Oakland, Raiders, NFL have their own secret meeting

The Trib’s Matthew Artz reports that Oakland had another secret meeting, this time with the NFL about a new Raiders stadium in the Coliseum complex. Unlike the MLB-Oakland meeting, team ownership was on hand in the form of Mark Davis. Not much was revealed about the nature of the meeting, though we can guess that the NFL wanted to know more about how the feasibility study is going. The Raiders have chosen to be the only team to sign on with the Coliseum City project, which the City is pushing as a second downtown, anchored by one or more sports franchises.

Coliseum City/Oakland Live!

Coliseum City/Oakland Live!

What I’d like to know is how much the City and the Raiders are on the same page. Mayor Jean Quan seems to be pushing for a stadium-cum-convention center, with the stadium part possibly having a retractable roof. Does Davis also want that, or does he simply want an outdoor football stadium? The latter would presumably be much simpler to accomplish. The former would be much more expensive and risky, though it sets up the possibility that there could be more revenue streams to help pay off the new complex.

The NFL is no stranger to this process, as anyone who’s followed the exhausting saga of the Minnesota Vikings can attest. They hold the purse strings, and while I’m doubtful that the league will hand Oakland a fat nine-figure investment for a second Bay Area stadium, the NFL and the Raiders are at least going about their due diligence. We won’t know anything substantial until the feasibility study is released, which probably won’t happen until the end of this year or after the football season.

Another thing I’m interested in is how Raider fans feel about the team playing inside a retractable dome. I’ve seen 4 NFL games in domes, including one at Cowboys Stadium while the roof was closed. Even if the roof is open, it doesn’t feel like an outdoor game. And being in an enclosed space doesn’t guarantee that the stadium will be noisier. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest stadia in the NFL and it’s almost completely exposed to the elements. Raider crowds at the Coliseum are among the most boisterous in the country, and the “sealed” environment of a dome can sometimes sap that energy. At other times a dome can enhance crowd noise (New Orleans). It’s one of the many issues the Raiders and Raider fans will need to discuss going forward, as the team and the league have made it clear that the Coliseum as it stands is not a long-term solution.

P.S. – Artz mentions that the Coliseum complex is 750 acres. It’s actually 100 acres plus the Home Base and Malibu lots, pushing the publicly-owned stadium complex to more like 120 acres. 750 acres is the size of both “redevelopment zones” on either side of 880, including the Coliseum complex.

18 thoughts on “Oakland, Raiders, NFL have their own secret meeting

  1. is Davis, Raiders, going to pay for their stadium? If the city is, I can see why the Raiders signed on.

    There is no convention market in Oakland. To close to SF . Who is going to pay for the convention center? Is the city?

    The Warriors are gone. And the A’s are going to SJ or Howard Terminal?

    Not Howard terminal after the Feds spent millions to dredge it to 50′. I don’t think State Lands is going to give up a container terminal berth that will be needed in the future. Not to mention the problems of crossing a live railroad to get to the site from BART and Jack London Square residential areas.

  2. I disagree that the W’s are certainly gone. There are a lot of hurdles for the W’s to make SF happen. How many prjects of this size have been done in SF in the last 30 years? Oakland should, imho, proceed with plans for the W’s — put another way they should be unlike their previous selves and have a plan ready! I guarantee the W’s will have multiple points in the SF process where they want to give up on SF. BE READY OAKLAND!
    Oakland has a lot of stadia on their plate. The chances they can make the Raiders, A’s and presumably the W’s happen at the same time is unrealistic. Tell me what city in this economic climate in the state of California can make 2 completely separate stadium projects happen concurrently (never mind 3)? This is why — as pie in the sky as it is/was — CC was the only real shot at keeping all 3 teams. It put everything under one plan (albeit a giant one). Now? Oakland is making a football stadium and a baseball stadium happen at the same time? Good luck with that. And if it was SF, SJ, Oakland, Sac etc etc, I would still say good luck with that….

  3. the bay area and especially oakland/east bay in general has some of the best weather of the year during football season so having a retractable roof will be all about staging other events at the venue rather than it being related to football in general. wonder if this project would ever go thru whether they’d go the route of what the mariners did with safeco field that even when the roof is closed that there are many openings in parts of the venue that make it still feel like the outdoors.

    can coliseum city really happen with only one team because i doubt very much the w’s are staying in oakland and the a’s likely imo will be in sj and even if they somehow build a park in oakland it has to be in downtown or near the waterfront.

  4. If SF fails, the w’s should go south to HP pavilion. Both teams will have a new building in SJ.

  5. TW, Oakland is counting on the teams building the Stadiums. In theory, that makes multiple stadium projects easier because one whole process (building a funding plan with bonds of some form, campaigning for it, potentially gaining voter approval) is no longer an issue.
    .
    I am skeptical that 1 (let alone 3) can be built in Oakland entirely with private funds.

