San Jose ready for Oakland A's

September 15, 2009 8:43:17 PM PDT
The city of San Jose is ready to play ball. On Tuesday the City Council took its first look at a study it commissioned, claiming there will be $130 million in economic benefits each year if the ballpark gets built by 2014.

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Mayor Chuck Reed says all that's left to bring a Major League Baseball stadium to San Jose is the blessing of Major League Baseball.

"We're ready to play ball. We're in the stands, we're watching the game, we got our uniform on, we've got our glove, we've got our bat, we've got our cleats, we're ready to go. We just ask you to get us out of the stands, let us get down on the field and show you what we can do as the city of San Jose," says Mayor Chuck Reed.

The Oakland A's want to relocate and owner Lew Wolff has offered to build and operate a $489 million stadium in San Jose. A study commissioned by San Jose shows the city and county would reap $5 million a year in tax revenue and 1,000 permanent jobs would be created. However, California State East Bay sports economist professor Leo Kahane says the city should curb its enthusiasm, that 1,000 jobs just aren't that many.

"In a labor force market of about 925,000 as I recall, that's a pretty small fraction of the overall labor force," says Kahane.

"Economists never agree on anything and so I'm not surprised some people think our assumptions aren't exactly right, but it's in the ballpark," says Reed.

"Although economist agree on very few things, there's essentially a consensus that these kinds of investments provide very little economic stimulus to local communities," says Kahane.

The City Council thinks the benefits have been underestimated.

"I think what we see here, if anything, is a very modest analysis," says Councilman Sam Liccardo.

The 3,200 seat stadium would sit on 14 acres near Diridon Station. The city has paid $26 million for land on the site so far, the remaining land could cost between $16 and $26 million. The city says many of the costs won't be known until Major League Baseball gives the go-ahead for San Jose and the A's to begin negotiations.

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