Coliseum Authority approves Raiders stadium study

Just in case the Santa Clara stadium concept gets voted down, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority gave the green light to a feasibility study for a new NFL stadium on Coliseum grounds. The study will cost $125,000, the entirety of which will by paid for by the Authority. Conventions, Sports & Leisure International will be doing the work, as they did for the 49ers’ and A’s economic impact reports. (Seems like they’ve got this market cornered, no?)

Zennie Abraham is upset about the apparent lack of minority involvement. My guess is that since CSLI worked with the Niners on the single and dual-team concept, whatever they learned from that experience could be leveraged for a new Coliseum stadium. One interesting note: CSLI is also doing a post mortem economic impact report on Petco Park. Of course, I painted the 49ers’ study as overly rosy and the A’s as a mixed bag, so it’s hard to know what to expect from CSLI. Cam Inman thinks the study is a waste of money since we can easily predict the results.

Perhaps the most troubling thing is the apparent disconnect between the Raiders and the Authority. From Amy Trask (via Chris Metinko’s Tribune article):

“We have expended resources in evaluating and furthering the concept of an urban redevelopment project, anchored by a stadium. In that regard, we have already engaged (at our expense) professionals to assist with this analysis. We have not heard from the Joint Powers Authority about the funding of a study, so it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

I thought that these two parties were in some hush-hush negotiations over the past year. Man, oh man. I, myself, am coordinating a move of my employer’s 12-person office to a bigger space in a different building within the complex. There’s no feasibility study needed, but that seems like one of those major items on a project plan, like “finalize budget” or “send out communications to employees.” What does it say about the state of affairs that Trask said she wasn’t contacted, and that the team has been doing its own studies? Sounds like they aren’t on the same page at the very least. Are the Raiders that interested in staying at the Coliseum? The only public rumblings we’ve heard so far were the Raiders talking to Dublin about Camp Parks.

All this gets a big shrug out of me.

Update: Matier & Ross report that Oakland has bought 19 acres of land near the Coliseum as part of this effort. My guess is that it’s the old HomeBase site (PDF) on Hegenberger. Some observations:

  • The land cost is $19 million for 19 acres. Wolff was willing to buy Coliseum North land for $1 million an acre.
  • The HomeBase site is rectangular, making it perfectly sized and shaped for a football stadium.
  • If the stadium is placed correctly, it should avoid EBMUD’s massive sewer interceptor, which runs right through the Coliseum and Malibu lots and can’t have any structures on top of it.

81 Responses to Coliseum Authority approves Raiders stadium study

  1. FC says:

    Raiders + Authority = 2 disfunctional entities

  2. pjk says:

    A jointly used Raiders-49ers stadium in the Coliseum parking lot makes so much more sense than putting one next to Great America, in the flight path of SJ Airport, and asking Santa Clara to pony up millions and millions of dollars.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Oakland will be asked to pony up millions as well. But otherwise, I pretty much agree.

  4. pjk says:

    FWIW, half of a new football stadium already exists at the Coliseum. I think this plan has been detailed in here before, but take the football stands built in 1995 (which have dozens of luxury boxes Al Davis probably has never been to lease) and keep those . Then, move the A’s to a new stadium in Fremont, San Jose or Oakland. Knock down the 1968 remnants of the coliseum and put up new football stands. And there you have it- a brand new stadium for probably $300 million, with costs to be shared by two teams.

    Better than a $1 bill stadium where one has never been in Santa Clara.

  5. Mark N. says:

    And that way you don’t have to rebuild/redirect the pedestrian bridge to BART.

    p.s. – Formerly just “Mark” with the comment about Amtrak to Diridon. Different from the other Mark that posted on sfresident’s thread in the previous post.

  6. Mark N. says:

    How’s this for pure fantasy. Build it on Treasure Island. That would be a unique location, worldwide I’d think. Views like you would not believe. Right in the middle of the bay, nobody’s nose gets tweaked. Ferry terminals already exist in San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, Vallejo, Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon. With the WETA ferry system getting up and going, there will be more ferry access from Redwood City, South San Francisco, Martinez, Antioch, Hercules, Berkeley and Richmond. WETA has a T.I. terminal in its plans as well.

  7. pjk says:

    Treasure Island? Talk about a nightmare for getting in and out of the place. Anyone who goes to a football game to get a great view of the Bay Area should keep his $75 and skip the game.

  8. Nam Turk says:

    Are you !@#$%^&*ing serious?

