Oakland flexes on Raiders

The Raiders have been getting nearly free room and board for awhile now.

That ended Friday, and the city will receive $3.5 million in rent for the season, which is up from just under $1 million over the previous few seasons.

The amount is for nine games in Oakland, with the Raiders playing one game in Mexico City, in which they will be considered the home team. Two of the nine games are exhibition matches.

The city took a nice stand, and it will be interesting to see if this catches on. The three letter money-tree known as the NFL’s shield has demanded a lot from taxpayers over the years, and it’s not every day that a municipality stands up and makes a demand.

It appears that the Raiders had no issue ponying up a little more dough, either.

Mark Davis and company know they were getting a pretty rich deal, even if they aren’t totally happy with the coliseum’s decay.

The situation can be read two ways: the city is becoming as frustrated with the Raiders as the Raiders say they are frustrated with the city; or that the two parties are closer than ever to working together on a new stadium.

Added respect between the two couldn’t come at a better time, if it is indeed more respect.

Bad teams don’t get new stadiums built in their home areas. See the 1994 Los Angeles Rams. Same Raiders. The 2010-2015 Chargers.

The home of teams in the big apple, Metlife Stadium, was built in 2009 — when the Jets were becoming a real super bowl threat, and the Giants forcing their way into every batter.

M and T Bank Stadium was built when the Baltimore Ravens were faltering, but clearly headed in the right direction with over half of the defense voted into the pro bowl.

And then SunLife Stadium, built when the Dolphins rode high to 11-5.

The Raiders aren’t too far from that. 10 wins was totally attainable last season, and it nearly happened. Oakland is ow as talented as any true contender in the league, and some more wins could help change the team’s mantra.

Just build, baby.


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.