The new Raiders reality: 50,000 seats, $700 million

Update 11:45 PM – Both Nina (in the comments) and Bryan (@wacchampions) pointed out that Matt Artz may have misinterpreted the capacity projection. It’s possible that 50,000 is only representative of regular seats. Some 6,000 club seats and other premium seating weren’t counted. At EBX, Steven Tavares sticks with the 50k number per AECOM’s David Stone. This blog and other media have picked up on the original report, so 50k is the number until we suss everything out in the feasibility study.

Update 5:00 PM – Matt Artz has a new article out, citing the cost of the stadium at $800 million.

I couldn’t make it out to the JPA presentation at Oakland City Hall today. Thankfully, others did. The Trib’s Matthew Artz tweeted this during the meeting:

The feasibility study will be released to the public tomorrow, so for now we have observations from the media, citizens and fans at the meeting. Here’s what we’ve gathered so far:

  • The stadium would have only a 50,000-seat capacity, down not just from the 63,000-seat full capacity of the Coliseum, but also smaller than the 53,250 seats at the tarped off Coliseum the Raiders announced would be configured for the upcoming 2013 season.
  • The new stadium would cost $700 million to start and could go up based on how it is outfitted (dome, amenities).
  • The Raiders’ share of the stadium is $300 million, which would include seat licenses and other forms of financing.
  • The remaining $300-400 million (fuzzy) would have to come from a combination of corporate sponsorships and other commitments, and public financing.
  • The presentation and discussion were focused solely on the Raiders stadium. There was little-to-no mention of the other two tenants.

The Raiders fan known as Dr. Death wore his regalia to the meeting and talked to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan afterwards.

Raiders superfan Dr. Death discusses Coliseum City prospects with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (photo credit: @edwardjohnCA)

Raiders superfan Dr. Death discusses Coliseum City prospects with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (photo credit: @edwardjohnCA)

The good doctor also interviewed a few fans and meeting attendees after the meeting. Listen to the below podcast to get a sense of what the discussion was like.

Despite the fact that the City, County, and Raiders are working on the Coliseum City vision, there’s an overwhelming feeling of discord among the parties. One party feels another is not trying hard enough, one criticizes another for not showing more commitment, issues about setting expectations, etc. It may be ugly under the surface, but it’s healthy. The only way to get a real consensus for whatever this vision is will be to talk through the issues, which at this point are mostly financial. It’s part of the adult conversation that I’ve been clamoring for and I’m glad to see that it’s happening. Maybe it will result in a full consensus that everyone feels is attainable. Perhaps it will cause one or more parties to lose interest. Either way it’s a vital part of the process. It’s long overdue.

There are some other concerns, chiefly about the size of the stadium and the public share. We’ll leave them alone for now until we get the details tomorrow. In the near term, the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross pose a big near term issue: architectural firm JRDV is looking for another $3 million to continue work on Coliseum City, which means that the JPA & City may have to go to the trough yet again. Then there’s this bombshell:

That certainly brings a little more heat to everything now, doesn’t it? Maybe they can raid the scoreboard fund again. It’s not as if the scoreboard didn’t break in the middle of Friday night’s game.

38 thoughts on “The new Raiders reality: 50,000 seats, $700 million

  1. Stanford built a 50,000 seat stadium for $100 million. Add more luxury boxes and bigger scoreboards and you get . . . $700 million?

  2. My school teachers used to assume the same posture that Quan is in the photo … It was never to tell me good news

  3. I used to work for a defense contractor/company and they charge everything. Screws cost hundreds and I am not kidding you all. A little transistor can cost an arm or leg. Same here, you have to pay the cronies, see the Bay Bridge fiasco.

  4. Does Dr. Death mean Davis will not sign the lease extension? I think that’s what he’s trying to say. Raiders in ’14 might be back at the Coliseum – the one in LA

  5. Quan’s body language in that photo is the classic “I’m not comfortable with this whole situation,” stance, no?

  6. Dear mark davis
    You owe it to the Oakland faitful to remain patient….you will get a new stadium…but give Oakland time. We not gojng to rush another Mount davis, first put a winning Raider team on the field and the rest will follow. …I look forward to any new news regarding what the new Raider stadium will look like

  7. re: The Raiders’ share of the stadium is $300 million, which would include seat licenses and other forms of financing.

    …Seat licenses didn’t work out so well the last time the Raiders tried it.

