Raiders, City of Oakland far apart on stadium deal

It’s been long known to reasonable people that a deal between the Raiders and City of Oakland doesn’t carry good odds.

According to the latest report from the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross, the team and city have reached a firm divide that led one source to say the possibility “is gurgling blood.”

Matier and Ross have been hard on the stadium trail for some years now. They now report the Raiders want the existing Coliseum torn down, even if the A’s have an agreement in place and recently invested millions into a new scoreboard system.

It’s fair to wonder whether the move is just a power play, if the Raiders are just looking for a way out of the city and making demands that they know can’t be delivered.

The city could make a concession and offer to split the bill 50/50, but Oakland politicians have remained steadfast in their position that they won’t offer much financial help, creating a $500 million gap in funding the deal.

City and county government have been working towards a “Coliseum City” project that would house both the A’s and Raiders, and maybe even the Warriors, but are only willing to pay the cost of infrastructure.

The teams that currently occupy the Coliseum complex have all sought options outside of Oakland, and it’s easy to understand why.

The city has one of the highest crime rates in the country, and the southern corridor that the teams play in is one of the worst areas.

The appeal, though, is the freeway and BART system already in place, as well as potentially vacant land. The concept is proposed as a mirror of the AT&T Park project, which rejuvenated the Embarcadero from ugly and crime-ridden to upscale and desirable.

If the project is to be continued in Oakland, the Raiders and A’s will need to come together. But it’s looking less plausible with every passing loss from either team.


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.