Before I begin my arguments about a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders in or around the City of Oakland, CA, I just want everybody to know that I am not a planning expert or a money expert. I don’t claim to know all the ins and outs of making a deal for a new stadium. However, I just feel that a realistic opinion about the building of a new stadium should be heard. This is the opinion I hold true to.
I believe that Education is the key to unlock so many doors in life, and it should not be lost for any reason, but it takes revenue to generate programs that benefit education. The following opinion was based solely on articles I have read about the planning of a new Oakland Raiders stadium, history and profiles about Mayor Jean Quan, the proposal presented to Mayor Quan by Raiders owner Mark Davis, crime reports out of the City of Oakland, and articles dealing with the publics concern for educational programs that would ultimately benefit the City of Oakland. Here are my opinions and arguments:
The Mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, shows up late to a meeting with one of the most powerful organizations in the world, the NFL, and Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis. She claimed that she was late due to a phone call. The message this sends to the NFL and Owner Mark Davis is that she doesn’t care whether or not the Raiders get a new stadium, and she doesn’t care if a sports team remains within the city limits of Oakland, CA.
Well Raider Nation, I’m here to tell you that she is not thinking this all the way through. First, let’s focus on the issues at hand in Oakland, CA. The two main issues facing the City of Oakland are its crime and education problems. Mayor Quan has been criticized by her constituents, because they feel that she is not doing anything to combat the rising crime rate. Furthermore, Quan used to sit on the Oakland School Board, a position that helped to get her elected, and she has failed the community by not focusing on cleaning up the schools. Education seems to be one of the biggest issues facing the City of Oakland. Many parents and community officials complain about the cost of a new stadium. Their contention is that it would take vital money away from improving the education programs or programs in place to clean up Oakland City Schools.
Initially, their fears of education money being diverted to fund the stadium would in fact occur. However, the big picture would be revenue generated in the City of Oakland from fans attending the game, and from events that would take place at the new stadium. Not to mention, ticket prices would be increased to pay back the money that was given by the City of Oakland to begin building the stadium.
Another huge positive for the City of Oakland would be the jobs created to build a new stadium. As workers would come from near and far to be a part of this process, revenue would increase in the City of Oakland. Job workers must eat, buy tools, buy new clothes, pay for entertainment, etc… Most of the time, these workers aren’t going to stray very far from where they are working. Therefore, the local economy would increase during the building of the stadium. With the increase in local economy, local jobs would become available, and there would be an increase in the programs available to city schools and added police presence due to the revenue being generated.
Moreover, new businesses would open in Oakland, CA, in anticipation of the revenue that would come with the new stadium, and this would create more jobs and money for the City of Oakland. The educational system would benefit from the increased local economy. An example of this exact scenario is only about 600 miles away in San Diego, CA. I use this as an example, because I used to live in San Diego, CA, when I was in the United States Navy. The downtown complexes in San Diego were run down, homeless people thrived along the streets, and the crime rate was up in the downtown area. What happened, well, a new baseball stadium (Petco Park) was built for the San Diego Padres, and the entire process from start to finish cleaned up the downtown area. Downtown San Diego received a complete makeover, and revenue has increased immensely. New jobs, new businesses, new hotels, renovated plaza’s, etc… Who benefited? The City of San Diego and all its programs along with it.
The point I’m trying to get across here is simple, a new stadium has its headaches, but the ultimate goal is to benefit the team and the city it will be located within. If the City of Oakland and its residents want improvement, then this is a way to begin an improvement process. Nothing happens overnight, and instant gratification is not a realistic solution to the problems facing Oakland. Revenue must be generated before educational programs can be paid for or police presence can be increased. Ultimately, the goal of the Oakland Raiders desire to acquire a new stadium in the near future will be beneficial to the community of Oakland, CA. If the City of Oakland loses its sports teams (Oakland Raiders, Oakland A’s, Golden State Warriors), the revenue that was generated by these organizations leave with the organizations.
There will be no more professional athletes appearing at City Schools to encourage the children to work hard and improve their education. There will be no more professional athletes donating money to school programs or local programs that benefit the community. Jobs will be lost. Stadiums will become desolate and businesses will no longer wish to be a part of any event related to the O.co complex or Oracle Stadium. Is this what the City of Oakland wishes to happen? Make no mistake, there will be a ripple effect good or bad dependent upon the decision made by the City of Oakland and its residents, community leaders, and elected officials.
I still hold true to my initial proposal of having the fans donate their hard-earned money to assist in the initial stages of the building process. If you haven’t already read the article, see this link:
My initial thoughts on a kick-start to the building of a new stadium is outlined in the article, and it brings up some good points. Furthermore, there were some excellent comments made by readers that really get a person thinking that this could happen. If any of Raider Nation out there have some friends on the City of Oakland Planning Committee, this might be something that could be proposed to them. We, the fans, have a voice, and it is a voice that should be heard.