  8. I was there. From the slide I saw I think (though I’m not sure) that it was 50K seats *plus* the premium seating – loge, club, and suites. So that might be more like 53K.

    The presenter from AECOM, David Stone, said at the beginning they have different scenarios for all three teams, or the Raiders plus the A’s, or the Raiders plus the Warriors. He had been asked to focus on the Raiders for this report.

    The final study will be forthcoming in September and Stone said it will contain some recommendations for closing the funding gap. He also said that it was usual at this stage of a proposal for there to be a gap. I didn’t have a chance to talk with him afterward, so I wasn’t able to find out how the amount of this gap compares to other projects.

  9. Wow a 50K stadium? If the Raiders are making a quite push to get out of the East Bay what a better way to say f*ck you Oakland than presenting a 50K stadium. Put a better product on the field and the Raider might be surprised to see an extra 13K-20K fans in the stand.

  10. 50,000 seats may be all they really need. From the time the Raiders left Oakland in ’82, they have never really been a big draw. Even in LA.

    A new 50,000 seat stadium could cause more demand in that the Raiders would then be more of a novelty. Additionally, when the novelty wears off again, a crowd of 44,000 (which was their average attendance in 2009) looks a lot less ridiculous in a 50,000 seat stadium than it does in one that seats 64,000.

  11. Isn’t John McCain trying to get rid of the NFL’s blackout rule, anyway? So sellouts may not be needed for that anymore. What the 50,000 number says is either they have to think small because it will be a struggle to get $$ for even a stadium that small, or that there is only demand for that many seats. The smallest stadium now is Soldier Field – 61,000 seats

  12. So, no prospective Super Bowls to entice investment or at least build some excitement around the project? That sounds like a winning strategy. Everything about Coliseum City has “fail” written all over it. Especially the idea of building another brand new pro football stadium in the same metro where one is currently being built. These things just don’t get used enough to warrant spending that kind of scratch on two of them. Hopefully, the city of Oakland learned from the last time the Raiders bent them over and will contribute zero funding to the cause.

  13. I think the Raiders thinking is that they would rather have a small stadium that they can call their own as opposed to sharing a stadium. If they move to either Santa Clara or LA, they would have to share with another team. And there is no way that the NFL let’s there beloved Los Angeles, the one thing that they use a threat to persuade cities to fund new stadiums ,be handed soley over to the mismanaged Raiders (For the time being I hope). And judging from the trends, at least in football, fans would rather watch it on TV than go to the stadium.

  14. The Warriors are becoming relevant, the Athletics are back….the Raiders really have to have a winning season this upcoming year, fuck peyton manning and the rest ..Reggie Mckenzie better be right about these players…

    Hey tony d…I respect u on a raider fan level….what do u think of this 50000 stadium? ??

  15. So nearly 50% will be public funding- definetely will need to do the same for the A’s- so 150M or so to prepare HT- and 250M to provide public funding- $400M to keep the A’s another $300M for the Raiders and $20M a year for the hangover from Mt Davis- cant wait to see how the residents of Oakland vote on this-

  16. I’ll give the Raiders credit for offering $300 million. The scumbag owners of the Chargers is only offering $100 mil and wants the league and city to pay the rest of his $1 billion price tag.

    That said, will the NFL even go for a 50,000 seat stadium? And if it has to be that small, why are the Raiders even bothering? Why not go somewhere they can actually fill a full sized NFL stadium?

  17. I sometime wish and I bet some Oakland pols wish that we all had new owners with our sport teams….mark davis sell the Raiders to a group that will invest in the team and town.

  18. @aaron- can you cite another franchise where this has happened besides Gints? They didn’t get rich by making bad business decisions. Time for DOn Knauss to step in and be the great savior- oh- that’s right- he’s not interested in buying any franchises-

  19. A 50,000 seat stadium in Oakland is not what the NFL wants to hear. The NFL views a stadium’s revenue generating potential as extremely important for each of its teams to be able to compete financially with all the other teams in the league. This proposed Oakland stadium will not meet the NFL standards and the Raiders are in effect sending the message that they can no longer remain viable in Oakland. What I think the Raiders are trying to do is convince the NFL to allow the team to move to LA. However, I think the NFL would first want to test the Raiders in a shared Santa Clara stadium first, before giving them the OK to move to LA as a possible second team. It’s Santa Clara for the Raiders, at least for the short-term.

