Coliseum City: It’s Complicated

At this week’s NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando, Mark Davis acknowledged the elephant in the middle of the Coliseum complex. From the Merc’s Tim Kawakami:

-Q: If Wolff’s saying he needs a 10-year lease…

-DAVIS: That would make it tough for us to build a new stadium on that site.

Last fall, Davis admitted that he’d rather build a new stadium on the Coliseum’s existing footprint, which would evict the A’s while changing the character of Coliseum City. In yesterday’s interview, Davis again expressed frustration at the pace of Coliseum City planning, throwing some shade Mayor Jean Quan’s way in the process.

It’s no secret that the Raiders and A’s would prefer that they not share facilities. By now it’s becoming clear that the two would rather not share the Coliseum complex, let alone a stadium. Financing issues and competing concepts aside, it’s simply less complicated. Davis would love for Oakland to commit to the Raiders, accelerate the development with BayIG, and figure out just how much money can be squeezed out of the plan. In the middle of an election season, Quan and her competitors won’t commit to anything, lest they appear to favor one team over another. So Quan keeps talking about signing the Raiders sometime in the near future, all the while deadlines continue to slip for the project.

Meanwhile, Lew Wolff has said that the best place in Oakland for something to be built is the Coliseum, though he hasn’t endorsed Coliseum City. Chances are that he’d be fine with the Davis taking the Raiders south, which would force Oakland and the JPA to deal with Wolff only to salvage one team at the complex.

Davis’s audience isn’t the media, Raiders fans, Oakland civic backers, or even taxpayers. His audience is his fellow owners and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The keys to the kingdom of LA are in Goodell’s hands, with the owners acting as his Greek chorus. Goodell can unlock access to banks and potential minority partners who have stadium futures to trade. All Davis has to do is show due diligence for at least one year.

So far he has. Davis has repeatedly dismissed the idea of tenancy at Levi’s Stadium, comparing it to the Jets playing in the Meadowlands. He has claimed that he wants the stadium in Oakland, while exploring other corners of the East Bay. Goodell may have nudged him to move to Santa Clara, but the whispers have fallen on deaf ears. It’s either Oakland or Los Angeles for the Raiders. If Coliseum City continues to move like molasses, or the Oakland pols are frozen out of electoral fear, Davis can go to Goodell and say, See, I tried, these people are incompetent.

The funny thing is that the urgency that Davis wants out of the various CC partners may not materialize unless he formally presents a stalking horse in the guise of LA. Talk all you want about not having political support from LA City Hall, or the legacy of attendance issues that plagued the Raiders. If the Raiders moving becomes a distinct possibility, multiple groups will coalesce in the Southland, all competing with each other for the rights to land the Raiders or Rams. The biggest obstacle in LA is the numerous egos all trying to get a piece of the action. Davis knows he’d be the belle at the ball when the time came to debut in LA. If LA becomes a legitimate threat, Oakland will be forced to (re)act. That’s the classic stadium playbook. We’re not far from that page.

The league has its own leverage play too. What Goodell doesn’t want is for the Raiders to have LA all to themselves. He’d rather have the Rams or Chargers there as well, sharing a stadium or not, providing competition for each other. He has a lot more control over franchise relocation than either of his predecessors (Pete Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue) did because of the league’s control over a large stadium funding mechanism, the G-4 program.

Oakland thinks it has leverage because the NFL has been loathe to acquiesce to Raiders ownership’s desires. That leverage could evaporate quickly with a simple nod from Goodell. And if Goodell agrees with Davis that Oakland isn’t moving fast enough, Goodell could turn up the heat on Oakland by making the LA stalking horse appear. That’s the playbook. Quan appears to be taking everything rather cavalierly, offering up a rather incomplete statement about what Oakland has to do for MLB to keep the A’s:

You saw that the (Port of Oakland) Port Commission, now that they have eliminated all the maritime uses from Howard Terminal, has begun to take up the proposal from the Ballpark Waterfront Group, which is made up of some of the top CEOs in the city, and they are asking for a one-year exclusive negotiating agreement, to develop a plan to build a ballpark at Howard Terminal, which, for most fans, is their priority. So that completes my promise to Major League Baseball, when I first became mayor, that we could provide two good sites that have site control, and when they finish negotiating their deal, I think Major League Baseball will have to make a decision.

