By Tim Hunt
Decision time for the Raiders?Uploaded: Jan 5, 2016
The future of the Raiders in Oakland potentially will be resolved over the next two weeks.
Owner Mark Davis will be in New York tomorrow meeting with the National Foothill League’s Los Angeles committee, a group of six owners who will make a recommendation on which/if any teams can relocate to Los Angeles. The Chargers, based in San Diego for 35 years, have a joint stadium proposal with the Raiders in Carson, an LA suburb.
The St. Louis Rams also have an interest in Los Angeles and have a competing stadium proposal for Inglewood. On either site, a stadium could accommodate two teams.
NFL owners are scheduled to meet in Houston Jan. 12-13 to discuss and presumably resolve the league’s void in the Los Angeles market.
Davis has steadily maintained he wants to remain in Oakland, but needs a new stadium and does not want the club to cover the costs that likely would be around $1 billion.
The challenge for him is that the leadership of the city of Oakland (Mayor Libby Schaff) and Alameda County (Supervisor Scott Haggerty) have studied history and are refusing to commit taxpayer money to a new stadium. The government agencies still owe more than $100 million for renovations after the Raiders returned from their original sojourn in LA back in the mid-1990s.
As I have observed previously, Al Davis cut one of the great deals in history—the city and county pay for stadium improvements, the city and county were responsible for selling the tickets and seat licenses, while Al controlled the product and set the ticket prices.
It would be a shame if the Raiders depart, but there is no reason to open the public wallet to benefit a private organization. Ironically, head coach Jack Del Rio (who was a prep star at Hayward High and went on to all-star careers at USC and in the NFL) has the team headed in the right direction.
Frankly, the Raiders could do with a fresh start and try to shed some of the aspects of the Black Hole, etc. that make it difficult to attract corporate sponsors. The reality about Oakland is that there are precious few major corporations with big dollars headquartered there. It starts and stops quickly with Clorox and Kaiser (Uber will add another. The same is true for most of the East Bay with the exception of Chevron in San Ramon.
Compare that to LA or the South Bay. Levi’s stadium has been financial home run for the 49ers with abundant corporate sponsorships despite poor play on the field. Stadium revenues have soared.
LA has nearly as much potential, particularly since there is no competition for the NFL.