Davis prefers A’s gone from Coliseum after 2015 season

Raiders owner fielded a series of questions from reporters about the Coliseum and new stadium situations yesterday, which led to some revealing answers. Tim Kawakami transcribed the interview and put it into a blog post.

-Q: Would “outs” for both sides–for the Coliseum City/Raiders side and for the A’s side–if either gets another deal… would that make it better?

-DAVIS: No. The A’s lease is up in 2015. If we could come to a deal with Colony Capital to build a football stadium there, we would like to be able to tear that Oakland Coliseum down the minute the 2015 baseball season’s over.

And that would get us into a stadium by 2019, I believe. On that site.

There are a couple of huge takeaways from Davis’s comments. First is that if Coliseum City comes together, he really wants the old stadium to come down. ASAP. For him that’s immediately when the A’s season ends. Nevermind that the A’s lease runs through December, point made. The other is that Davis’s stance clearly explains why he didn’t sign an extension past 2014. He has no intention of having the Raiders play at the Coliseum past this season (the team has an option on the 2015 season).

Davis may not have the best poker hand right now, but he is playing it to its fullest. He acknowledged the $500 million funding gap, which has no clear solution at the moment. He recognized that if the A’s were to be in on Coliseum City, their piece makes his smaller because they’d want to develop on their own terms. And he stated his preference for the Raiders being at the Coliseum complex alone, all while not describing the predicament as Raiders vs. A’s. He knows that the other players have crappy hands too, and is willing to bluff his way to getting what he wants. That hand becomes substantially weaker once Davis signs an extension, defeating the purpose of declaring his 2014 deadline. So chances are, he won’t sign one.

There are a couple other things to keep in mind when discussing Davis’s M.O. Remember that the first thing that opens LA or some other market to Davis is him proving that he tried on a local stadium deal for at least a year. He’s doing that, though in a somewhat unorthodox manner. The less important bottom line matter is that per the terms of the short-term Coliseum lease, if Davis continues to be engaged in Coliseum City talks, he gets the Raiders’ Alameda headquarters rent-free. Funny thing about that – if that $500k was coming in, the JPA could afford to pay off Forest City, extricate them from the plan, and move forward.

As for the A’s, well, you have the 10-year extension being tabled because it would jeopardize the relationship with the Raiders and present a bad deal to taxpayers. Or at least that’s what the talking points say. I wonder if the people behind those talking points are going to address Davis’s desire to evict the A’s after 2015. Wait, no need, right? Howard Terminal will surely be ready by 2016. If you believe that, I also have a bridge to sell you. Or maybe a stupid single-word messaging app.

47 thoughts on “Davis prefers A’s gone from Coliseum after 2015 season

  1. This effort should be entitled “Getting to No.”

  2. Have to say, I’m getting excited. It really does look like this is the final year of the hated Raiders in the Coliseum. One way or another they’ll be moving on to another venue in Santa Clara, Berkeley or Los Angeles for the 2015 season. Either temporarily while they get what they want (the A’s kicked out after 2015 and the Coliseum leveled) or permanently.

    Either way it serves the A’s well. The former will force MLB’s hand and either the A’s move to SJ or they go to a deserving city elsewhere. Or the latter frees Oakland up to finally focus on the one team they should have been focused on in the first place and maybe finally get one of their pipe dreams to become a reality.

  3. I don’t know how all this ends, but I bet there is never an EIR for HT unless Lew pays for it, and Iam pretty sure that doesn’t happen

  4. Just a $500 million gap? That’s it? Can we say – this stadium is not going to happen?

  5. This could all be moot, if the Raiders and Colony Capital cannot get an agreement done on a new CC football stadium by the end of this year. If it doesn’t get done, then the A’s will likely get their ten year lease extension at the Coliseum. One way or another, it looks likely that the Raiders will be heading for Santa Clara after the 2014 NFL season. It remains to be seen whether the Raiders will be playing at Levi’s Stadium for just a few seasons, or a much longer time period, or even permanently for that matter.

