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.