MLB will have to make a decision? On what? Two sites that have uncertain funding scenarios and unknown cost outlays? MLB is used to taking cities for a ride. They’re not going to commit to anything until they see Oakland doing something truly significant. That may mean saying Adios! to the Raiders at the Coliseum, or pulling out the stops to get Howard Terminal ready for a ballpark. Presenting two sites that haven’t been studied? That’s as if Quan stepped to the starting line at the Oakland Running Festival over the weekend, and when the race started she declared herself victorious.

Consider that Sacramento didn’t truly get moving on its arena campaign until Seattle became a serious threat. Even late in the arena effort, the team was practically sold and delivered to the Emerald City. David Stern allowed that to happen. Mayor Kevin Johnson used a ton of political capital and connections to work out the arena deal, securing a quarter of a billion in public funds for the effort.

Why do teams and leagues use the playbook? Because it works. There’s nothing complicated about that.

85 thoughts on “Coliseum City: It’s Complicated

  1. You may want to add the Bills to the list, as the owner died today. It is well known the children will not assume control. Don’t know if they will stay in the northeast, but it is another team

  2. So many options in San Jose!

  3. @Jordan – The Bills are at best a long-term relocation prospect because they signed a 10-year extension at the Ralph a couple years ago. New ownership could opt out by the end of the decade. Either way, the stadium’s $130 renovation was the final act of a great owner. RIP Ralph Wilson.

  4. @ML: Any idea why Wolff would require a 10 year lease? (the SJ vs MLB case will likely be settled within 2 years, add a year at most for SJ voters to vote on the ballpark measure and acquiring the remaining land parcels, then 3 years to build it – a possibly new A’s ballpark in San Jose by 2020 – not 2024!

  5. @duffer – Mark Purdy explained it pretty well. Also consider the idea that Wolff being willing to do 10 years in Oakland plays sympathetically to the other MLB owners.

  6. @Duffer,

    It probably wouldn’t be a hard lease. I’m guessing 5 years plus 5 option years (or perhaps 3 and 7), with of course an “out clause” if the Coli is decommissioned at any time during that period for Da Raiders. At this point I’m personally hoping for the temporary scenario so that Wolff/A’s can finally cleanse their hands of Quan and Oakland governance. Enough is enough.

    As for my Raiders, even more of a reason to be pissed off at Oakland politicos. What part of the Raiders WANTING TO STAY IN OAKLAND don’t you f**ken understand!? Quan and company should be pulling out all the stops for Mark Davis and stop trying to sell the “we have viable spots for the A’s” fantasies to the public. She sounds so ridiculous that its sickening! I guess anything to get re-elected…

  7. It might sound bad, but I don’t care. Deep down, I want Oakland to lose all 3 teams.

  8. @duffer,

    Re a public referendum for an SJ ballpark; after all this is said and done, FORGET ABOUT IT! Especially if Wolff has to not only privately finance Cisco Field construction BUT ALSO BUY THE LAND. Ask yourself: why wasn’t the Quakes SSS put to a referendum for SJ voters?… 😉

  9. @Tony

    Agreed. I’m not seeing a referendum as being an inherent part of the process, especially in one of the richest corporate metros in the country.

  10. @RM,

    OT: I think the Bills would wind up in Toronto if they were to ever leave Buffalo. (Just my opinion of course)

  11. re: What part of the Raiders WANTING TO STAY IN OAKLAND don’t you f**ken understand!?

    …it’s the part that says the Raiders need hundreds of millions of dollars that Oakland can’t provide.

  12. @Tony D/SMG – San Jose’s deal currently calls for a referendum. Reason? CYA. That will stay unless the next mayor/council decides to get very brave and stake their jobs to the ballpark deal. I don’t see it happening.

  13. So why no “CYA” for the Quakes stadium? Haven’t exactly seen SJ citizens protesting or filing frivolous lawsuits over that one… (what’s good for one should be good for the other)

  14. Monday. Sonny Gray. Stoked.

  15. @SMG – Schadenfreude meine arschloch. Sad and obviously lonely dude from Man Jose. Hey, your mom still thinks you’re a cool guy. That’s something. Brighten up pork chop.

