When a city puts up public money for a stadium, it’s not unreasonable that the stadium will include at least some place for city use. Like, say, a luxury box. Petco Park in San Diego has a luxury box which is owned by the city, and it’s become something of an odd political issue.
The use of it in the past several years has not, actually, been terribly controversial. For the most part city council members give it to groups who request its use, such as charities, neighborhood organizations, youth groups and the like. Sometimes donors and political cronies get to use it, but apparently the process is transparent, with the city publicly listing who applies to use the box and who actually uses it.
But now the mayor wants to cease the city’s use of it and, rather, lease out the box and use the proceeds to fund city services. The story about all of that is at the Union-Tribune, and it shows that the politics about it all are somewhat complicated: does the city give away good seats to the public which they couldn’t otherwise get, or do they allow private groups to use it, but have the money come back to the city?
A third option — the team giving a lot more money back to the city in exchange for the cash cow it was given by taxpayers — is probably too ridiculous to be on the table.