  6. Once again Mark Davis is lost as usual not taking the lead on this to get it done.

    Davis keeps twiddling his thumbs and refuses to come up with solutions for the 500M gap.

    I for one believe PSLs would have worked at the Coli in 1995 had they been made “lifetime” instead of a 10 year term. A lifetime license would have sold at a much higher rate and would give the licensee rights to all events in the stadium for life except for the A’s.

    The 49ers raised 500M-600M on SBLs alone. The Raiders could raise less than half of that or 200M-250M.

    The 49ers raised 360M in suite sales, why not 50M-100M for the Raiders?

    The 49ers raised 220M in naming rights, why not 100M for the Raiders?

    Therefore by Davis getting of his ass and selling to his fan base he could easily raise 350M-450M easily on suites, PSL sales and naming rights.

    Now your gap is far more manageable and then someone can buy a small piece of the team and make up the rest and there is a NFL new stadium in Oakland ready to go in 4 years.

    I am estimating a fraction of what the 49ers raised. Raiders fans may not have the financial might of 49ers fan but it is not like their fan base is small and without money completely.

    Instead Davis sits on his ass hoping for the 500M gap to fall from the sky….What a dumbass.

    The NFL sells period, the 49ers toppled everyone’s expectations with their sales and naming rights. The Raiders can do the same on a smaller level.

    It just takes a guy like Jed York to step and be brave. Fortune favors the bold Mark Davis….Levi’s Stadium looks beautiful.

  7. @Sid Not sure if some of the revenue streams you mentioned are already assumed to service the debt on Raider or NFL contributions. In general though I agree with your point.

    Also, based on the recent Clippers sale price, it seems entirely possible (not certain, but possible) that Davis could sell a chunk of the team to some billionaire wanna-be NFL owner sufficient to bridge the gap on that basis alone, and still maintain control.

    Not fair to say he’s sitting on his hands or twiddling his thumbs. We really don’t know what he or the Raiders are doing in this regard. And it wouldn’t be foolish strategy for him to hold back revealing that information until all other possible sources of funding were exhausted.

  8. @bartleby- The problem Davis has in LA is he has no site to build on without selling the team and losing control.

    Stan Kroenke of the Rams is the only one who has site control and does not need to sell his team and lose control to build in LA.

    What billionaire would spend 1B on a new stadium without having control of the team playing in it? That is a good question to pose.

    The Clippers only sold for 2B because their TV rights are up 2016 and they play in a 25M person market including San Diego.

    The NFL, TV is shared equally so you cannot say the Clippers and Raiders are in the same boat. It is comparing an Apple to an Orange.

    I believe Davis if he was smart and business savvy could get this done in Oakland by raising money the way the 49ers did on a smaller level.

    But he wants a “handout”…..He and Oakland are made to rot with each other for years to come.

  9. @Sid I never said I thought Davis’ ability to sell a stake of the team for $500 million and keep control was dependent on a move to LA. I’ve argued before that the value of the Raiders would not be that much greater in LA than in Oakland, for the very reason you state.

    I also never said anything about paying a billion for a stadium without controlling the team. We’re talking about a $500 million funding gap; that’s the amount Davis would need to raise from selling a stake in the team.

    Why would one or more billionaire(s) invest heavily in a team they don’t control? Well, why do any minority partners buy shares in a team? They want the prestige of being part of an exclusive club, plus it’s a good investment. The chance of losing money over the long term buying into the NFL is not much.

    I disagree with your assessment of the reason the Clips sold for $2 billion. That valuation is multiples more than any other recent NBA team sale, including teams that don’t share markets and/or have more favorable arena situations (Exhibit A: Your Golden State Warriors). Even considering the size of the LA market and the potential of the forthcoming TV deal, pretty much no knowledgeable, independent observer thinks the revenue potential of the Clips justifies that valuation.

