Four Oakland City Council members want to raise ticket prices at all events at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Oracle Arena to help offset the city's massive budget deficit, according to the Trib. The plan would add an additional 10 percent tax on tickets at all events at the two facilities, including Raiders, A's, Warriors' games, and concerts. The tax needs the approval of the full eight-member council and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum authority, a joint panel made up of four city representatives and four from the county. The tax purportedly would raise about $9 million annually for the city, although there is strong reason to doubt it will generate that much money.
The problem is that tickets at the coliseum and arena are already overpriced, and a new tax likely will only depress ticket sales further. In fact, as the Express reported last fall, concert promoters cited the existing city and county 5 percent ticket tax as one of the biggest factors for why the arena consistently underperforms in comparison to similar facilities around the nation, including San Jose's HP Pavilion. The councilmembers proposed the ticket tax as an alternative to Mayor Ron Dellums plan to defer payments on some city programs.