  20. First off, congrats to Yo!
    Second, as a Raiders fan this is so @$&! Depressing. 50k seats?! For $700 million? If the Raiders are willing to contribute $300 million why not go with a new western addition to compliment the current Mt. Davis and at least make capacity 60k?
    Something tells me the Raiders aren’t serious about staying in Oakland…imagine that.

  21. Oops! Meant $800 million. $300 mil from the Raiders plus $200 mil from league could get you a new Mt. Davis west and new north/south end zone seating. Why the hell do they think they have to build completely new?!

  22. Isn’t the league’s stadium fund fresh out of money, with the last of it committed to Atlanta and I think some stadium improvements in Carolina and one other place? Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective for the league to direct the Raiders to play in Santa Clara, where a new stadium is being built partially with league funds, than to fund another new stadium nearby in a struggling market?

  23. A 50,000 seat stadium may not be want the NFL wants to hear, but even they are aware that the current experience of going to a game is becoming less than that of the fan(s) staying home and watching the game on TV. Misbehaving drunken fans, fights in the concession areas and the parking lot and other such problems is becoming noticeable to the League. NFL games are simply becoming too unpleasant and too expensive to attend live.

  24. Smfh. The raiders continue to befuddle me

    • Update 11:45 PM – Both Nina (in the comments) and Bryan (@wacchampions) pointed out that Matt Artz may have misinterpreted the capacity projection. It’s possible that 50,000 is only representative of regular seats. Some 6,000 club seats and other premium seating weren’t counted. At EBX, Steven Tavares sticks with the 50k number per AECOM’s David Stone. This blog and other media have picked up on the original report, so 50k is the number until we suss everything out in the feasibility study.

  25. @Matt- tell that to the ‘9ers who are building a stadium down the road that will have nearly 70,000 seats with sales going extremely well– Atlanta, Dallas, Minnesota, Green Bay, Carolina are just a few of the teams that are also in the process of either building new or remodeling- and all are increasing capacity not decreasing it. Bottom line is your going to hear that lack of corporate support is why they can’t make it larger than 50,000. Ironically most of the D1 college teams have stadiums bigger than 50k- something tells me the Raiders are on their way out also-

  26. As GoA’s mentioned, the funding discussion is surreal. Is it 50 million in remaining Mt Davis debt? 300 Hundred million needed for kick in to the Raider stadium? Let’s guess 75 million for HT site prep? How about only 100 million for stadium kick in for the A’s?
    Basically a half a billion dollars (probably way over half a billion when the actual bill is honestly figured out) needs to come directly from Oakland taxpayers? Ok. I don’t know, how about Knauss dons a blue and red suit and flies in with his check book?
    This whole thing is such a said commentary on the functioning state of politics….

  27. This still does not shed any light on the A’s lease extension. If the Raiders build the new stadium referenced from earlier plans, they would have to knock down the old one first and play elsewhere for a few seasons. This obviously can’t be done with a new 4-5 year A’s extension. I just don’t know how all this get’s sorted out by any of the particulars involved. It never seems to get any clearer. The decision on this new stadium could last a year or more.If the Raiders leave it does take them out of the equation. I agree with others though that have also suggested that the Raiders should just renovate the Coliseum. Of course that scenario still affects the A’s extension. The Raiders will be playing somewhere, but I am more concerned with where the A’s will be playing next season.

  28. @GoA’s – Very good points. Thank you!

  29. @Robo – I’m pretty confident that the A’s will be playing at O.Co for at least the next couple of seasons. However, if need be I can see the A’s temporarily making Raley Field in West Sacramento their home provided of course that they don’t move out of the state. Raley has a seating capacity of between 14,600 and 14,700. Small yes, but definitely larger than Cashman Field in Las Vegas where the A’s played while Mt. Davis was being built. The schedule could be arranged where the River Cats play their home games when the A’s are on the road or vice-versa. Alternatively, one team could play a day game while the other plays the same day in the evening. I suppose in the event of any schedule conflict, the A’s play at Raley and the Cats could play at Dobbins Field on the UC Davis campus or at Banner Island Park in Stockton.