  16. Going to be a interesting year..can Josh Reddick lead the A’s to another al west title…will Matt Schaub be the next Rich Gannon in Oakland??? Will Coliseum City happen? ?? Will pjk reveal his true identity. ..find out next week on….newballpark.org

  17. I sure hope Mark Davis gets his stadium deal with CC. That scenario will force MLB to finally take action to resolve the ballpark issue with the A’s. If the Raiders don’t get their stadium deal done, the NFL will hold the cards as to which team is approved to move to LA. With that scenario, the Raiders would likely be pushed by the NFL to at least temporarily move to Santa Clara. In that case, the A’s would have more wiggle room to work out more ballpark options in the future, including staying in Oakland.

  18. Always love it when some of the hard core Oakland-only come in here with Kamikaze insults; never an honest opinion of the situation, just insults. I guess that’s all they got left.

    @llpec, if the Raiders strike out on Coliseum city, do you really believe that Wolff would all of a sudden hit a home run? I know people love to throw out the “master developer of all that land” fantasy. But really, it boils down to three things: Wolff not wanting to stay in Oakland in the first place, Oakland politics and where the land is located. Knowing all that, if my Raiders leave the Coli it’s over for sports in Oakland…

  19. Wolff played smartly by asking for the 10 year deal. A’s stadium has been on the back burner in last phases of the Coliseum City Deal. The authority and various mayors have worked to answer the Raiders’ needs first and foremost over the past two decades. This is his way of making the JPA and the Mayor answer the hard questions and stop stalling. But I just don’t see Quan making a decision on the Raiders stadium by the summer’s end or before the election, she needs to stall in her mind because she doesn’t want to choose.

    I think ML’s scenario of the A’s being the last team standing may be coming closer to reality. But even then, would a new stadium on the site pencil out for Wolff and Fisher? Not right now in my view because you need stuff like housing and retail development there that you don’t necessarily need in SJ. That could change down the road…

  20. Tony D., I agree, San Jose is still very much Wolff’s first choice. That said, I think that if the Raiders do vacate the Coliseum, Wolff would have the extra time needed to get his best Bay Area ballpark deal done. With the extra time, the Courts could ultimately give a favorable ruling for San Jose. Possibly, a new MLB Commissioner could be more favorable to returning the Bay Area to a fully shared territory. On the other hand, a less favorable view of San Jose’s interests could lead to an eventual deal for the A’s at CC. I do believe that as San Jose proponents, we should be rooting for the Raiders to be getting their CC deal done soon.

  21. Mark Davis said it was next to imposable for the Raiders to build a new stadium with the A’s playing at the old one, that sounds reasonable considering the Warriors will be on site (at the arena), for several more years as well.
    A 5-10 lease at the current Coliseum, while a new one is being built does sound a little ridicules, the investors will be wanting to start to develop that property as soon as they can, but a 5 years leave may be doable, the A’s already have a two year lease, perhaps they can work out a 3 year extension of that lease with Bay IG, before major work gets underway, of course that’s provided the Raiders don’t build on the Coliseum foot print, if it is indeed imposable, or next to imposable, then Oakland needs to move forward with the Raiders stop with the political theater and get it done.
    This would cause the A’s to theoretically be homeless, I am sure Lew would be hart broken (sarcasm), and perhaps force MLBs hand in awarding the A’s San Jose, or it could work the opposite effect and force MLB s hand with Lew Wolff. Weather this forces the A’s to play at AT&T, or build a temporary park, while a long term solution can be found, whether it’s the Coliseum at some point in the future, Howard Terminal further into the future, somewhere in Fremont, San Jose at Dirdon, or out of the Bay Area all together this is a necessary step
    Gentlemen I do believe the cards are starting to fall.

  22. LA is fantasy land for Mark Davis but he is too stupid to realize it. In LA he will need a 2nd team to fund it period. There is no way he can do it himself, he does not have the business savvy of a Stan Kroenke. Davis is a spoiled rich kid playing on his daddy’s dime.

    Kroenke on the other hand, has deep pockets, massive real estate experience and has a perfect site in Hollywood Park. He can pull it off on his own and fund it.

