OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Some East Bay politicians will soon be facing strict new limits on the number of free tickets they can get to concerts and games at the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena.
The changes come in the wake of a KPIX 5 investigation.READ MORE: UPDATE: Investigation Underway Into Fatal Freeway Shooting On I-580 In Oakland
With the NBA playoffs starting this weekend, the Coliseum Board of Commissioners on Friday unanimously voted to crack down on members who abuse their access to free tickets.
“This will ensure that members are not abusing tickets and using them for personal reasons and things of that nature,” said Nate Miley the Chair of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority.
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Miley said the changes will bring order to a policy that KPIX 5 discovered was being blatantly abused as recently as 2016.
That when reported on the story of city council members attending tens of thousands of dollars worth of Warriors games for free, watching from a luxury suite while claiming in paperwork that they were at the games to “investigate efficiencies” or for “oversight of facilities.”READ MORE: COVID: Bay Area Health Officials, Schools Prepare To Vaccinate Kids 5-11 As Authorization Looms
After the KPIX reports, the public ethics commission investigated and urged the city, county and Joint Powers Authority to revamp their policies. On Friday, the JPA did just that.
Under the new policy, each board member will have “access to 5 games/events for community and charitable organizations.”
A “reporting form must be completed and signed” at the time the tickets are distributed. And board members will be asked to “call or write directly to the Coliseum Authority Executive Director” if they hear or see anything concerning.
Miley says that while the changes are important, they could be soon be irrelevant with the Warriors on their way to San Francisco next season and the Raiders headed to Las Vegas in the next year or two.
“So really, it’s going to become not quite a moot point, but it’s going to diminish with the just the A’s and concerts here,” said Miley.
The new policy also stresses that the tickets are never, under any circumstances, to be used for personal or financial benefit.MORE NEWS: COVID: Muni To Suspend 'Short' Line Service Citing Vaccine Mandate Staffing Issues
The city of Oakland is still working on a new policy for council members who use free tickets. They are asking for the public’s input on what that policy should look like.