  9. FremontA's says:

    Bringing the 49ers or Warriors to the downtown San Jose is a great idea where the proposed ballpark. So the A’s could stay in the Alameda County without any lawsuit by the Giants. I’m hoping Major League Baseball choose Fremont or Oakland, but I still perfer Fremont. :)

  10. Mark N. says:

    Did you read the fist sentence?

  11. pjk says:

    …The Giants are prevented from suing MLB by MLB by-laws. They’d be in violation of their franchise agreement. What I’d like to see is a lawsuit by San Jose against the Giants. That would be great. Have the Giants compensate San Jose for lost economic opportunity.

    Perhaps if it gets to the point where it’s San Jose or risk having the team move out of state, California’s senators and congressmen can pledge to reconsider MLB’s anti-trust exemption.

  12. AthleticsFan says:

    I do agree that this is wasted money, and not EVERYONE is on the same page. Despite that, I think it is very possible for a joint stadium on the Coliseum Area in which the old coliseum will be again renovated; keeping Mt. Davis, destroying the baseball stands, building football stands in its place, basically renovating the interior designs, and last, maybe improve the exterior design to accommodate extra foot traffic, and add some businesses around it.

    Oakland is improving, and the best way to add onto that improvement is by having a major renovation at their Coliseum Complex either by projects or one huge one. Can’t let the Coliseum Complex be put to waste, seriously.

    For the A’s, I am really getting tired of this nonsense, they are getting a good team going, but the stadium issue is really affecting many of their fans. Be it, Fremont, San Jose, or Oakland. I don’t know just get it done.

  13. Nam Turk says:

    Apparently not, haha…

  14. bartleby says:

    I think they’d still need to rebuild the footbridge. A new stadium would presumably have substantially larger capacity than the current 63,000, and the current bridge is already inadequate for Raider games.

  15. Marine Layer says:

    I’ve heard that the footbridge is in some kind of ownership limbo, in that no one claims responsibility over it. When it comes to rebuilding it, it could easily become a new hidden cost.

  16. bartleby says:

    Hmmm. What does that mean from an inspection and safety standpoint? Are we going to have a bridge full of people fall onto the tracks someday because no one is maintaining the damn thing?

  17. Marine Layer says:

    If push comes to shove, the Authority will have to figure out a way to foot the bill for any repairs. The pedestrian bridge is on land that is privately owned, and I don’t see an easement on any records. I’m guessing that if the foundation starts to crumble there’ll be a lot of explaining to do. Strange considering that there are several easements that run through the Coliseum complex.

  18. Zonis says:

    Burried in the last thread, but again call for a better comment system.

  19. Marine Layer says:

    Noted. Not changing anytime soon. Investigating alternatives. Don’t expect anything overnight.

  20. gojohn10 says:

    Will someone please explain to me why Oakland is already buying up land for a potential football stadium while they haven’t even talked to owners that would be displaced with a JLS ballpark? I suppose it must be because the Raiders are so loyal to Oakland!

    Oakland has quietly spent more than $19 million to buy up 18-plus acres around the Coliseum complex in anticipation of a possible stadium deal.

  21. hamachi says:

    because the coliseum site may actually happen, while the JLS stuff probably won’t. but it is funny in a sad way.

  22. AthleticsFan says:

    Don’t question Oakland’s ability to buy up land for potential stadium sites. If you think the A’s will not be choosing Oakland in the future than fine, I agree with you too. I seriously doubt that they will linger there any longer. Remember, MLB is a different business than NFL. I hope San Jose gets the transportation right so that East Bay fans can get to the games there easier (I currently live in Oakland). Right now, I cannot drive, and does anyone know any good public transportation to San Jose? I only know of Amtrak. I have been to San Jose a couple of times, last one was when I went on a visit to Cisco Sys. with my technology class.

  23. jk-usa says:

    It does make sense–both teams sharing a facility for 20 games a year.
    Would the yuppie 9er fans actually venture out to the hood to see a game?
    I wish there was more enthusiasm for the A’s with Oak/Alam. Cnty.brass than the Raiders. I’m a fan of both teams, but would rather keep the A’s in town over the Raiders if it came down to it.