  6. daniel, I disagree. The W’s are right to focus on SF with Oakland as a likely fallback ahead of SJ. The NBA doesn’t have to worry about a bifurcated market in the Bay Area. They should be in a location that is convenient for the entire region.
    .
    MLB is the trickiest of all sports because of the frequency of games and the fact that two franchises are here. It makes sense to think about geographic separation for MLB (you see this dynamic play out regularly with touring music acts, as well. They split the region in two and play one show in Oakland/one show in San Jose to maximize penetration). Most of the complaints Oaklanders make against San Jose are frivolous, but one that is entirely based in reality is that it is a hard place to get to via any means but car (the converse is also true, it is hard to get out of.) A centrally located arena is best for a franchise that is the only option in a particular sport.
    .
    I know, this is just one angle to consider, demographics are also important in selecting a spot to build something, control of the arena and revenue streams, etc… But when you weigh all of them… It doesn’t make sense for the W’s to go south except as a last resort.

  7. Well if Jayson Stark said it…

  8. Now all MLB is a site and a pile of money for an Oakland ballpark, neither of which it has been able to come up with in 40 months. Break ground in Oakland and I’ll try to take the day off to attend. But I’m not holding my breath that it will ever happen.

  9. The reasoning Stark used sounds like it’s from the Giants. Even with a commissioner’s signature on a document declaring SJ theirs, it doesn’t matter. The MLB Constitution allows for that to change in a way that wouldn’t open that door. Not to even get into the possible legal problems they’d face in an AT suit (which is mostly an unknown they wouldn’t want to face).

  10. That lawyer is an idiot if he equates one team moving within the same market to a third team invading a two-team market. Either an idiot, or on the Giants payroll.

  11. Yes, we can’t rule out that this “baseball official” quoted is just a Giants executive.

  12. Well if ESPN is saying the A’s are not going to San Jose than it must be true…Just kidding you can’t believe the World Wide Leader of Sports.

    Can the A’s still force MLB in allowing the A’s to move to San Jose without the Giant’s approval?
    The answer is yes.
    How?

    (https://courses.cit.cornell.edu/econ352jpw/readme/Baseball%20Prospectus%20-%20Ending%20Baseball's%20Antitrust%20Exemption.htm)
    http://www.law.missouri.edu/devine/floodact.htm

    The Curtis Flood Act did not change MLB’s anti trust laws when it comes to franchise movements. It did allow the MLB ball players the same free agency rights as other sports leagues. The only way MLB can be challenged on franchise movement without it’s direct consent is thru congressional legislation. The Supreme Court will not over turn it’s previous ruling even when it know it made a mistake. So if the A’s and San Jose want to rock the boat than legislation must be introduced in Congress after this year’sNovember elections. Take into account that this is an election year and the fact our Congress never works for more than 100 days out of the year than this process is also doomed to fail if tried….

  13. <——(nearly) elated. FINALLY! One of our Oakland teams actually acting like they want to be here! Even if they're bluffing and have plans to move anyway, this is a much better PR tack. If they eventually end up leaving, at least they acted like it was a tough decision.

    Build the goddamn thing already! I don't care what it takes. Put it to the voters and let them decide. I'm willing to bet that the voters in Oakland/Alameda County wouldn't even think twice about voting "YES".

    I'm so tired of people justifying why Oakland simply CANNOT work. If it doesn't, it's only because of the quitter attitude of people who just don't have any vision for Oakland. The haters have their reasons but I sincerely wish they'd get the F outta the way.

    It's like people bitching about and wondering how Obama can't get anything done but those are the same people who refuse to meet him halfway or come up with ideas to help, and then categorically dismiss any proposals he has. Yeah, I went there. I tainted this discussion with {gasp} a political comparison! Eek! OK, enough of that…

    Love the work, ML. I don't know if you're getting paid for this or not, but it's damn sure a labor love. Gotta respect that.

  14. @Lakeshore- regarding one of your Oakland teams wants to be there….and its a better PR track–as i recall LW took a study that was paid for by Oakland/Alameda, completed by HOK and pursued building in Fremont which was there number 3 site recommendation. Sites number 1 and 2 were no longer available. BS joined him as he announced Cisco Field at a news conference in 2008. No obvious Oakland opposition…Fremont falls apart due to economy and Nimby’s and LW proposes to build 7 miles further south where he can pay for a privately financed ballpark with corporate support and suddenly the sky is falling according to Oakland…riddle me that?

    Second–If Oakland/alameda county were on top of their game they would be polling their constituents to see if they are willing to put public dollars into the Raiders for a second time ($200M in 1996 with remaining hang over to payoff is still around $100M) and/or a new A’s ballpark (note the A’s have never received anything from Oakland/Alameda other than fF you). Also keep in mind those same voters paid $121M to remodel the arena for the Warriors—who also are leaving. if I am a voter in Oakland/Alameda the answer to anymore public dollars when the bonds on the first go around are still outstanding is a big NO

    Last–Mark Davis is not a wealthy man–nor is he a developer that can be offered entitlements to profit from. Mark Davis needs someone else to build him his stadium (whether that be the public in Oakland or a partner who has deep pockets). So absent Oakland building the stadium for him do you really think that any partner is going to shell out $1.2B to have a new stadium in Oakland v. LA?