    Not to mention another elephant in the room…..The San Diego Chargers.

    Their owner Spanos has gone on record stating a LA team would cripple his franchise. The Chargers not the Raiders right now get TV coverage over the entire southland. Plus they have a ton of sponsors and fans from LA/OC who would ditch them for a LA or OC based NFL team.

    Davis has no options but Oakland or Santa Clara period. I disagree with ML’s article above that LA is the next option because it is not.

    The bet is to keep LA open for the Chargers and Rams to have leverage against their current cities. Only if those two teams get new stadiums in their current cities will LA open up for the likes of Davis who needs a 2nd NFL team.

    This is why the NFL has not put a team in LA for almost 20 years. For the near future that will not change.

    My prediction: The Rams and Chargers fail in St. Louis and San Diego and will be playing in Hollywood Park in 2020 as their original names…LA Rams and LA Chargers.

    • @Sid – You’re missing the point. It’s not that Davis will actually move the team. It’s that the threat to move the team will become much greater and more real as time goes on. That threat should motivate Oakland to act one way or another.

  23. 2020 is too soon, more like 2022-2024

  24. The 10 year play by Wolff is simple: it forces Oakland to make a decision…any decision. If it’s the Raiders, A’s get green light to SJ by default. If it is for them to stay, then LW can start hard negotiations on exclusive rights to CC. Either way, he wins and it **FINALLY** breaks the status quo…

  25. @Anon
    Not so sure he gets the green light (hopefully he does), but it sure would put more pressure on MLB, and in this situation it seems like it’s going to take dramatic things happening, in order for real decisions to be made.

  26. @LSNeil – unless MLB is completely incompetent and spent the last ~4years twiddling their thumbs at each other, by now they know which sites are viable and are not (hello CC). I’m also under the belief that LW also knows this and thus has steered Oakland back to CC to force the issue and finally get some closure to this ordeal. People keep on thinking this is Oakland vs. LW ordeal, but it is more Oakland vs. MLB w/ LW more than anything else (see lease extension threat). In the end, LW will win, although I’m inclined to think given these new timeframes, that it’ll be more likely that his son Keith takes over.

  27. @ Anon
    I surly agree with you that Wolff’s request for an extension was designed to force a decision, and a practically decision at that, without a commitment to build at the coliseum or Oakland Alameda county, the only practical decision left for Oakland is to go with the Raiders if Mark Davis statements are to be believed.
    Wolff may come back and negotiate with Oakland if the Raiders situation does not materialize, but since he is at the present not making a commitment to Oakland he makes the choice easy.

  28. @ Anon
    Wolff will win no matter what happens, even if he never gets San Jose, he will be riding all the way to the bank a title wave of increases franchise value for a team, he has invested vary little into.

  29. @LSNeil – “Wolff may come back and negotiate with Oakland if the Raiders situation does not materialize, but since he is at the present not making a commitment to Oakland he makes the choice easy.” – I think that is intentional 😉

  30. @ Anon
    I agree with you 100%, I think it was intentional as well, I just hope Wolff has not over played his hand, if MLB says “Hay look we are not giving you San Jose”, even if your hornless the Giants have offered to let you play at their park and after 2 years at the coliseum, you can play at AT&T for 2-3 more years by that time the Raiders new stadium should be built and you can sign on to whatever land is left at or around the coliseum or go back and look at Fremont.

  31. All this talk about forcing MLB to grant San Jose to the A’s overlooks one thing: The Giants’ actions show they believe the A’s situation is not their problem and they are not going to yield one bit. Selig already lauded Wally Haas for acting in the best interests of baseball, a dig aimed at the Giants who only act in their own interests.

  32. @pjk
    I agree with you 100%, I don’t think we should assume that if the Raiders squeeze the A’s out of the coliseum that will necessarily commentate in MLB granting the A’s San Jose.
    We have talked about this many times you and I, along with others believe the Giants end game is to get the A’s out of the Bay Area altogether, and they will not let up one bit on their San Jose stance simply because the A’s did not commit to the coliseum project, before the Raiders did ( If that’s true), the Giants will contend that the fact the Raiders are building a new venue at the coliseum, helps make that site all the more doable, they will also contend that the OWB group is making progress (weather true or not), and there are opportunities in Oakland Wolff just needs to come over to AT&T for two or three seasons and be patient, if he really wanted to build in his territory.