  30. I find some of the comments here simply amazing. If the Raiders would decide to renovate the Coliseum, where would that leave the A’s? Basically in purgatory, that is where. However, I do not see that happening (especially with what is happening with the 49ers in Santa Clara). I think the plan is to go to Los Angeles (either at the Rose Bowl or at the Coliseum (with USC getting control of the Coliseum, it becomes a real possibility)), until a New Stadium can be built. One thing to keep in mind, Mark Davis basically needs to show the NFL that “We tried to get a New Stadium in Oakland but we simply cannot” so they can get some help with funding. It is like what Oakland is doing with Howard’s Terminal. It may not be economically and environmentally feasible, but they need to show something to MLB and more important voters, when Quan is up for re-election (the idea of ANYONE running for re-election with their legacy being three sports teams leaving, should encourage someone to run against her (and likely win)). Who knows this? The NFL, MLB, Selig, the Giants, the A’s, the Raiders, and Quan to name a few. Taking this back to the A’s, part of the reason, why Selig has not made a decision on San Jose yet, is he wants to see how the Raiders situation plays out. There are four possible scenarios. 1: Another spot in Oakland. 2: Santa Clara. 3: LA. 4: The Coliseum site. If any of the first three scenarios occur, the A’s will be at the Coliseum for at least five years (if for no other reason, there becomes no need for Selig to take on the Giants). That also works out fine for Quan’s re-election plans (her legacy would be toast if the A’s, Raiders & Warriors eventually all left, but she will deal with that later on). My betting is on the Raiders in LA, and the A’s stuck at the Coliseum into the 2020s (unless San Jose wins the case against MLB or there is a deal struck).

  31. Coliseum City has always been about the teams paying for their own venues but now the Raiders say they need $300 million, apparently from public sources. How could Oakland give this kind of money to the Raiders and nothing to the A’s? Chances are, Oakland can’t give any money to any of the teams.

  32. @Raider fans:
    I’ve never been to a Raiders game. From a fan’s perspective, what’re the inconveniences with the Coliseum for football? We all know the long list of reason the Coliseum isn’t ideal for 81 baseball games, but what are the major reasons you want a new stadium for the Raiders besides the security of keeping the team in Oakland?

  33. @Briggs

    As a hardcore nfl fan, Raider fan…I feel that Mark davis should stop with the threats and hokding city of oakland hostage. We are on ur side….we all want a new stadium…is it too soon??? Well yes, especially when from 2003-2013 we are still losing? ??? Sry mark put a better product on the field….it is kinda scary because if mark davis ruins the repaired relationahip between oakland and the raiders again, it could be lost forever…the 49ers and giants sre watching and cannot wait to market over the east bay. Plz with city officals and nfl, mlb and nba olz show compasion and invest in coliseum city

  34. @david brown,
    Selig/MLB could care less about the Raiders and what they do re the Coliseum. And no, Selig is not afraid to “take on” the Giants. No MLB team, whether it’s the Yankees or A’s, is above the commissioner. When this thing is over or settled, it will most likely be something no one thought about that held up the decision revelation.
    @briggs,
    With the exception of Mt. Davis, the Coliseum is horrible for football (and other sports as well): round configuration of western bowl, cramped concourses, restrooms more befit for a county park, an overall concrete nightmare. The facility, much like its brethren across the bay, is way past its time and needs to go!
    So $300 million for the Raiders and $2-300 million for the A’s at HT!? My prediction for 2020: A’s in San Jose, Raiders in LA and the Warriors in SF…

  35. @David Brown As you allude to also, I have always thought that nothing is going to be decided concerning the A’s until the Raiders situation is either decided or becomes much more clear. A renovated (or new)stadium for the Raiders would be a disaster for the A’s situation. I was speaking from a Raiders standpoint that a renovation would be more sensible than a new stadium. The best scenario for the A’s would be for the Raiders to take a hike to LA or SC (for the long haul) leaving the Coliseum for the A’s for another extension period until their new stadium can finally be built somewhere. I am a fan of both teams but more concerned about the A’s situation, which depends on what the Raiders do.

  36. I have been out of the loop but if Chicago, a city of over 3 millions residents can have a stadium that seats 61,000 then the RAIDERS could get away with a stadium that seats 50,000 though I would imagine the number would be greater than 50,000 and less than 63,0000. The NFL knows the days of getting people to pay top dollar for nose-bleed seats is slowly coming to an end with HD as the prefer to choice to enjoy a game. I want the RAIDERS to remain in Oakland but we live in a day and age where money and you know what walks….

  37. The Raiders can have $300 million when I and my neighbors no longer have to pay a private security guard to patrol my neighborhood because the City has declined to provide public safety services. The sad truth.

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