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Oakland is a Hot Market, but not in Sports

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Raiders owner Mark Davis with fans as part of presentation by which the club would move from Oakland to Las Vegas. Photo: The Associated Press

Answer: This city may have the hottest real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area. Question: What is Oakland? Correct. That’s right, Oakland, California, the city where author Gertrude Stein once contended that, “there is no there there” in her book “Everybody’s Autobiography.”

It is true Oakland has become a desired place to live in the past few years because there is a there there in terms of available housing at a relatively cheap price and proximity to San Francisco.

Sports owners don’t have the same regard for the city. The Golden State Warriors ownership plans to go across the Bay Bridge and open up a new facility in San Francisco. Mark Davis and his Raiders partners are heading to Las Vegas because Oakland would not put up money to build a new facility for the Raiders ownership nor would Oakland match the Nevada handout of $750 million in subsidies to help construct a Las Vegas football stadium.

Two decades ago, when the National Hockey League was expanding by four teams, ultimately the league took Atlanta, Columbus, Nashville and St. Paul, a Hampton Roads, Virginia group was pushing for a team. The expansion bidders included members of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets ownership so they understood what a team meant to an area and if having a sports team in a city, in their case Charlotte, attracted people and companies to move to there. The answer that came back, no real impact.

It was nice Charlotte had an NBA and a National Football League team but sports was not on any “must have” lists for people to move to a city. It all came down to jobs and housing availability.

Oakland elected officials would like to keep Major League Baseball’s A’s in town but Oakland is a hot real estate market despite the fact that two sports ownership groups are leaving.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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