  33. Mark Davis has publicly stated that he envisions his new CC Raiders stadium to be built over the current footprint of the Coliseum. Why is Mark Davis dead set on the exact stadium location within the CC property? The only reasoning I would think is to retain the newer Mt. Davis section for the new facility. Also, Is there enough land area to the CC property so that a new Raiders stadium could possibly be built without disturbing the existing Coliseum structure?

  34. @ IIpec
    I agree with concerning Mark Davis, as to your question I think it is possible, but not an easy lift, ML did a piece on that and as I recall one of the biggest challenges would be the electrical infrastructure, it least that’s what I think he said.

  35. @PJK – I am not ignoring the Gnats. I am under the belief that MLB / Selig will strongly “coerce” the Gnats to give in via vote or some type of compensation system. Besides, what can the Giants do (especially after they paid off their mortgage), sue MLB nullifying their Constitution and in turn overturning the original TR?

  36. I think Lew’s 10-year play is also a message to MLB and owners: “Hey, I can’t build where I want? Fine. I’ll just bide my time and continue to collect my fat revenue sharing payment.”

  37. Anon: Hasn’t Bud tried to broker, without success, an arrangement between the A’s and the Giants for many years now? The Giants want the A’s gone or stuck in their current football stadium. Selig has nothing to offer them.

  38. @PJK – Selig does have something to offer them: continued good will at the Lodge. Look at what happened to Bill “Dick” Neukum and how he tried to stir the TR pot. Since then, they’ve “played” by MLB “rules”…..

  39. nobody knows what Selig has done, or hasn’t done. We are all reading tea leaves.
    .
    There are a lot of bullshit memes that have floated around in the past 5 years. People in the local media claiming that MLB prefers one site over another (I remember when it was Victory Court was preferred for it’s water front location, as an example. That worked out great. Diridon is preferred because of all the big companies. Still crickets.)
    .
    The truth, as we know it, is pretty simple. MLB has included the entire Bay Area in their evaluation. No site was deemed so awesome that a stadium has sprouted from the dirt. There has been one deal proposed to MLB and it was rejected. MLB doesn’t even want the city that was the beneficiary of that deal to see the rejection letter.
    .
    The lack of transparency gives rise to ridiculous theories all over the place (my favorite was somebody saying today that Lew Wolff is working with Mark Davis to get his 10 year lease proposal declined). We get statements from team owners that are short enough to fit on a bumper sticker. Same from Bud Selig. It’s hard to really care anymore when the vacuum of information is filled in with inanity and chest thumping.

  40. Anon, one flaw in your plan. If Selig leaves as he says he is at the end of the season, MLB management will be in a serious flux. They’ve done a terrible job at setting up a succession plan for who will take over. So there may not be any unity within MLB to coerce or do anything as a result.

  41. Goodwill at the lodge? How so? By forming an astroturf group {Stand for San Jose} to fight the A’s move to San Jose and keep them from getting a new stadium? By having all of MLB’s information that says there are no sites in the East Bay and still telling MLB to find a site in the East Bay? By making these phony claims that they’ll end up on revenue sharing if the A’s move to San Jose? The Giants have shown without a doubt that they are most definitely not team players.

  42. @DMOAS – understand (and I do hope he leaves!)…however the Baseball Executive Committee should remain intact, which many members there (Reinsdorf) have been sympathetic to the A’s plight.

    @PJK – NO doubt the Gnats have been F*tards in all of this, but I am in the belief that logic and good will prevail with a shiny new home for the A’s in the Bay Area (where ever it may be!).

  43. Anon, the committee won’t make much of difference if they can’t muster 75% support among all owners. And that right there is primary fear. They can be as sympathetic as we may want, but that may not make a difference if they don’t have the weight to support the move.

  44. @ Jeffrey You are preaching to the converted, I here my man preach on.