    Bottom line, you had a guy with a lot of money who really, really, REALLY wants to be an NBA owner. And maybe has long time horizons, so he knows he’ll come out ok in the end. Not saying finding a similar investor is a sure thing for the Raiders, but it’s certainly possible.

  10. The Clippers $2 bil. sale price is nuts though. The team rakes in $25 mil. a year with their current television rights deal. Their annual net profit is $100 mil. – even with a new, better tv deal, it will take Balmer well over a decade to break even.

    Also, Stan Kroenke is a native of St Louis – would the guy really move the team to LA? – possible (The threat of moving the Rams may be a bluff directed at St Louis politicians to get off their butts and pass legislation to keep the team there though)

  11. I think this suits Lew Wolff just fine. “Hey, I tried,” he can say, and sit back with a bucket of popcorn and watch the chaos unfold.

  12. From what little I know about Mark Davis personally, he’s not really a businessman. He’s not a football man either. He is the world’s biggest Raiders fan though. It’s quite possible he might realize the high finance stuff is above him (just the fact he’s throwing specific numbers out to the media is odd). I think he would sell a controlling interest in the team, but only IF he could remain in a figurehead role. Perhaps an ambassador to the fans and the former players.

    Otherwise the current Coliseum is fine for a pro football team with low ambitions. (Once they get rid of the baseball dirt, that is.) I’m sure Davis can live comfortably on the TV revenue without worrying about seat licenses and luxury boxes.

  13. How about bringing the Athletics back home to Philadelphia?

  14. Oakland sucks!!!!

  15. Oakland (‘s leadership) sucks… They are as big of an obstacle as Lew Wolff or Mark Davis (bigger in my opinion)

  16. Maybe all this winning will persuade the Oakland City Council to choose the A’s over the Raiders and abandon the notion that the city can still accommodate both teams in the Coliseum parking lot.

  17. The guest commentary states the A’s shouldn’t be allowed out of the lease “if the Raiders and Oakland strike a deal for a football stadium at the Coliseum site.” So the A’s could be left homeless and still have no way to break the lease? Who wouldn’t agree to that?????? Makes soooo much sense!!

  18. This whole drama regarding the A’s and Raiders wanting a new stadium or a new location (home) etc is a joke. It’s been a ton of years that this stuff has been going on (remember Al moved the Raiders to LA?).

  19. The Raiders moved to LA?!?!

  20. @pjk

    Sigh pjk…im one of the few commenters that is not afraid of this dude..

    Lol Oakland tell the Raiders what to do??? (Chuckle) keep dreaming bro…yes the A’s winning does help but “pissed off Oakland leaders” will never reallt admit defeat especially to Wolff…the Raiders have more fans and have Oakland by the balls mentally, physically and financially with mount davis debt…if san jose doesn’t happen Lew wolff should look at that corner of the Coliseum parking lot and make a ballpark out of it…

  21. Why don’t the Raiders make THEIR stadium in a little tiny corner of the parking lot? They left the house, why do they get to walk back in years later and demand the master bedroom? Screw those guys.
    Mike Davie with a guest editorial? Ugghh.

  22. OAKLAND has lost EVERYTHING!!! Sooner or later, we will see the A’s playing in San Jose, the Warriors in San Francisco, and the Raiders either in Santa Clara or Los Angeles. What a mess.

  23. Davis ought to be concerned about putting a winning team on the field.

  24. Lol whatever either way city of Oakland will have to make a move on which team gets priority on the Coliseum. ..if Quan gets Re elected her idea would be to give the Raiders priority which she feels will squeeze the A’s to build in Oakland or find a new home….and it actually could work…haters…

  25. Mark Davis wants the current Coli site because if he builds in a corner brand new infrastructure would be needed (power, sewage, plumbing, etc…)

    Someone has to pay for this and he wants to keep the price as low as possible and not increase the funding gap of 500M.

