Resolution says city has economic interests for keeping teams

By Steven Tavares.

City Manager Chris Zapata has experience with the type of ongoing turmoil Oakland and Alameda County are facing with its sports franchises over funding new and increasingly costly stadiums.

As a member of the city administration in Glendale, Ariz., during the time when the fast-growing suburb was doling out billions for a state-of-the-art stadium for the Arizona Cardinals and an arena for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, the same push-pull between greedy owners and taxpayers unwilling to fund said sports cathedrals played out in similar ways to the stadium sagas in Oakland with the Raiders, Athletics and Warriors.

The San Leandro Council will likely approve a resolution Monday night offered by Zapata issuing the city’s support for local efforts to build new stadiums in the region.Zapata would later become city manager in National City, Calif. before coming to San Leandro in 2011 and now he hopes to offer neighboring Oakalnd and Alameda County officials, at least, some moral support for keeping the trio of sports teams in town.

“San Leandrans have supported these teams through attendance at games and taxes paid to Alameda County; and as adjacent neighbors have a vested interest in seeing that the proximate BART/Coliseum area is maintained and improved,” says the resolution.

The legislation also notes the financial donations each sports franchise has contributed in the past to San Leandro, in particular recreational grants such as the $50,000 donated by the Athletics to improve baseball fields at Stenzel Park in West San Leandro.

Some Oakland and Alameda County officials have long urged for a more regional approach to keeping the sports teams in the East Bay. Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo, on several occasions, has urged for a more broadly-minded approach that includes support from every city in the county.

While the suggestion has not entailed any financial obligations from cities outside of the county’s stake in the Coliseum, each jurisdiction benefits from its job creation. Hayward and San Leandro residents, in fact, make up a large bloc of workers currently employed at the sports complex.

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Originally posted at East Bay Citizen.