  45. @ pjk,

    Go ahead and run for the hills re how almighty you always portray the Giants. I’m staying put and (like anon) remaining optimistic. SJ will happen! Again, it’s all about the payoff. That was easy…

  46. If it is a matter of “payoff,” meaning Giants are willing to accept payment from Lew Wolff, I’d imagine Lew Wolff would want to be negotiating with a “frat” friend, Bud Selig, instead of the next MLB Commissioner, who he probably does not know well. Maybe having Bud Selig retire will push Wolff to agree to amount X because it’ll be higher or undetermined with the next MLB Commissioner?

  47. Since Selig talked Wolff into buying the team and MLB has backed up Wolff’s conclusion of no place to build in the East Bay, MLB should pay off the Giants. I suggest a lump sum payment of 75 cents

  48. @pjk and tony d

    Has lew wolff looked at Concord…that could go over well…concord has that foothills that would be prime real estate and a ballpark…what u think fellers(Butters Voice)

  49. @ML- The threat of LA to the Raiders is like the threat of San Jose to the A’s in the eyes of Oakland. Oakland will not take it seriously as there are major hurdles with the league in both cases.

    Oakland and Quan especially lag because they know Davis won’t move in with the 49ers out of pure stubbornness and stupidity. That coupled with the fact the O.Co Coliseum is still far nicer than anything LA currently offers with the Rose Bowl. The LA Coliseum is now off limits to the NFL.

    The real threat if Davis was smart is Levi’s Stadium if he truly wanted leverage. He should negotiate a 5-10 year lease agreement with the 49ers and then hold Oakland hostage. The threat of playing 35 miles away would make Oakland move a whole lot faster in this process than they are now.

    It would be an embarrassment more so to Oakland than Davis in reality to move to Levi’s. In Santa Clara, the Raiders would get a state of the art stadium to play in making zero capital investment while Oakland would be sitting on the Mt. Davis debt with unwilling tenant in the A’s.

    That is negotiation 101, something Mark Davis does not understand because he never made his “own money”.

    So why move forward at Davis’ pace? Davis is barking a bunch of BS and Oakland/Quan know it hence they move at a snails pace, much like the way they treat the A’s with Wolff.

    Why do anything if Oakland can keep the Raiders in the same place for years to come?

    Unless Davis wises up and uses Santa Clara as leverage he will rot in the Coliseum for years to come.

  50. Sid…that should be in a newspaper column…u like that Michael Jackson song “Wanna be starting somethin, gotta be startin something” that would reallt get everybody on alert.

  51. @Sid, I couldn’t agree with you more. Unlike the A’s, the Raiders do have a great deal of leverage towards getting a new stadium on a site of their own choosing. Mark Davis is blowing it, by not taking a temporary move to Santa Clara. The NFL will ultimately decide which team will be the first team approved to move to LA. Since the Raiders do have a reasonable option in a modern state-of-the-art football stadium thirty-five miles from Oakland, I seriously doubt that the NFL would approve the Raiders move to LA. If Mark Davis continues to be steadfast against sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers, the Raiders will most certainly remain in the old Coliseum for many years to come.

  52. If the Raiders must first “prove” that it can’t work within their own territory, moving in with the 49ers sort of negates that effort. And if the Coliseum itself goes away or can’t be replaced because of money and/or Oakland shuffling their feet, that means a very long stay in the 49ers’ stadium. Which is exactly what Davis does NOT want. There *is* a logic to why the Raiders/Davis can’t use that option. The league WANTS them to share and by doing so, has the potential to remove LA as an option.

  53. @IIpec
    I agree with both of you, what I don’t get about Mark Davis is he constantly says “I will not share with the 49ers (Outside the Bay Area?), the Raiders and their fans deserve a stadium of our own”.
    The NFL has said for years any stadium built in Los Angles will have to be built for two teams, that’s two Mark so you either work something out at the coliseum in Oakland if you want your own, or share with the 49ers in Santa Clara, or share with the Rams, Chargers, however in L.A. eventually.
    As slow as the Oakland politicians can be, I think they even know the NFL wants two teams in L.A., it’s a little hard to use something for leverage, when you swear off the same arrangement (with the 49ers), 25 miles away.

  54. @ dmoas
    Totally get what you’re saying, but he does not have to do it, the problem is he is removing it as a threat, where Oakland is concerned.

