I took to Twitter and asked BTTB fans/readers (those are not necessarily mutually inclusive) if they would prefer for me to break down game film of last week’s preseason game or rather focus on the recent release of the ENA report regarding coliseum city. As you can probably guess every response I received was for me to address and give a synopsis of the report. With that in mind, I am going to cover the major points and those I find most interesting in the 24 page report. It reads like most business reports and is fairly dry unless you are a complete nerd as I am.
As one would assume their is a significant investment in site infrastructure that needs to occur in order to support the ambitious project that the mayor and Raiders are proposing; however the investment in infrastructure that is needed may be a little shocking for fans. Firstly and what I consider stunning, the ENA reports states that the current site and its proposed surrounding area is actually in prime infrastructure condition in terms of utilities with both move than required electrical capacity and sewage capacity. This statement does beg the question of why the coliseum has sewage issues if the current area provides sufficient infrastructure, but that has more to do with drainage. In fact this is where a large bulk of infrastructure development must occur. According to the report, the drainage runs through the parking lots to the Damon Slough and Elmhurst Creek. This does not meet drainage requirements nor is it environmentally sustainable according to local ordinance regarding SWPP (storm water protection plans). The development of the site will also require development of both creeks in an urban development plan. I almost forgot, the entire site has to be re-graded.
Part of the infrastructure needs is removing the old coliseum. The report states, “The existing stadium will be left standing and will be used until the future stadium and potentially new ballpark are completed in 2018. This stadium is a concrete stadium that extends significantly below existing grade. This below grade area is protected by a concrete ‘bowl’ that will have to be removed along with the existing superstructure. The demolition process will be very complex and could be required to be complete.” Immediately this statement caused me to ask the question, “Who plays in the coliseum?” Later in the report it is stated that the ENA team only expects the Athletics to play at the existing site. Considering the recent developments with the project this makes sense, but raises more concerns for the Raiders. It is known the Raiders have until October to move on the lease at the coliseum, but my feeling with information I have gathered tells me a temporary stay at Levi’s or Cal Berkley is inevitable. The idea of a NFL team sharing a stadium is sickening for many and having the Raiders out while the site is developed could ease year round traffic at the site with the huge crowds that tailgate and clog the site. There are lots of moving parts for both sites, but they make the most sense if the coliseum city project is to progress.