    Same goes for the A’s, building in the parking lot would cause mass issues hence why Schott was shot down by the Raiders/Warriors years ago….it goes beyond parking alone.

    A’s need the Raiders to leave to stay in Oakland. Even so the Coli site is horrendous to get to during the week traffic wise but the A’s could tear down the current Coli, share with the Giants for 3 years and have their new ballpark.

    That would the best cheapest and easiest solution for the A’s. The current Coli site has all the infrastructure in place.

    But I see the Raiders staying at the current Coli for years to come…..This is such a mess, the A’s should have been in San Jose 10 years ago and the Raiders should be in Santa Clara.

    Makes no damn sense….

  26. re: if Quan gets Re elected her idea would be to give the Raiders priority which she feels will squeeze the A’s to build in Oakland or find a new home….and it actually could work…haters…

    MLB is not going to be squeezed into forcing the A’s and MLB to build a new ballpark in Oakland if it does not make financial sense. More likely, MLB will let the team sit in the current stadium until another city, far away, is found that will give MLB what it wants – a publicly funded ballpark. It will happen eventually.

  27. If Al were alive, he’d probably sue MLB on the grounds that their anti-competitive refusal to let the A’s move to San Jose is costing him money.

  28. Sounds like some more meetings to figure out how to get these stadiums built when no one wants to pay for them.

  29. @pjk how about you attend and raise that question, and get the answer straight from the developer himself who is on the team negotiating with the teams, the city, and the developers. Funding sources have been mentioned by me on here but you still fail to believe it as accurate. Yes there is a gap can it be made up? time will tell, but when I spoke to him off the record he was candid and pretty straight forward and honest, with no political ties to any of these candidates etc, actually took a shot at a certain few but insisted to not worry about reelections and media hype what certain people are saying to get political points in the media, etc because it is way past the point that CC is being built regardless of who’s Mayor. It’s just a matter if the A’s are staying or what. And as you can see from the MD interview he took a shot at Lew telling him to make up his mind to get on board or not.

  30. @pjk and by the way these meetings are a must to satisfy requirements for the EIR, expect a few more in a couple of months when it is filed with the city.

  31. @K- MD took a shot at LW…. Really- the economics of a raiders stadium at CC become worse if the A’s sign on- and so do the economics of an A’s stadium if the raiders stay- bottom line is LW and MD are connected at the hip with both putting pressure on Oakland and MLB to step up- if the A’s 10 year lease gets approved next week that’s a pretty clear sign that the A’s will play at the Coli until evicted- how much more clear does MD want LW to be?

  32. re: Funding sources have been mentioned by me on here

    …if the funding sources were there, we’d have already had Mark Davis signing on to a stadium deal and Wolff being strongly encouraged to do the same. Instead, neither team has a new stadium deal. Davis has been negotiating with Oakland and Colony Capital for years. The result? No deal. And why? Because the money isn’t there. Not surprising, since Oakland can’t spend taxpayer money on new stadiums and the private investment sources don’t pencil out. The $500 million gap for a Raiders stadium alone tells us the money just is not there.

  33. @GoA’s “If the A’s would just declare what they want to do,” Davis said, “it would just be easier for all of us.” from CSN Bay Area. Is that not a shot at Lew? MD wants the current footprint because of infrastructure, if the A’s stay that’s where lots of tax payer money comes into play between 400-500 million. Yes they all are playing the media for position of the best possible deal, MD really isn’t even in negotiations with the developers hes letting his team handle it what he said has been out there for months and he recited some points that were said in the public forms for CC.

  34. @K- how much more clear could LW be- he is waiting for approval of a 10 year lease on the current footprint- with a minimum 2 year eviction notice- is that not clear?