  55. “The league WANTS them to share and by doing so, has the potential to remove LA as an option.”

    @dmoas, After some twenty years without a NFL team, the NFL seems ready to relocate a team to LA. It will be up to the NFL as to which team is first approved to move to LA. A major determining factor as to which team is given the approval to move will be base on the urgency factor. With a brand new state-of-the-art NFL stadium some thirty-five miles from Oakland, there is no way that the Raiders will be given approval to move.

  56. Moving to Santa Clara saves 30 miles of driving for those LA-based Raider fans who still drive up for the games. Maybe they could just call them the California Raiders? Better yet, the San Jose Raiders? It’s too late to permanently Raider-ize the stadium, with its 49er-red seats. But maybe it could be dressed up with silver and black drapes, signs, etc for Raiders games? There’s no progress being made in LA and it doesn’t look like much is happening in Oakland – just hold pep rallies, talk up Coliseum City, get Davis to sign a lease extension and then resume stalling.

  57. There is a real option in LA. Two NFL teams are both coming to the end of their lease this season and trying to use LA as leverage to get what they want out of their current host city. There is no point in throwing out a stalking horse if you aren’t prepared to use it when your city calls your bluff.
    .
    I think if the NFL had their way, LA would be the Chargers and Rams new home and Santa Clara would have the Raiders along with the 49ers.
    .
    But that doesn’t mean that the Raiders couldn’t end up back in LA by next season. Especially if the Chargers and San Diego get something done in the meantime.
    .
    The challenge with Coliseum City is still what it was the day they put out the pretty pictures. Consider this: last year, ALL of Alameda County had around $500M in new commercial Real Estate development. ALL of Santa Clara County had $2.1B. ALL of San Francisco County had $1.9B. Coliseum City requires the equivalent of ALL of Santa Clara County’s 2013 new commercial real estate in a 100 acre parking lot, in a tight time frame.
    .
    Mark Davis’ problem with Colony Capital is that they look at this, do their thorough analysis and realize… It doesn’t make sense. He said as much: “I had high hopes when Colony Capital came in. I still do have hopes, but they’re not as high because I haven’t really heard anything positive from either group. It’s gone silent again. We have to get something done.”

  58. llpec, you’re missing my point. There are several teams looking at potentially needing that spot in LA. The fewer NFL has, the better. So they’d be potentially eliminating the Raiders from that spot.

  59. Developers like to make piles and piles of money on their real estate projects. But Oakland’s stadium plans require developers willing to make little to no money or even lose money. So there’s nothing left to do but keep the teams in the same antiquated facility with no ability to replace it with new stadiums. So it’s: hold pep rally, publish fancy stadium drawings, point to unworkable site(s), talk to the Giants, get lease extensions, sit back and stall some more..

  60. And you guys thought Coli City would be a development dream come true for Wolff…
    😉 (Jeffrey and pjk nailed it!)

  61. Tony, I don’t think anyone was making that claim. But keep in mind, that a baseball stadium at $500m wouldn’t need to make $2 billion to pay off. It could be done for less than half that. It’s tight and if it *would* work, it would be a tight, barely break even, scenario. But IF it were gifted to Wolff under the right circumstances, it could work.

  62. @ Tony D. No one here has championed coliseum city, with the exception of Harry but people are talking about a worse case scenario, if the A’s can’t get San Jose. I know it’s not what you want, it’s not what Lew wants but it may come to that. I am sure you would rather it be at the coliseum, then out of state if it could not be in San Jose or Fremont, just as I would be more then happy for it to be San Jose. He’ll at this point I almost prefer San Jose.

  63. Contractor for the city here…JRDV has not yet signed the extended exclusive negotiating agreement.

  64. If I was Mark Davis, I would put it out that I would want the Raiders to move into Levi Stadium if Oakland fails to put up a stadium deal. I have a feeling that this could happen.

  65. Tony, Coliseum City as home to 3 sports teams is a long shot, to put it nicely. As a mixed use development to pay for a single baseball stadium it is a long shot, but more realistic. If Lew Wolff is gifted the land and manages the development, it’s possible.

