A report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a pro-business think tank, estimates the proposed Howard Terminal ballpark project near Jack London Square will generate $7.3 billion in total economic benefits over the decade following build out of the waterfront area.
The project, which would be one of the largest in the Bay Area, would also create more than 6,119 jobs. In addition, to a 35,000-seat privately-financed ballpark for the Oakland Athletics, retail and restaurant spaces, residential housing units, and offices buildings are slated for the waterfront area west of Jack London Square.
Pending a number of significant regulatory approvals, a new ballpark at Howard Terminal would not open, at its earliest, until 2023.
According the report, released Wednesday, an estimated 3,623 of the more than 6,100 jobs will ultimately become full-time. Most will be office jobs, around 2,500, and just 667 linked to the ballpark.
A previous report from the Bay Area Council estimated the waterfront ballpark, by itself, would generate $3 billion for the local economy. A proposed gondola linking downtown Oakland to the ballpark would add an additional $685 million in spending over a 10-year period, the think tank estimated.
The report’s methodology is based on an assumption that for “every $1 in direct spending, an additional percentage is spent on housing, healthcare, food, retail, and other items within the City of Oakland.” It does not include early construction impacts to the area.
Many economists, though, find fulsome estimates of the economic benefits associated with stadiums and arenas to be dubious. A number of studies, in fact, have long found negligible economic benefits from new stadiums. And any perceived gains may only represent a loss for another part of the city.