The Raiders’ training facilities are looking a bit different these days. A lot different, depending on where you are in their complex.
The practice fields are the latest to receive a makeover, with rookie minicamp taking place on the field furthest from the locker room because caterpillar tractors were tearing grass from the other.
This comes just months after the Raiders were being rumored as one of three possible franchises destined for Los Angeles.
The upgrades haven’t come with an official price tag, but the most conservative figure is around $4 million, with some as high as $40 million.
The Raiders needed upgrades to their facilities, and quite badly. The weight room looked more like a discount gym than one hosting millionaire professional athletes, and some high schools have better fields. Most Bay Area universities, in fact, could trump the Raiders’ facilities, Stanford and UC Berkeley being two.
The reason this matters most is that it doesn’t make sense for the Raiders to upgrade their facilities if they truly plan on moving in a year or two. Not if the bill is actually close to $40 million.
Head coach Jack Del Rio‘s first tour of the Alameda facility wasn’t one he’d like to remember, being less than pleased with several outdated features.
It was something he’d brought up in the interview process with upgrades agreed upon during the hiring process.
If Raiders fans are looking for a reason to believe they are truly committed to staying in Oakland, continued renovations could be just that.
It wouldn’t make sense to continue upgrades if the team was heavily involved in talks to move the team to Southern California.
Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.