  66. Each day I drive by and see the Earthquakes stadium going up like gangbusters right across the street from SJ Airport. Look to the north of the airport and there’s the 49ers new stadium, almost finished. Meanwhile, the A’s can’t get anything done because of cowardly, indecisive leadership. The unveiling of the Cisco Field project happened about 7.5 years ago and not a single shovel of dirt has been dug from the ground. Nice move, MLB. It’s the sort of incompetence that only a monopoly can get away with.

  67. @Harry- Thank you, that Michael Jackson is tight.

    @Jeffrey- LA next season? Woah dude, you forget unless there is a concrete stadium plan where a shovel is about to the hit the ground the Raiders or any other team could be stuck indefinitely in the Rose Bowl. That is the last thing the NFL wants because the Rose Bowl does not have the revenue generation sources for an NFL team to succeed long term.

    The O.Co Coliseum still is a better choice than the Rose Bowl hands down. Quan and Oakland know LA is a pipe dream and Davis showed his hand when he said publicly he won’t share with the 49ers. The guy is so dumb he makes Selig look like a genius.

    All Mark Davis has to do is “threaten” Oakland with Lev’s, just negotiate a lease with the 49ers and throw it front of Quan, the city council and the county. Leave the final signature blank where he is supposed to sign and see the looks on their faces.

    That is how you negotiate with idiots like Quan. Even Selig is getting sued by San Jose cause it is the only way to deal with him.

    I know Al Davis if he were still alive would have sent Amy Trask to Santa Clara, have her negotiate and hold Oakland by the balls. This is not hard Mark Davis….

  68. @harry- *That Michael Jackson song is tight. My bad

  69. re: All Mark Davis has to do is “threaten” Oakland with Lev’s,

    …How did the Warriors get their arena renovated in Oakland? By negotiating to move to San Jose. OF course, all the threats in the world these days won’t draw blood from a stone: Oakland doesn’t have money to spend on pro sports facilities.

  70. Sunday is the 5th anniversary of the BRC announcement by Zelig- It would be great to have a high profile article summarizing what this group has accomplished under Selig’s leadership-

  71. Maybe some of the East Bay and Frisco media will write about how the BRC has not done its job of finding sites in Oakland – while ignoring the reality that the committee has been looking for 5 years and can’t find any.

  72. @Marine Layer i don’t know about meeting their deliverables, someone at city hall building and plans department said there were issues between JRDV and their previous partner that were keeping them from moving forward with their agreements. I think they were being pushed by the press for info.

    • @Rex Frankin – That’s distressing to say the least. All because no one can figure out how to pay off Forest City’s $100k. Mark Davis is right to question commitment.

  73. @Lakeshore

    Oakland needs to pick the Raiders. .let A’s move to San Jose and maybe Warriors could clear all the red tape to move next to the SF Giants ..I think by splitting up all of the teams and spreading then between the bay area big 3 cities.. it would spread more casual fans and Make bay area sports even more appealing

  74. @ Tony D. See even Harry thinks Oakland needs to let the A’s go to San Jose and concentrate on the Raiders, so all the San Jose and Tony vs the the world is unnecessary.

  75. @harry – I think it should be the other way around. The A’s stay in Oakland and the Raiders leave town – preferably to Patagonia.

  76. Can you believe that Sunday is the 5th anniversary of the Blue Ribbon panel being appointed? I can’t believe these guys haven’t made an actual decision or recommendation to Selig yet.

  77. @ Dan,
    We don’t know that. In fact, based on Wolff quotes from the past year and talk of the “payoff,” I’d bet that the committee has spoken loud and clear re San Jose. 😉
    GO A’S!

  78. Question why do people here keep using Levi Stadium as an option when the the horse’s mouth has ruled that option? It should not even be brought up anymore. It’s LA/London if the Raider’s can’t find a stadium in Oakland.

  79. meant ruled out that option*

  80. Mike, it keeps being brought up because the NFL isn’t likely to be too keen on allowing the Raiders back into LA unless they come up with a good reason that SC doesn’t work.

  81. @Marine Layer – The dispute over the $100K is public information? If so, why hasn’t the city kicked out JRDV? Seems to me, if they can’t move forward over $100K, they are going to have a difficult time funding a multi-million dollar design effort.

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