It is easy to sensationalize the Howard Terminal Project. Various lawsuits are attempting to gum up the works while the Oakland A’s continued flirtation with Las Vegas makes it difficult to trust any information from their side. Misinformation and distrust has led to plenty of speculation as to what is actually happening.
That misinformation and distrust has continued with the latest news about a tax appropriation. A $279.5 million appropriation was a part of the impressive budget approved by governor Gavin Newsom approved. That money is now being used for the Howard Terminal Project.
Oakland A’s stadium not being funded by taxpayers
The appropriation itself says that “Funds appropriated in this item shall be for the Port of Oakland for improvements that facilitate enhanced freight and passenger access and to promote the efficient and safe movement of goods and people.” Nowhere in there does it say that it is for the site retaining its previous status or that it is for the ballpark.
Instead, it is for infrastructure. Howard Terminal is essentially a desolate area where no one goes. Adding the stadium would suddenly bring in an influx of businesses, tourists, fans, and bars. That requires a need for safe roads, bridges, and walkways for those people while avoiding the creation of traffic issues elsewhere.
That infrastructure costs money. In this case, it comes in the form of this appropriation paid by taxpayers. It also turns a section of the city that was useless from a revenue standpoint into something that could actually draw people in. Howard Terminal could suddenly be a thriving area.
But it is easier to create headlines that sensationalize. The funds themselves have nothing to do with the ballpark but in making it safe for everyone to be in the area. And frankly, that is a better alternative than the A’s leaving for Las Vegas.
Taxpayers are not paying for the Oakland A’s new ballpark. They are paying for infrastructure that is desperately needed and will help revitalize the area.