Oct 6, 2013; Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Stadium or Bust?


In recent interviews majority owner Mark Davis have provided some insight on the future of the Oakland Raiders. Or should I say Los Angeles Raiders? That’s right here we go again. Are the Raiders headed back to LA?

Back in ’95 Al Davis got a smoking deal to move back to Oakland after 12 years in LA. As in ’95, stadium woes and money were a big part of the move. Could Mark Davis follow in his father’s footsteps and relocate the Raiders back to Los Angeles? How desperate is Mark for a new stadium?

The case for Oakland is a strong one. Oakland is a working class city and original home of the Raiders. Far from the high society and pretty boy image of the 49ers, Oakland fits the Raiders to a tee. Tough, loyal, and intimidating. I would love to see the Raiders remain in Oakland for the city, and for the fanbase.

But Oakland comes with its fair share of problems as well. A city on the brink of bankruptcy, this article from May 2013 highlights some economic woes for several California cities, including Oakland.   “Even with a recovering economy, the city is facing a $19 million shortfall in the coming year and projects a deficit of $35 million or more in  2015…” William M. Welch, USA TODAY. Oakland is not exactly a prime candidate to fund a new state of the art NFL stadium.

So how are NFL stadiums funded anyway? If you guessed the multi-billion dollar industry of the NFL and Roger Goodell would cover the cost….your dead wrong!

Here is a great article which provides a rundown of how “You” the taxpayer funds the building and long-term cost of NFL stadiums.  With the recent revelation by Mark Davis that there has been no updates regarding the proposed sports and entertainment site in Oakland, time is quickly running out.

I can not fathom the Raiders ever playing outside of California. So obviously a relocation of the Raiders to their former home in Los Angeles makes the most sense. Mark has been spotted at Clippers games, and is a regular in LA. I’m sure Mark has had some great memories from the LA Raiders days, including watching his father win a Super Bowl.

Bottom line is, LA may provide the best opportunity for the Raiders to get a home of their own. There is just one small problem….The NFL owns the Los Angeles football market! Daniel Kaplan tweeted this in November of last year.

Of course this does not mean the Raiders can not move, it just means the NFL will have final say. Kaplan reports, “Meanwhile, Raiders owner Mark Davis has had discussions with several parties in Los Angeles, multiple sources said, including with Michael Ovitz about his cobwebbed project in Carson, Calif.” -Daniel Kaplan, SBJ.

Obviously the “Oakland” Raiders stadium situation is a fluid issue, things will change, deals will be made. There is too much money at stake. My fear, and this is strictly my opinion, is the NFL will force Mark Davis to earn their trust first. The league and owners are businessmen always, and prefer league owners who stick to the gameplan.

For all the brilliance of Al Davis, he was a thorn in the leagues side, and we loved him for that. Unfortunately Mark may have to climb out of the hole dug by his father, or be outcast by the league. In the end only the fans may suffer.

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  • KloverJane

    Move to LA.

  • Don

    Stay in OAKLAND!

  • B Christopher

    Come Back to LA. At least we can honestly say that this sat stint in Oakland had been a disaster. Come Black to LA! GO RAIDERS!

  • sickoe47

    The raiders and the city of oakland deserve a brand spanking new stadium.sure moving back to LA would be great but oaktown has always supported the raiders unlike st louis and their bush league fans it would be a travesty if the NFL would allow them to do so.

  • nomoreseasontix

    Best location would be next to Camp Parks in Dublin. But, it kinda sounds like that idea is a non-starter. L.A. is the logical, knee-jerk city of choice to many. I personally think the Chargers will move there before the Raiders.
    Goodell thought sharing the new place in Santa Clara with the Niners was a swell idea. Really?? For who?
    Going to a Raider game in a merlot and gold stadium?? I see zero chance of that happening. It would have just provided a way to get the Raiders to help pay for the Niners’ stadium.
    I have no idea what will end up happening, other than that there won’t be a new stadium anywhere in Oakland. Who’s going to put up $8-900 mil to develop anything there? Honestly?

