Mark Davis is nothing like his father. All you need to do is look at the fact that there is a G.M. running the show, an actual effort made to cut costs and a defensive minded head coach in place as evidence of that. Now if you want a better portrait of the difference between the two Davis then read this great piece penned by Monte Poole.
Among the many topics of which Poole picked Mark Davis’ brain on was that elephant in room known as Los Angeles – as in the Raiders returning to their one-time SoCal home. In recent months pro football retuning to L.A. has been a hot topic what with two bids in place to build stadiums and a list of teams as potential relocation bait to fill said stadiums.
Naturally the Raiders returning to L.A. is always on the table. Al Davis never kept that a secret going as far as to say “if they build a stadium all they’ve got to do is knock on my door”. For Al Davis it was about seeing the big picture. He pioneered the L.A. football market giving the Raiders an intimate connection to two separate communities in one state. Two communities so faithful that one (Oakland) welcomed the Raiders back with open arms and another (Los Angeles) that would gladly do the same.
While his father might have been eager to keep the door open for an L.A. return, Mark Davis has positioned himself in stark contrast on the topic. Not only does Mark Davis want to keep the Raiders in Oakland, he’s wants them to stay in the city proper. While he admires the Bay Area rival 49ers taking their act to Santa Clara for a new stadium, Davis sees his franchise staying right in the heart of Oakland. He also acknowledges the need to infuse more money into the operation though.
“Oakland is my preference, though. I see us as an urban team, being in a city. I want it to work here. I’d like to stay here.
“But we have to find a way to (generate more revenue). We need people buying season tickets. We’re in a deficit-spending situation, and we need to start getting our revenue up.”
Beyond the need to stir up more cash, Davis also knows his team needs a proper venue for all they want to do in the future. The time is long past due for the Raiders to move into a more modern stadium. Davis didn’t bite his tongue on that matter either.
“We have to do something. We’re opening the season on a Monday night, national TV, and we’ll be playing on dirt.”
With all due respect, it’s a major league infield Davis is referring to. That’s nothing like the dirt football field of Fontana High School in the 90’s. None the less this is the NFL and there is absolutely no excuse for a league so profitable to have players on a dirt field. I share Davis’ sentiment.
I also appreciate his desire to keep the Raiders in Oakland. In case you didn’t catch my FOHI reference in the previous paragraph, I’m a SoCal native that grew up as a fan of the L.A. Raiders. I’d love to see them return to Los Angeles but also know what they represent to the East Bay. Few fan bases have the type of close connection to their team like Raider Nation. At one point the Raiders were an absolute mirror of Oakland. There wasn’t a human being living in the Easy Bay during the 70’s that couldn’t find there counterpart on the Raiders roster. That is very important in sports. At times more important than winning and losing.
So Davis’ desire to keep the Raiders where they are is not lost on me. But would it be asking too much if maybe they at least played a preseason game or two in L.A. if and when a stadium gets built? Like many L.A. Raider fans we want football back in our city but only if it’s the silver and black brand we fell in love with.