Oakland, like Washington, wants a new baseball stadium. Makes sense. Both RFK and the Oakland Coliseum are dinosaurs. Their accommodating confines generates little in the way of offense (offense attracts stupid fans) and very little in terms of income generating luxury boxes. Both teams needed out.
We all know what happened to Washington. $686,000,000.00 of public funds are going down the toilet for what even Linda Cropp admitted would be a merely above average stadium. For the most expensive stadium ever, I want the most awesomest stadium ever. Fuck you, Linda Cropp.
Let's see what they're doing in Oakland. Oh my. They're making us look stupid.
While Washington is shelling out enough baseball cash to start an Army (which would be an interesting solution to our lack of federal representation problem), Oakland is building a stadium without the use of public funds. The Oakland Athletics bought some land in Fremont from Cisco Systems at a heavily discounted price in exchange for stadium naming rights. The money for construction is being raised in exchange for land around the stadium. That land is sure to increase in value next to a baseball park, so it's win-win for everyone.
Obviously I'm comparing apples and oranges. The Athletics had all the time in the world to come up with this ingenious plan. Washington was a bit under the gun in terms of getting a stadium built since Major League Baseball was threatening to move the team. Of course, that would have never happened. If anything, the team would have moved to Northern Virginia.
The Oakland Athletics are building in Fremont. That's 28 miles from Oakland. McLean is only 11 miles from Washington. Has it never occurred to anyone that saving the $686,000,000.00 was worth traveling the extra 11 miles? It certainly never occurred to Mayor Williams or Councilman Evans.
While our bond ratings are being jeopardized by this stadium madness, another city is showing us the easiest way to create a money-generating stadium that improves the land around it. It's exactly what we wanted at almost no cost. I honestly think that the new ballpark on the Anacostia (you know, the one surrounded by the above-ground parking garages) will end up being the shame of the city. Go Nats!