March 7, 2011
RATTO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE RAIDERS PAGE
Not that anyone in the why-dont-you-pay-for-my-stadium game was pinning any hopes on Governor Jerry Brown, but when he gave the 49ers and Raiders the old Let em eat Cal and Stanford backhand, that told us everything to know not just about Browns position, but about the states position on stadium construction.
Specifically, Let em eat Cal and Stanford.
Through the courtesy of the comedy stylings of Phil Matier and Andy Ross in todays Chronicle, Brown upchucked all over the notion of government or taxpayer help for a Raiders49ers stadium, let alone an As park.
Oakland and Alameda County are spending 25 million a year, over a 20-year period, to repay a bond on a stadium that the owners now say may not be usable. That troubles me, Phil the Pill and Dandy Andy quoted Brown as saying. My general view is we have to put education first and entertainment second.
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Boy, you hate to hear that kind of social thought. How can anyone legitimately decide between a nuclear powered weight room with platinum elliptical machines and a functioning school?
But when he said the redevelopment money earmarked for the 49ers stadium is likely to disappear as part of Californias fiscal disaster, he said, Use the ones over at Berkeley and Stanford. They are good stadiums," Brown said.
Then he said something stupid about AT&T Park.
Private enterprise should be able to survive on its own, as witnessed at Pac Bell (AT&T) Park, he said, ignoring that the ballpark has changed names about six or seven times, and in either event has cost the City and County of San Francisco in the neighborhood of 150 million in infrastructure and security costs in its 11-plus years.
But the point is made nonetheless. Brown is not the go-to guy on this stadium stuff, and may offer significant political roadblocks to any end runs. That makes it harder for Jed York, or when the As drop the public component on their stadium plan in San Jose, to turn dirt into diamonds.
In other words, just one more brick in the wall that keeps the status so very quo in these parts. And why York and John Fisher have to make a hard determination on how much of their personal fortunes they want to throw into what is for each of them a grandiose hobby.
In the meantime, San Jose State is angry with the governor because they wanted Spartan Stadium included in his theyre good stadiums master plan. Nobodys ever happy.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.