Why would Mark Davis want to build at the current Coliseum site?

Infrastructure costs, plain and simple.

Ever since people have talked about building another venue on the Coliseum site, that talk has gotten shut down by the costs associated with relocating utilities, most famously the power lines that run through the complex. While such costs are a low percentage of the overall project cost, the fact is that they would have to be dealt with upfront. And since upfront costs often have to be borne by the team while the public financing piece gets squared away, it’s a budget item that no team owner wants to deal with if he can avoid it.


Utilities running through the Coliseum area. Orange are power lines, green are sewer

According to the infrastructure study released in the spring, the estimated cost to relocate the power transmission lines is $15.8 million. Another $1.4 million would be allocated towards relocating a sewer line (green dotted line). Both of those changes would be necessary to accommodate a football stadium on the D lot south of the existing Coliseum. The good thing is that the relocations would help a ballpark in the A lot as well, so it’s a one-time project cost.

A stadium built within the existing Coliseum footprint would require none of this infrastructure work. Should Coliseum City be developed down the road it would have to be addressed, but that would be the within the purview of the developer, not Mark Davis. There would still be the cost of demolishing the Coliseum, which is unknown at this point (could run into the $10 million range), which would be done whether the stadium was built on the site of the existing Coliseum or adjacent to it.

The cheapest alternative would be to re-do the Coliseum. Even then there would be an unknown cost of partial demolition of the Coliseum, so there’s a cost there. Ever wonder if Davis would be okay if the Coliseum simply didn’t have a baseball infield on it?

46 thoughts on “Why would Mark Davis want to build at the current Coliseum site?

  1. Rumor has it if you’re real quiet at night, you can hear the ghost of Al Davis whispering… Jamarcus Russell is the key to our future…

  2. Dear city of Oakland

    Deal: let Mark Davis/Raiders management have the Coliseum and land for developing. .let the A’s build their temp ballpark near Oracle arena..I’m sure Davis would be nice enough to offer Wolff a small portion of Coliseum land….however Davis gets parking revenue

  3. @ML
    Re: “Ever wonder if Davis would be okay if the Coliseum simply didn’t have a baseball infield on it?”
    Yes I have wondered that, and I would guess that Mark Davis would be ok with the coliseum (minor improvements perhaps), as long as he could get those pesky A’s out of there.

  4. Didn’t Davis tell Kawakami a few weeks ago that this upcoming season is the Raiders’ last at the Coli, at least in the current arrangement? Or was that partially a negotiating tactic to score a more favorable lease extension?

    I’m very curious how the revenues compare for the Raiders being tenants at Levi’s in 2015 vs continuing indefinitely at the Coli. My hunch is that the Raiders would sell out Levi’s regularly.

  5. The Raiders don’t want the A’s on Coliseum land and the A’s don’t want the Raiders on Coliseum land. If anything ever gets done there, it’s gonig to be one team or the other, not both.

  6. So when is the Oakland city council meeting today?

  7. I’d like to see what Wolff has in mind if he had sole use of the Coliseum site. I’m assuming the new ballpark would be constructed in the north parking lot while the A’s stay at the Coliseum. However, the housing/retail wouldn’t be able to start construction until the current Coliseum stadium is demolished. Time is money, so that further pushes out the significant revenue generating housing/retail component of the Coliseum plan.

  8. Briggs, while time is money I suspect the Coliseum development under Wolff would go along the same lines as the Earthquakes stadium development has gone in San Jose. The new ballpark would come first with the rest of the development coming at a leisurely pace at a later date.

  9. I’m not seeing how Raiders attendance increases at Levi’s. Oakland-oriented people aren’t going to like it, the South Bay is largely 49er-ish, and SJ is further from most of the Central Valley people than is Oakland. They might pick up people who would go to Raider games but think the Coliseum is “yucky”, whoever they are, but they’d lose some who would get upset being in the 49ers stadium. Sounds like a wash, and when you factor that the 49ers would probably want to charge substantial rent, I think the status quo is much better.

  10. @smg, Brian, Ye Ye and Lakeshore

    Don’t u guys think there is a lot of bad blood between city of Oakland leaders and Lew Wolff… I cant imagine Quan giving Lew Wolff free land in exchange for “stAy” in Oakland

    She and the fields of schemers of Oakland will say “sell the land to Lew wolff” to pay back the taxpayers! !!! 100-200 mill for the Coliseum land would be huge for Oakland to spend on city services. ..

    so it ends up with Lew would have to pay for the land of the parking lot and build his own ballpark and it doesn’t mean the Raiders and warriors have to vacate the premises anytime soon…

    This is why there will be a no vote but a decision to keep the Raiders (especially when they win the afc west this year) and give them priority at the Coliseum


    • @harry – $100-200 million should be enough to pay off the remaining debt on both the stadium and arena… and that’s it.

  11. Well LA is ultimately what is much better for the Raiders. They still have a slew of fans down there and being the only game in town would definitely be a draw for them in a region that has been largely NFL ignored for 20 years. Add in the fact the market down there (even if the Raiders do end up a second team to the Rams), is far bigger than their small slice of the Bay Area.