  24. bartleby says:

    City officials are making a foolish choice is favoring the Raiders over the A’s. However, it’s a choice they basically made sixteen years ago. Now, they may simply be recognizing that they have a much better chance of keeping the Raiders than the A’s. (In fact, the loss of the A’s opens the opportunity of keeping the Raiders).
    Also, the Coli site exists and would be easy to build on. Mt. Davis creates an opportunity for a cost savings on a football stadium (perhaps the NFL, recognizing how badly burned Oakland was on the last Raiders deal, would count Mt. Davis as their required “public contribution?”). While it’s a lousy site for a baseball park, it’s a terrific site for a football stadium.

  25. Nam Turk says:

    Oh man, if this doesn’t show where Oakland’s priorities are….

  26. Dan says:

    Oakland has been doing the same thing since 95. They couldn’t care less about the A’s in practice. But they’ll bend over and ask for another from Al Davis any day. And in the grand scheme who can blame them. If the A’s leave by and large Oakland won’t care. But if they lost the Raiders again…

  27. Dan says:

    Because the JLS sites are just a front to cover their butts and to maintain the slim facade that they’re doing something in hopes MLB will rule their way. The Coliseum plans for the Raiders stadium are something they’re seriously considering doing. Never mind the fact they still haven’t paid off the last stadium they built for the Raiders.

  28. jk-usa says:

    Bart, I agree with you totally on this one.

  29. bartleby says:

    ML: Regarding the NFL’s rule that new stadia include “public contribution” to qualify for NFL financing: Since Oakland has already invested more than $200 million in Mt. Davis, and since it seems wildly improbable Oakland/Alameda taxpayers would vote for more money for Al, do you have any insight into whether the NFL would consider a stadium incorporating publicly-financed Mt. Davis to satisfy the requirement for “public contribution”? This seems to me a potential make-or-break point for making financing come together in Oakland. (I’m sure the NFL would rather have fresh investment, but maybe they’d fudge their rules a bit if it looked like the only way to get a deal done for both the Raiders and Niners).

  30. Jason says:

    Marine Layer-

    Do you have any numbers on the height of Mt Davis versus other newer NFL stadiums? Just from personal observations, it does not seem much higher than many of the newly build NFL stadiums with large club levels. A mirror image of Mt Davis on the west side and some kind of cool design in the endzones would be so much cheaper than an entirely new stadium. And to me functionally about the same. The club level and luxury boxes are decently nice and have good sightlines- if people need something even nicer, the interiors could be plusher on the West Side inside the same footprint.

    The A’s aren’t staying put indefinitely and there needs to be some pressure to figure to get that situation resolved. The West Side of the Coliseum is poor for baseball and poor for football, so it’s definitely getting torn down (the whole stadium will be demolished if there is a joint new stadium and the A’s leave), so again, why not build a mirror image and save HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. The west side wouldn’t even have to be symmetric to Mt Davis (I think it should, but look at the ugly mock ups of the 49ers non-symmetric Santa Clara stadium for a start on other possibilities).

  31. Marine Layer says:

    It’s possible albeit highly presumptuous to think along those lines.

    The NFL has been vague about what they really want. They may feel that a 3/4-rebuilt Coliseum is good enough for both teams. What’s more likely is that they’ll demand a brand new stadium if the NFL is pitching in for both teams. They’ll point to the New Meadowlands stadium as Exhibit A. The Coliseum Authority may think refurbishing is fine, but they need to have another option.

    That’s where HomeBase comes in. It’s a clean slate site with little-to-no impact on existing Coliseum tenants. If the NFL plays hardball on this the Authority is stuck.

  32. Jeffrey says:

    this is a good article about the old NFL Stadium loan program.

  33. bartleby says:

    I don’t have statistics to back me up, but as someone who had season tickets on Mt. Davis for several years and who has also been to more than half of the current NFL stadia, my sense is that it is noticeably higher than most others. Nice views of the bay and SF; the actual game, not so much. I think this is because they stacked the suites so much on the East Side since they couldn’t fit the number they otherwise would have wanted on the West Side.

  34. Marine Layer says:

    I’ve never found an official height figure. My guess is that the last row on Mt. Davis is at least 150 feet above the field, probably more. A couple years ago I drew up a model of how the Coliseum could be rebuilt.

  35. Marine Layer says:

    The perspective on Mt. Davis makes things worse. Since there’s no comparable seating deck on the other side, there’s no one else at eye level and it makes it look like fans are looking down at everything (which they are). There are other venues that have similar or even greater height, like the Superdome, Cowboys Stadium and UoP Stadium.

