New ballpark would generate jobs, revenue

September 3, 2009 7:55:59 PM PDT
The campaign by San Jose to get a major league stadium for the Oakland A's is getting a boost by a new economic study.

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For a city that recently wrestled with a $77 million budget deficit, San Jose officials like the numbers in the new economic impact report.

Building a 32,000 seat baseball stadium in San Jose would create 1,000 new jobs, generate $130 million a year in economic benefits and raise $3 million a year in taxes for San Jose, plus $2 million for the county and schools.

"This would be privately paid for, privately owned, means they'd have to pay property taxes, which is good news for local government, not so good news for the operator," Mayor Chuck Reed said.

Those are conservative numbers, according to the city's chief development officer. The analysis does not factor in how a new stadium is expected to transform a neighborhood of undeveloped lots and run-down buildings.

"We think that will happen, but in terms of describing to the public what the baseball will do, we only focused on the baseball stadium itself," Chief Development Officer Paul Krutko said.

However, local schools already are questioning the report.

While it would appear that the local schools would get a windfall, the San Jose Unified School District says that is not the case. The additional revenue would go to the state. The state would then deduct that amount from what aid it gives to local schools.

Lew Wolff, owner of the A's, is the person whose opinion counts the most. He thinks the analysis is on the mark.

"The only thing inhibiting us from moving forward is a decision from baseball," he said.

Downtown San Jose is suffering from a number of restaurant closures. The stadium report projects game fans will spend an average of $47 per game.

"You have to figure parking, and everyone has to have a hot dog, everyone has to have a Coke and the popcorn and, of course, the peanuts and everything else; so all of that, of course, it's going to be that amount," San Jose sports fan Katherine Raquet said.

The report goes to the City Council on September 15.

LINK: Economic Impact Report (PDF)
LINK: San Jose press release about report (PDF)

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