  35. re: MD really isn’t even in negotiations with the developers

    …Davis is and has been clearly frustrated with the foot-dragging and lack of progress in the negotiations with Oakland and Colony Capital. He’s trying to stay in Oakland but once again, the money for his stadium is just not there. As soon as he realizes that, he can either move to Santa Clara or LA.

  36. @GoA’s well see if changes are made or not, and what the terms are, I’m just saying all this media stuff is not to be believed, we have MD state that if the A’s were gone right now a stadium would be built, then in the same interview point out 500 million. Is that if the two stay? because infrastructure would be needed or not. Not sure MD even knows, hes not really in tune with it.

  37. @K- guess we will find out next week when JPA votes on lease extension for A’s. As a benchmark the ‘9ers new stadium is $1.3B- to my knowledge that does not include infrastructure improvements made by city of Santa Clara (moving substation) or transit upgrades to light rail made by Santa Clara Valley Transportation

  38. @K- Your right Davis is not in tune.

    It is not the developers responsibility to bridge the gap, it is up to Mark Davis to do that. Much like Jed York did recently.

    There are private funding sources that can be tapped on a fraction of the level the 49ers did in Santa Clara such Suite Sales, SBLs, Naming Rights and Club Seating.

    The 49ers raised over 1B, the Raiders can easily raise 300M total and sell a piece of the team to cover the last 200M.

    If Davis was smart he would raise money and not sit around and wait for these developers or the JPA for a handout to fall from the sky.

    Davis is using the A’s as an excuse not to step his game up. Makes sense coming from a spoiled rich kid.

    As for Wolff; he is a “businessman” and is far smarter than Davis in every sense, a self made millionaire.

    Wolff has stated out of the 600 acres needed for CC the City only owns 200 or so. He has stated in public “how are you going to take the people’s land”??

    400 acres that is privately owned as part of the plan? This shows Oakland’s ineptitude.

    Could CC go forward with 200 acres and no A’s? Sure, only if Davis steps up and finds creative solutions to bridge the gap.

    On the other hand, if Davis was willing to raise 300M by private sources and sell a piece of the team for the last 200M, you do not think the JPA would kick the A’s to curb and move forward with the Coli tear down?

  39. It’s 800 acres and Oakland only controls 200, right? Wasn’t San Jose criticized for only controlling 40% of the ballpark site, and of course, the city only needs to acquire a few more acres. Nothing close to 600 acres.

  40. @ pjk

    What you fail to understand is…city of Oakland should and eventually will award the Raiders the Coliseum + land…why because the A’s and Warriors want to leave…1 out of 2 is allready out the door…this in a way helps Lew Wolff move to Municipal Stadium/ San Jose and be done with this stadium/arena/ballpark stuff. ..

  41. Harry, Wolff will never move the A’s to Municipal Stadium. It barely qualifies as a Single A venue and would NEVER in a million years work as an MLB venue.

  42. What we’re probably seeing is the slow, sad ending of major pro sports in a city that simply doesn’t have the money to support the needs of these franchises at 2014 prices. The Warriors are gone, the Raiders will probably come to the conclusion eventually that a new stadium there is not going to happen. If we’re all lucky, a way to save the A’s can be found in Oakland – let Wolff develop the surrounding land for his “baseball village,” continue with revenue-sharing, etc. If not, then let the A’s go to San Jose.

  43. No no no pjk

    Look how the Mets are beating the A’s now…one thing I hate about this team is lack of hitting…if Wolff wants any momentum to get San Jose he needs to tell management to acquire a hitter.. because if the damn SF Giants win the world series the A’s as a organization do not deserve Oakland or San Jose and I mean that.. either way I will prove you guys wrong when Raiders get the nod to have the Coliseum and the A’s will be homeless and have to surrender to Coliseum City

  44. Every team gets blown out a few times a year. Today is just a glitch (hopefully). Even the best teams lose 60+ games a year in baseball.

  45. O/T: agreed w/ Harry. The A’s need experienced/better bats. They can win the division as is but to go deep, they need tough hitting

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