    But I do agree Brian that the Raiders would have their own issues to contend with if they moved to Santa Clara. They might, and I emphasize the might, get more corporate support, but they’d be hard pressed to draw in South Bay fans. The south bay, more so than even SF itself, is Niners country. Always has been, always will be. The Raiders are an afterthought when it comes to TV viewership in the Bay Area (when they’re not blacked out), and they’re an afterthought when it comes to in person viewership. They’re still the only NFL game I’ve been to for under $1.

  12. When it comes to their respective long-range views for what will become of the Coliseum site, both Lew Wolff and Mark Davis do not conflict. Wolff envisions that his A’s will be gone from the Coliseum within five to ten years and will be playing st a more desirable Bay Area location, preferably in San Jose. As for Mark Davis, he envisions his Raiders filling the void of a vacated Coliseum with its own new stadium on the Coliseum site. I would think that both Wolff and Davis are privately hoping that the Oakland City Council will reject the proposed new A’s lease. By doing so, this will likely help to expedite their own respective new ballpark/stadium plans so as to reach its successful endgame.

  13. @llpec

    Ur close..but maybe it’s just common sense.

    U know privately us pro Oakland ppl are still very hurt on the inside that the Warriors are getting closer to their S.F goals. It’s all ready a slap in the face to see how ownership wants this to be a SF warriors team…it’s like Lew wolff might as well have “Soon to be San Jose A’s” on the players jerseys.

    Maybe Oakland officials and is the citizens/fans are tired of not being wanted. If u don’t want to be here A’s and Warriors” peace out…Raiders want to be here..fine but mark Davis is going to have to do what Marine layer suggested and just rebuilt half the Coliseum (with his 400mil) while Oakland preps the land around…I Harry will be right

  14. So is the city council not voting on the lease today?

  15. I’m with you on being confused Dan. I was under the impression that they were voting today, but now I’m not sure.

  16. The Oakland City Council website says they’re covering the Oakland Redevelopment Successor Agency and Finance and Management Committee tomorrow, July 8th at 9:30am

  17. I just don’t see Mark Davis’ vision for Coliseum City working, its not the lack of dollars or funding gaps I have issues with. What I have issues with is the direction and philosophy of the Raiders.

    How are they going to improve on the field? What is the direction of the team? Do any of us know? At least with the A’s we know that the ownership group wants to win now. If I had a vote on the JPA or on Oakland’s city council I would throw my support behind the A’s and try to get a deal done with the team to stay in the city.

    I just have a feeling the city will pick the wrong horse in this race and it will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars once the loans are payed off.

  18. Muppet posted earlier that the expected vote is next Tuesday 7/15-

  19. From Muppet’s link:

    “Monday’s closed-door session of the full city council will be where they’ll get the financial analysis of the deal and can either approve it, amend it or kick it to the curb.”

    If they try to amend it (which it sounds like they’re going to try to do), I’m not so sure they’ll have the A’s ear. And as Gallo said, they need to listen to the people they paid to negotiate.

  20. I don’t know if it’s next Tuesday for sure. City rules call for votes to be public. A lease approval on a joint venture might fall outside that rule. If not, the next time all 8 (9) voters will be meeting at the same time will be the 15th unless a special meeting is called. Today might qualify as that.

  21. Wow so Quan and Co are actually going to try and tweak it if the CBS link is right. I hope they do. This really could be it. The massive and blatantly obvious screw up by Oakland that many of us have been waiting for.

  22. Let’s watch Oakland reject the lease and the A’s immediately announce their departure from Oakland after next season. I’ll bet the city council even throws in some language trying to require the A’s to do a thorough investigation of Howard Terminal.

  23. It’ll really all depend on what tweaks Quan and company do. Frankly Wolff’s been very clear they’re done negotiating on this so if it’s anymore more than a change of the color of the stationary that this agreement is printed on it could be the final straw that finally breaks the camel’s back.

  24. These are all PR moves by Quan to separate her and Kaplan. I would be shocked if the lease isn’t approved by a majority of the council. Quan and several others will vote no and she will be able to try and leverage her No vote and contrast that with Kaplan’s Yes vote-

  25. That SF Weekly “The Snitch” article that was tweeted was so annoying. I thought satire was supposed to be funny.

  26. @all

    I already coveted it. City of Oakland will vote a No..trust me…A’s winning and all is great but when u have the city by the balls in Mount davis…plus Oakland is a football town…just waiting on our football team to do well

  27. You know what makes sense, Harry? The Raiders move to Howard Terminal. It’s a GREAT site! The Oakland Only people said so. Think about it. A waterside stadium with a huge pirate ship just like at Raymond James Stadium! Yo ho ho! Right? Let the A’s have the inferior Coliseum site. Move the Raiders to Howard Terminal! It is a perfect fit and a win for Oakland! C’mon! you KNOW I’ m right!

  28. @ muppet151

    Thanks for the updates, with on going Oakland city council drama, really appreciate it.