  • Goroztieta

    Raiders should move back to L.A. Mark Davis will need to sell a piece of the team to get NFL approval

  • Pridenpoise

    The Raiders have proved before they don’t need permission from the NFL, to move their franchise, I don’t know if young Mark has the balls that Al did, LA was home before and it could be again. Only if they can’t get things done in Oakland, which is looking dire right now.

  • Notoraiders Inlosangeles

    The NFL will only allow an owner with deep pockets (ala Stan Kroenke of the Rams) to inhabit the L.A. market. The NFL isn’t even ready to put a team back in SoCal. They make far too much $$$ off of the TV contracts with no team in L.A. Davis can posture and grow impatient as much as he wants. If the Oakland deal falls through, the NFL will lean hard on Davis to share the Santa Clara stadium with the Whiners.

  • RaiderCraig

    Hypothetically, say they move to Los Angeles. Where do they play the 3-4 years the stadium is being built? Share LA Coliseum again with USC? Does USC want that? Plus, that stadium has a 93,000 seat capacity. Say they tarp off 20,000 of those seats, you are still asking 70,000 La La Landians to pay handsomely for tickets each week to avoid a blackout to watch a bad product. I love my Raiders, but let’s not kid ourselves, since ’03 we have been an embarassment. Personally, I think LA would purposely not buy tickets so they can see other games on TV. Right now they have the best of all worlds, as they have 2 games in the morning and afternoon and have two good football teams to watch on Saturday (UCLA and USC).

    When it comes down to it, who is going to build the stadium in Los Angeles. Last time I checked, Davis doesn’t have that kind of money to build one (which is the reason he’s in the predicament he’s in) and the 2 stadiums being proposed want controlling stakes of the team that moves into the Stadiums. Mark Davis would be crazy to give that up if he really loves football.

    Basically I see it coming down to them staying in Oakland or sharing Levi Stadium with the 49ers. Maybe both, sharing the Stadium while another one get’s built.

  • http://batman-news.com Otis60

    If a move out of Oakland has to happen, my thought is that Sacramento would be the best option. Most fans would have no problem driving there for games, besides which, there are thousands of fans already in Sacto and areas to the north and south. LA didn’t fill the Coliseum for the RAIDERS when they had them before, and that was with a championship-caliber team with a lot of star power. With the current team, they wouldn’t draw dick there now. Lots of open land around the Sacto airport.

  • nomoreseasontix

    Good points, except that what fans want to watch has absolutely no bearing on anything. You’re right that they’d never have sellouts whatever they do.
    The games would be a trendy, cool thing to do for awhile, then everyone would move on to the next trendy, cool thing. The Lakers do well because it isn’t hard to sell out a basketball arena. If they played in a 70,000 seat stadium, it would be different.
    Someone will end up luring a team there and build a stadium. And will end up losing money.

  • J K

    What happened to Coliseum City and the Prince of Dubai and four Hotels?
    The City spends millions connecting the Coliseum BArt to the Oakland Airport?
    The Warriors are not moving to Fisherman’s wharf and The A’s owner is stalling and waiting for a better deal !
    SOMETHING is going on here but who is at the helm of this deal.
    Davis is signing one year leases at this point. Because someone told him something is coming! If he spends anytime in LA it’s to prepare a back up plan.
    Politics is like a poker game and all RaiderFans can do is watch from the sidelines and support our Team!
    Go Raiders !

  • Sky Langford

    mark, oh mark, you are definetly caught between a rock and a hard place. Your stuck in a dump and cant get out. Your father burned L.A. and burned the N.F.L. Now you want a new stadium, and actually very understandably…..And the sewage problem doesnt help any either…. the problem is, moving to a city requires the purchase of land. Well there’s plenty in oregon and in nevada….So those are always possibilities…. but a purchase of land let say in L.A……. is going to be difficult, since fellow owner Stan Kroenke recently purchased 60 acres of land, which ironically was the exact site in which Al davis wanted to put Raiders land in…. Mark, oh mark, you have been beaten to the punch again…..