If you’re a high-rolling CEO, you let people know – show off a spiffy suit, sport a designer watch, roll around in a lavish set of wheels.
So for those managing a major city, how does one dress up the impression that their metropolitan is first-class?
The ultimate bling might be a professional sports franchise.
And there may be some truth to it; everyone knows where the city of Green Bay is for a reason (we’re talking Brett Favre, not the Green Bay Broadway District).
Though, an economist could argue that the positive economic effects of a professional sports team don’t actually exist. And with cities already scrapping together tight budgets, the notion of a stadium doesn’t standout as a main concern.
Regardless, when a professional sports team starts giving their current city “the breakup speech,” suitors come from cities everywhere.
So when plans for the A’s move from Oakland to Fremont fell through, speculation began and voices from different California cities started speaking out.
Currently, the team’s stay at the Coliseum could conclude as early as the end of the 2010 season. Three one-year options could keep the team and city united through 2013. Mayor Ron Dellums says the city is willing to do anything IN REASON to keep the A’s.
But other cities are looking to woo the A’s, hoping the Major League Baseball franchise can become an instant symbol of success.
San Jose city council members asked that the building of a ballpark for the A’s be discussed in a March 24 meeting.
In a memo sent to San Jose’s Rules and Open Government Committee, according to NBC Bay Area, council members wrote that “Bringing the A’s to San Jose is a great opportunity to market San Jose and the downtown core.”
Stanford economist Richard Noll was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News, “I think San Jose is probably their last shot in the Bay Area. I think that will be the next shot. Whether it will happen, of course, is indeterminate. I think the politics of stadiums have turned sour in the last few years. It’s much more difficult than it used to be to get local governments to approve these things, even if the investment of the local government is small.”
Sacramento has been working for years on a new arena plan for the Sacramento Kings. Earlier this week, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, in his state of the city address, made his goals clear:
“If the Kings for some strange reason decide to not stay in Sacramento, then we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep them here. And if they leave for some strange reason then we need to get somebody else in Sacramento. I don’t care if it’s the Oakland A’s. I don’t care if it’s the Golden State Warriors. We have to have a franchise, a top notch world class franchise in our city because it helps elevate the profile of our city.”
But with the city economies throughout California being as bad as they are right now, building a stadium shouldn’t be priority right now anyways.
You wouldn’t buy that nice suit, watch and car if you didn’t have enough money to feed and clothe your children first, would you?
James Spencer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org