12 April 2005

KTVU interview with Lewis Wolff

Wolff was on Mornings on 2 Monday morning, interviewed by Ross McGowan. The archived video can be found here.

Here's a snippet from the interview:

McGowan: Considering that Oakland has no money, is this going to be privately financed?

Wolff: It (public funding) may not be in the traditional way in terms of issuing a bond issue or by guaranteeing seats and things like that, but there will be public participation. Just in the fact of getting entitlements and zoning, so there's value that cities can add without going broke.

I get the feeling that Wolff is going back to his old redevelopment roots, and the A's are the anchor of an ambitious development plan. Public financing for a ballpark without bonding or seat licenses? Pardon me for being skeptical, but I'm having a hard time seeing it. Then again, he may have something up his sleeve. That's why he's a billionaire and I'm just an observer.

Note: A small clip of the interview was shown during the 10 p.m. KTVU newcast as part of business editor Brian Banmiller's featured story. Banmiller also interview Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente, who reiterated his stance that Oakland doesn't have any public money to put up for a ballpark. He must be referring to Wolff's "traditional" methods as well.