Coliseum lease doesn’t help Raiders
O.CO COLISEUM — The Oakland city council gave their thumbs up this week to a revised version of an already-approved proposal between the Oakland A’s and Alameda County Joint Powers Authority.
The deal now heads back to the team and county, though it seems likely the revisions will be OK’d by both entities. This could be troublesome for the Raiders.
Owner Mark Davis wants to build a stadium on the current lot, which would be difficult during the time the two structures remain in place.
Davis has floated other potential residences for the new stadium — the most prominent being an Army Reserve base in Dublin — but remains committed to finding a solution in Oakland for the time being.
In a city with such a dense population, building in Oakland is a difficult project to even begin, especially if they clear space by knocking down existing structures.
The city doesn’t appear ready to use eminent domain to help out, so the only slab of concrete with enough infrastructure to support such a large attraction is still the current location.
This could change if Oracle Arena is torn down, which seems likely once the Warriors officially move to San Francisco.
One idea NFL commissioner Roger Goodell floated is that the Raiders share newly built Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers. As Tim Kawakami pointed out Thursday, there’s one major issue with that idea.
The 49ers sold $500 million in seat licenses, which allows buyers first dibs on any event — a football game, concert, even a beauty pageant — and could subsequently lead to lawsuits.
Beyond that, there’s the myriad of 49ers logos plastered on every possible surface. The Raiders feel they’ve earned a place of their own, and it’s doubtful fans of either team would embrace a shared stadium.
That’s not to say it shouldn’t happen. Sharing has worked out well for the New York Jets and Giants in MetLife Stadium. The shared building isn’t even in New York, it’s one state over in northern New Jersey.
And while it doesn’t seem plausible today, the 49ers were loaned $200 million by the NFL and aren’t in a position of power at the moment.
Beyond that, Davis has remained adamant that he wants a smaller stadium, free of Red and Gold, or anything Joe Montana.
He told Paul Gutierrez early in the 2013 season that he wants something that is a legacy to his father and the Raiders brand.
Though the road blocks may be difficult to break through, the Dublin concept is not without its own set of issues.
Many locals are opposed to the idea, between drunken fans driving on their highways and other perceptions — often misinformed — of what the Raiders bring.
Downtown Dublin has a “homey” feel, and they don’t want to lose that. But a proposal to businesses and residents regarding tax changes and potential earnings could change sentiments. And the site is perfect for a football stadium.
There’s a BART station a half-mile away, and it sits just a few minutes from the I-680 and I-580 interchange. The land is barren, and there are enough shops around that little infrastructure would need to be added.
Really, it’s a perfect place should the team have to leave Oakland — which seems more likely with every passing day.
There has been some chatter about potentially building in Concord, with a similar plan on an old military base. But that’s not going to happen.
There’s more reasons that one, but the Concord base once stored nuclear warheads, and a liquored-up football crowd doesn’t need to be exposed to any more bio-hazards — especially if the team goes 4-12 for the third consecutive time.
The largest issue beyond moving out of Oakland remains public perception.
There’s no doubting Raiders season ticket-holders can be raucous. They can definitely be loud, and are sometimes plainly outrageous. But that’s what a die-hard fan base is.
A’s fans in right field are no different. Neither are a large number of 49ers fans, which becomes clear with one visit to a pre-game tailgate.
There is weed smoke galore at both, to go along with barbecued tri-tip and smoked chicken, even some almond milk for the hipster crowd.
And Raiders fans are generally decent — just not to the super-judgmental.
Once the residents of Dublin wise up to the reality that Raider Nation is no different from any other group of football fans, there could be some progress made.