Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Little Leagues and Big New Stadiums

Yesterday, we summarized recent events, but here are some other Bay Area sports stories you might have missed.

Oakland team heading to Babe Ruth World Series (11-year-old division)

We posted on our Facebook wall about a local youth baseball team that qualified for the 11-year-old Babe Ruth World Series but they needed to raise funds to go. Well, it looks like they found the money to make it happen, thanks to the generous East Bay community. Good luck over the weekend, kids!

SMG's Coliseum contract up, goes out to bid

SMG Management, the event management firm running the Coliseum, has been under fire for its operations of the facility. In 2008, an audit pointed out several shortcomings in the operation of the Coliseum. According to Robert Gammon and Ellen Cushing of the East Bay Express, it looks like the Coliseum's Joint Powers Authority (JPA) will offer the new contract up to bid. This is a good thing. Oakland and Alameda County deserve better returns on their stadium/arena investment than they have been receiving. Hopefully, with a new operator, can see a glimmer of the glory days of the privately led Coliseum authority which ran it from 1966-1995, when its board was stocked with business/community leaders such as George Vukasin and Bob Nahas.

Shared NFL stadium?

The Chronicle reported this morning that talks of a shared stadium have occurred between the 49ers and the Raiders. This makes a lot of sense for taxpayers. While new baseball parks can cost between $400 to $600 million, a new football stadium in Northern California could run as high as $1 billion (or more). That's a sum money that no California city has to spend on sports. For obvious reasons, we would prefer that this new Raiders/49ers stadium be built at the Coliseum site -- with the A's at Victory Court -- and for it to be tied in with the redevelopment of the Coliseum/Hegenberger corridor that Oakland Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid favor. Unfortunately, if a shared stadium were to happen, one city will be left with the short end of the stick. Our site being, and not, we are not as well-versed in the business amd politics of the NFL, but hopefully a solution can be worked out that benefits taxpayers as well as Raiders and 49ers fans.

Thanks for checking in and reminder to join us Friday afternoon/evening at GO Bar in Oakland!

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