Nov 29, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the second quarter of the game between the USC Trojans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
With relocation to Los Angeles becoming increasingly likely, it is time for Raider fans to begin preparing for the future of this franchise. With Davis, the NFL, and any potential partners in a relocation bid to LA keeping very tight-lipped on the subject, it’s hard to get a read on which of these four stadium options is the most likely, or whether there is a fifth stadium option in play, perhaps in Orange County or the San Fernando Valley or elsewhere. Each plan has it’s own pros and cons, and while the NFL has already sought fan input on potential stadiums (I received and took the survey, myself), ultimately the NFL is going to want the deal that makes the league as a whole the most money. If Mark Davis wants to move his team, he’ll have to play ball with the league.
As a resident of Los Angeles and a lifelong Raider fan, I will be ecstatic if the Raiders do indeed return to LA. I hold no ill will toward the City of Oakland or the fans up in NorCal, but it seems to me that the stadium plan in Oakland is not going forward and I don’t see Mark Davis agreeing to play in Santa Clara in the long run. If the team does return, I prefer the Farmers Field option, but would be also happy to see the team play in either Inglewood or Carson. I’m opposed to the City of Industry plan, since I think it is absolutely the least convenient for fans. That said, I’ll probably buy season tickets regardless.
Los Angeles and the fans here get a lot of flak, especially due to the fact that attendance was abysmal here toward the end of the Raiders first tenure in LA. I want to remind you all that there was a massive riot in the neighborhoods surrounding the Coliseum in 1992, and that scared a lot of fans away from the area. Los Angeles in 2014 is a totally different city, and it is full of very loyal, enthusiastic Raider fans who have supported the team despite the team moving away, and despite the team losing for the past 12 years. Oakland is a great town full of great fans, but the City of Oakland, and indeed Alameda County in general, just don’t have the resources and money to do a stadium deal there without massively hurting the taxpayers up there. The Raiders franchise will struggle to draw great coaches and great free agents so long as the franchise continues to struggle financially and play in a substandard stadium on a substandard field. A move to Los Angeles will change all of that.