Oakland Pays $17 Million for NFL Raiders as Cops Fired
Oakland, California, the fifth-most crime ridden city in America, faced a $32 million budget deficit last year. It closed the gap by dismissing a fourth of its police force, more than 200 officers.
Untouched was the $17.3 million that the city pays to stage 10 games a season for the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders and to host Major League Baseball’s Athletics in the O.co Coliseum. The funds cover debt financing and operations and are supplemented by $13.3 million from surrounding Alameda County, based on data compiled by Bloomberg from public records.
Enlarge image Police Headquarters in Oakland
A police officer walks by patrol cars at the Oakland Police headquarters on December 6, 2012. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Oakland Fires Police as NFL Subsidies Bust Budget
Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Rebecca Kaplan, a city council member in Oakland, California, talks with Bloomberg's Kevin Thrash about the city's budget deficit and subsidy agreement with the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders. Oakland mirrors dozens of other U.S. cities and states whose taxpayers provide publicly owned facilities and financial subsidies to teams in the NFL, the U.S.'s most-popular sports league with more than $9 billion in annual revenue. (Source: Bloomberg)
Chart: NFL Subsidies
Enlarge image Oakland Coliseum
Raiders players sit on the sideline during a game at Oakland Coliseum on Dec. 16, 2012. Photographer: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
“If someone calls 911, you’re looking at an indeterminate amount of time before an officer can respond,” says Barry Donelan, 40, a sergeant who is president of the Oakland police union. “Citizens are suffering.” Reversing a renewed rise in violent crime is out of the question, he says.
Now the city is under pressure to replace the 46-year-old structure to keep the Raiders. The team’s owners may move to nearby Santa Clara and share an under-construction, $1.2 billion venue with the San Francisco 49ers, or to Los Angeles, where the City Council has backed a $1.5 billion stadium hoping to lure the NFL. Losing the Raiders would leave Oakland with about $145 million in debt, which originated 17 years ago in part to bring the team back from Los Angeles.
“The 1995 deal didn’t work from a financial perspective for any party to the deal -- city, county or Raiders,” says Amy Trask, chief executive officer of the Raiders. “That shouldn’t stop us from trying to reach a deal that works for everyone.”
Read More Here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1....sustain.story