  36. Dan says:

    Matier and Ross piped in on the Raiders/Niners stadium today. And apparently Oakland is positioning it as the realistic alternative to pick up the pieces after the Santa Clara stadium fails. They’re viewing the SC stadium as a dead idea once the Raiders get involved since the neighbors won’t put up with the doubling of the game days.

  37. Dude says:

    The only way either team gets a new stadium is to share one. Whether that’s in Santa Clara or Oakland, I really don’t care. But my hunch is it will end up being in Oakland. Of course, that will probably be sometime in the 20′s.

  38. GoA's says:

    M&R oftern write with limited facts that support their position—and of course they have a strong bias towards SF so they would love to see SC fail. I for one believe that SC has a reasonable shot of passing based upon the number of registered voters (45,000), the number that typically vote in a special election (50%) and the fact that they secured 8000 pro-stadium supporters in a matter of less than 2 weeks to put it on the ballot–by my math they need only another 4000-5000 yes votes to pass it in SC—the “millineum” voters will be key and who knows….maybe a little competition from their neighbors to the east might push fence sitters to vote yes–personally doubling the number of dates is a positive for the economics—what is probably more of a negative is that Raider fans have an “interesting” reputation which may work against advocates who promote sharing a stadium in SC-

  39. Mark N. says:

    If I were a SC voter, having the Raiders play there would be more reason to vote for it. With more events, more revenue comes in and there is less chance that the city will be left with some unforseen bill.

  40. bartleby says:

    I sat in the upper deck at the Superdome and thought the view was better than on Mt. Davis. When I was at UoP I sat behind the goal, but did take a walk up to the third deck to check it out. At least in the first row, I thought the view was significantly better than Mt. Davis.
    Is part of the problem that where the upper deck seats begin on Mt. Davis is further from the field than at those other venues, perhaps due to the pitch of the removable lower deck seats?

  41. Marine Layer says:

    Yeah, the Superdome’s compact layout requires some serious cantilevering in the second and third decks, although the bowl shape doesn’t completely follow the field. Along the sidelines you’re further back from the field than you are in the end zones. Mt. Davis has a slight cantilever in the upper deck. The pitch of the lower deck seats is average for NFL stadia. The original lower bowl is poor in that regard.

  42. Dan says:

    For those that live further away sure. But for those that live close to the stadium it’s a big negative, and one that’s likely to mobilize them even more to oppose the stadium.

  43. GoA's says:

    I doubt its significant enough to make a difference—this site has long been touted for a ballpark–that would be 81+ dates—sunday traffic isn’t going to cause alot of people angst–sure the occassional monday night game would be different but few and far between—

  44. Dan says:

    You say that, but the reality is all it takes is a few Sundays disrupting the city and the surrounding neighborhoods to get NIMBY’s up in arms. Particularly when there is a completely viable alternative in another area (Oakland) that wouldn’t impact their Santa Clara neighborhoods and would save their city potentially up to $500 million dollars.

  45. Brian says:

    I agree with this. I saw a height comparison of some stadiums once on a website touting the then-newly renovated Soldier Field, but can’t find it now. From looking at it on (an admittedly non-scientific method), I’d say Denver, New England, Arizona, and Houston are clearly higher, and most of the other new ones save Pittsburgh and Detroit are in the same ballpark, if you will (Dallas still has the old stadium listed).

  46. Tony D. says:

    The M&R piece tells me two things: 1) Oakland is willing to go all out on the Raiders (and presumably Niners) and let the A’s simply walk. Maybe they’ve gotten “word” on what the committee will recommend to Selig, and 2) Perhaps the Niners are also souring on Santa Clara and encouraging Oakland pols to do this.
    Heck, maybe SF is in on this as well, seeing Oakland as being a better, closer alternative for their Niners than Santa Clara.

  47. AthleticsFan says:

    Oakland has been trying to get the A’s, but every possible stadium that they have proposed is either deem not suitable or will not come to fruition if the A’s choose one of them. Which is why it seems Oakland has given up. Everyone wants the San Jose A’s now, so why not?

  48. FremontA's says:

    I hoping A’s s moving o Fremont.

  49. OAKLANDathletics says:

    I know most of those who comment on this site could care less for facebook groups, but it does look like the A’s to Fremont group has almost as many supporters as Baseball San Jose’s group in just a few months. I wonder if that means much to anyone…but it does sorta indicate the support coming from San Jose to a certain degree.

  50. Marine Layer says:

    Good lord, don’t start this debate again.

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