In fact, the waterfront stadium is not conducive to having a parking lot. Most stadium workers are per diem,  independent contractors who work somewhere between 81 and 90 days a year. It’s great for a college student picking up some extra money but Fisher’s stadium-village is not going to be an economic generator for most unless those people are investors in the project and even then there is no guarantee of success. Oakland and California will pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a project that guarantees nothing.

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In this artists rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics is a skyline view of their proposed ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif. (Bjarke Ingels Group/Oakland Athletics via AP)