  15. @GoA’s –

    First – What??? I’m not even sure what you’re asking. No obvious Oakland opposition? You must not be from Oakland. It’s not my fault that media typically only portrays the violence in Oakland, but I can assure there were a lot of pissed of people in Oakland. No, it didn’t make the news. That’s why I’m (and others) are here, loud and clear, screaming that Oakland wants our teams. The only thing you’ll see on the evening news is another homicide or a robbery though, as if Oakland simply doesn’t care and has lousy fans. I can’t help what the media potrays but I can get on every blog I can find.

    Second – you do have a point. The voters did vote to approve the Coliseum remodel for the Warriors…and then those greedy SOBs (after all the years of blind devotion) decide to move to SF anyway. The reason why the Warriors are moving is because the OWNERS eventually decided the place wasn’t good enough – nevermind the fact that the FANS were fine with the apparently-crappy remodel, as evidenced by the sturdy ticket sales. Had there been a bond proposal to build a whole new complex at the time, we likely wouldn’t be having this discussion and this website wouldn’t exist because all three teams would either be playing in new venues or they’d all be gone by now. It’s time to put for Oakland to really put its money where its mouth is with these teams. If that means risking high leverage, then so be it. Maybe that’s what it’ll take to make the money machine start moving in the right direction over here. The A’s received and “F You” from Oakland? Cite source, please. Fine, go poll every citizen in Oakland/Alameda County if that’ll make you happy. I can tell you that simply from a pride standpoint they won’t want to lose ALL THREE of their teams to other cities, especially neighbors in the Bay (especially SF). The fans I know would gladly pay more taxes if it meant stopping SJ and SF from poaching their teams. (This would be less of an issue if the teams proposed moving to other states. Moving across the street is an insult.) From a fiscal standpoint, what didn’t look like a reasonable investment then sure looks like one now. I’d be very surprised if the voters didn’t go for it.

    Third – Mark Davis isn’t wealthy? Hmmmm, he may not be able to fund $1.2B out of his own pocket, but when you have an entire complex like Coliseum City (which reasonably should attract other pro sports. ahem…), group investment becomes a sound strategy. So, Mark’s not a developer and doesn’t have the first clue about what he’s doing? Even if he personally didn’t, he’s surrounded by people who do – that’s a moot issue. There are economies of scale for more than one team if they decide to stay there. Besides, (here’s that Oakland pride thing again) there will be rich rewards for the team(s) that decides to stay. The City and the residents are just waiting for some good news. There will be an absolute tidal wave of recpiprocation when/if that day comes. It’ll spark an Oakland renaissance. I do think a partner will join the Raiders. I know it’s hard to believe and it’s not widely published (when it is, people tend to scoff) but there are people with real money who are willing to invest in Oakland. I know. Crazy, right?

  16. @lakeshore- cite any Oakland politician who tried to stop Fremont- there were one- second- the voters of Oakland/Alameda didn’t vote to approve either the Raiders or W’s remodels- the political leadership did it promising to repay them with PSL’s etc- pretty much like they would do today but they want the owners to take the risk- remind me of how that went for Oakland/Alameda the last time. Third- it’s not a question of if Oakland said F you to the A’s it’s how many times-let me cite a few examples- in 1995 Schott proposed remodeling the Coli into a more intimate ballpark- Oaklands response-spend $200M on Raiders and Mt. Davis and the A’s end up in a ruined ballpark- another example is when Oakland under Browns leadership said he saw no value in investing in sports and took the best site available in Oakland and built condo’s- you want me to go on?

    In terms of Mark Davis- not only does he have to compete with the 9’ersnew stadium that will be nearly done before this feasibility study for CC is done but he is on his own with CC- in case you haven’t heard Oakland is looking at HT for the A’s – pipe dream yes- but CC is of no interest to MLB or Knauss who is supposed to be your great savior- and the W’s – gone- so not sure what other sports teams are going to want to build in that beautiful area but of course I know that these are mere facts tha are irrelevant to your emotional arguments.

  17. This is all a bunch of malarkey. All three of the professional sports franchises owe the City of Oakland a great debt of gratitude. Oakland fans have remained for better (bitter) or worse and now they want to abandon us. Be for real. The same money that they all seek to make, can be accomplished right here in Oakland. Oakland is just being treated as a step-child under “world class” San Francisco. They basically do not want Oakland to have anything good that rivals their Bay Area Title as the class of the region. Oakland has slept long enough and the alarms are sounding so it is time to answer the bell. Invest the money to be able to make the money. Gather all of the corporate sponsors and make the Coliseum City project a resounding success. Moreover, stop living in the shadows of San Francisco.

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