  29. @Matt

    Eegghh… I think the A’s should capitalize on the downtown Oakland port side if town…besides east a Oakland is the Raiders so I don’t think ur idea would work. Next time buddy..but I’m proud of u…kisses and hugs

  30. Matt, not enough erroneous spelling and grammatical errors, but good effort.

  31. Ohhhhhhhh! I didn’t know that! NOBODY in West Oakland, North Oakland and Downtown Oakland likes or cares for the Raiders. Well, what do you know? You learn something new everyday! Yes, it makes a WHOLE lot of sense! By some sort of strange law issued by the NFL and/or the city and/or the state of California, the Raiders MUST remain in EAST Oakland if they are to remain in Oakland at all. Wow! The things you learn from Harry the Duck. (You are a duck, right? You mentioned Lew “quakking” in his boots. Only a duck could relate to that!) Besides, if the Raiders DID move to Howard Terminal, there would be NO WAY that anybody from East Oakland could make it to the game! How silly of me! Oh, and “kisses and hugs”??? I didn’t know you were that desperate for affection!

  32. @Matt

    Relax Matt and dmoas. You two are cute when u team up but can’t defeat me. I have analyzed this whole Oakland stadium situation and the best solution for Lew wolff is to either invest in the Coliseum City project and allow the Raiders control or…..Howard terminal field..at the end I’ll be celebrating and u two will be felling like the Giants today 0-5 (drop the mic)

  33. anybody else see this, surprised it hasn’t been posted yet. remember i posted from last week watching ystl where ostler said that the a’s will move to sj eventually. does he know something we don’t?

    “All that voting and squabbling in Oakland means nothing. One source close to San Jose’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball assures me the case will be settled out of court within six months, paving the way for the A’s to skip to San Jose.”


  34. That’s interesting letsgoas. I have been of the opinion for quite some time that if things don’t work out in Oakland (and let’s be real, it’s unlikely that they will) then the other owners are not going to want to entertain the idea of the A’s moving near their own respective territories. They will, in my opinion, rightfully throw the Giants under the bus and vote to let the A’s go to San Jose. As long as the A’s want to stay in the Bay Area, the problem is really only one for the Giants and A’s to deal with. The second there is real talk of going outside the Bay Area, it becomes a problem for every other team/owner.

    I hope that source is correct, but I don’t put a ton of stock in a vague claim like that. One can hope though. The A’s in San Jose is the best thing for the team, the fans, other teams, and for baseball both as a business and as a game.

  35. @SMG – I really would prefer that the A’s stay put since San Jose is a longer train ride for me. However, I’d much rather see the A’s move to San Jose than to Montreal, San Antonio, Portland, or any other place outside of the state.

  36. @dmoas – D@mn! I know I missed something! Thanks for the complement, though. I gotta remember the spelling and grammatical errors as well as sounding like I’m tripping on peyote and ‘shrooms. I’ll do better next time.

  37. @Matt: By the time it would even get built, BART will already be running to the stadium site. And if not yet completed, it would still connect to VTA Light Rail in Milpitas, which would in turn go directly to the stadium.

  38. @SMG – Thank you for the info, but I’m not worried about BART, VTA, or Caltrain availability to a stadium in San Jose. I reside in Davis which is about 20 miles or so west of Sacramento. Since I don’t drive, going to an A’s game means taking Capitol Corridor from Davis to Oakland and back. Without any discounts, that would be a $54 round trip. If the A’s were to move to San Jose, the fare jacks up to around $70 per person and that is before tickets and concessions. So for me, it is a matter of economics. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the A’s and especially their fans whom I consider to be the best in all of MLB. But if they move to San Jose, it will definitely mean going to fewer games unless of course, I win the lottery!

  39. Mark Davis is well aware that the BART extension to Santa Clara County will make it much easier and accessible for his Raiders’ East Bay fan base to get to Levi’s stadium via public transit. For this reason, I believe that Davis is more willing to have his Raiders playing at Levi’s Stadium for an indefinite extended period of time. He doesn’t want to publicly state this opinion, especially while he is still in negotiations with Colony Capital and CC officials. Even if the CC stadium deal doesn’t get done anytime soon, Davis is still hopeful for an eventual return to the Coliseum site five to ten years down the road, especially if the A’s do ultimately move to San Jose.

  40. Iipec, how would BART make it easier to get to Levi’s? You’d still have to transfer via bus in east SJ over to avatar light rail. Hardly a viable option for most people.

  41. @ Ilpec/Dan
    Dan has a point, I don’t think BART lines run anywhere near Levi’s, do they?

  42. You’re both correct, Lakeshore and Dan. As of right now, BART doesn’t run within walking distance of Levi’s, nor will it ever. The Santa Clara Caltrain station where it will eventually terminate isn’t near the stadium. What is going to happen is that riders will be able to, startinging in 2016, connect from BART to VTA Light Rail in Milpitas. The light rail will go right to the Levi’s.

    It’s the same sort of system the Warriors are trying to use in Mission Bay once the Central Subway Muni extension is complete. In that case people will take BART to the Powell Street station and connect there to the Muni T Third Street line, which will go right to the new arena’s door.

  43. @Dan, The distance between the soon to be BART Milpitas station and Levi’s stadium is not very far. Shuttle express buses would be added to supplement the VTA light rail connections as well as being somewhat quicker.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.