Davis won’t seek lease extension for Raiders

The stadium-building playbook usually involves a team owner using leverage at various points to coax a compromise out of the public officials on the other side of the table. Raiders owner Mark Davis employed this tactic three months ago he openly complained about a lack of urgency on Oakland’s part, even though Davis has done little lifting on his own in the local effort.

At the conclusion of A’s lease extension talks, JPA Board President Nate Miley said that talks had started with the Raiders for a short-term extension, presumably to allow for more time to flesh out Coliseum City. Those talks appear to have gone sideways, as Davis said today that he has no plans to extend after the end of this season. I had earlier reported that there may be an option, but the lease is only for the NFL’s 2014 season, plus the playoffs stretching into 2015 if that occurs.

Meanwhile, Davis has been pallin’ around with Jerry Jones, Magic Johnson, and others in Oxnard this week as the Raiders and Cowboys have held joint practices. Magic waxed nostalgically about Michael Ovitz’s plan to re-do the LA Memorial Coliseum. Jones gave Davis his support, no doubt with the idea that a Raiders move to LA means that the team won’t encroach upon Texas (San Antonio to be specific). There’s no shortage of media willing to buy the LA move plan, from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora to the BANG’s Tim Kawakami.

LA still remains a tough proposition, because of the lack of consensus on a site and the NFL’s own agenda, which may have roadblocks for Davis on the way south. It should be crystal clear, though, that most of the problems with LA can be solved with money, and when it comes time to decide, there are more than enough people there to write the checks.

For the Raiders it comes down to following the rules. The NFL’s guidelines dictate that all teams looking to leave have to give their current city at least a year of good faith negotiations before turning elsewhere. By having involvement in Coliseum City, Davis has done that. Then there’s the brief window that all NFL teams have to notify the league that they intend to move to another market. That doesn’t happen until after the season ends. Assuming that Coliseum City doesn’t get finalized in the next six months, Davis will probably provide notice.

Knowing how the JPA reacted to Lew Wolff’s and MLB’s threat to relocate the A’s, Oakland could easily go into another panic mode. That’s the plan, the playbook. For better or worse, Coliseum City is Oakland’s playbook.

52 thoughts on “Davis won’t seek lease extension for Raiders

  1. coliseum city isn’t going to happen.

    imo raiders best chance to have stayed here locally in the bay area was to team up with the niners during the beginning stages of what turned out to be levis stadium. trask who i think ran the business side of things thought that was the best option.

    NEVER made sense to build two potential billion dollar football stadiums in the same area. there is a reason why the nyj and nyg have shared the same venue together now for decades and continued to do so with the two together playing at metlife instead of going their separate ways and building their own separate stadiums.

    basically a waste of money especially when i think it was unlikely that a super bowl would ever been played in oakland when you already got a viable venue down in santa clara.

    raiders balked even though even dating back to last year the idea was still alive due to levis stadium having three locker rooms built in it. but at this time it looks as those bay area raiders fans are screwed and likely could see their team leave now for the second time. though the proposed site of levis even if it was a shared venue was basically next door to the niners headquarters in santa clara and it would’ve been awkward to say the least for the raiders org and fans to share with the niners a venue which is supposed to be neutral when the niners team facilities is right next doors while the raiders head quarters are almost an hour away drive from oakland/alameda.

    • Not to mention the stadium is decked out in red and gold everywhere and is literally a shrine to the 49ers. The Raiders playing there basically says, “Raiders – your history doesn’t count.”

      • True now, but that wouldn’t have been the case if the Raiders had gotten in on the ground floor as an equity partner, as letsgoas suggests.

  2. While the sharing of the then Giants Stadium and now MetLife Stadium by both the NY football Giants and Jets has worked quite well over the years, Mark Davis has never shown an interest for his Raiders sharing a facility with the 49ers. It now appears that Mark Davis would rather have his Raiders move to another market, if a new Oakland or East Bay stadium deal cannot be accomplished. The problem is that the NFL likely does not for the Raiders to relocate to LA, San Antonio, or any other market at this time. The NFL would much prefer the Raiders to at least temporarily share Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers. As a result, the NFL would likely not approve the Raiders to move to another market, at least in the short-term. Knowing the fact that Mark Davis no longer wants to share the Coliseum with the A’s beyond this 2014 season, that leaves likely Santa Clara as the Raiders’ only option. I tend to believe that Davis will reluctantly sign a short-term lease at Levi’s Stadium in the hope that better stadium options will eventually come about for his Raiders. The bottom line is that this scenario is what the NFL wants for the Raiders, at least for the short-term.

    • However the NFL commissioner recently commented that the Raiders can move where ever they want to. Also, Magic Johnson appears to carry some clout in Los Angeles – especially with sports. Johnson’s endorsing the Raiders move there could be a big deal.

  3. Doesn’t it sound a bit like the Raiders are kind of an extra NFL franchise? Can’t get a new stadium in their market, can’t sell out their building, low revenues, playing in the shadows of a far more popular team. They’re like the Anaheim Ducks in SoCal: One team too many. And the Rams, who have the money and the land, look like a safer bet to take the LA market than the Raiders.

    • Kroenke, the Rams owner, is a St Louis native though. It’s possible they could move there. That threat could also be a ploy to get St Louis politicos to fund a new Rams stadium.

    • Are you describing the A’s or Raiders? 😉

    • The Anaheim Ducks aren’t quite the comparison you want to make. Their attendance is running at 95% of capacity and they are pretty popular with the folks in Orange County who aren’t unlike Sharks fans other than having to deal with the Ducks having had some very bad years recently.

  4. The Raiders are leaving, the Raiders are leaving, the Raiders are leaving… I’m positively giddy at the idea of it. And the fact it’s looking very likely to happen has me grinning ear to ear. We’ll finally be rid of them!

    And as for LA, wouldn’t shock me at all to see them set up shop temporarily either to partner with Guggenheim or AEG, or simply to wait for Kroenke and the Rams to show up in town too.

  5. The Rams look to be in the same situation in Saint Louis as the Raiders in Oakland: Looking for $600-$700 million in public funds but unable to get it.

    • Difference is they have an owner who can do it privately if he wanted to. But Kroenke also has a plot of land sitting in LA that can support a new stadium, his team is playing in a stadium in St. Louis that while not cutting edge is more than adequate by modern NFL standards and wouldn’t even be at issue if not for one of the dumbest leases ever signed by a major city with a sports team. So it’s a similar situation, but not the same by a long shot.

      The Raiders are going to need to leech off whatever municipality they end up in privately or publicly. Kroenke isn’t quite as constrained. Nor is he in quite the same rush that Davis is since his team isn’t playing on dirt every season.

      • Yes, Saint Louis signed a lease guaranteeing the Rams would have one of the top stadiums in the league at all times. They don’t. The Rams took the matter to arbitration and won. But Saint Louis doesn’t have the $700 million it would cost to upgrade the stadium to comply with the lease. If Kroenke wants to privately build a stadium, where would it make more sense for him – in the gigantic LA market or the relatively small Saint Louis market? It’s a no-brainer. And as you note, Kroenke has the means to get a stadium done privately; Mark Davis most definitely does not.

      • @ athletics68
        Rams can privately finance BINGO; Something Mark can’t do in his dreams.

      • @ pjk
        I get you, if the Rams were going to build privately, would they rather do that in ST. Louis, or LA?

  6. I don’t know if this is all posturing by Davis, or what? I thought for a long tine his preference was Oakland, since his mother still lives in Piedmont (I believe), and his father is buried in Oakland, it would seem to be the perfect place to build a legacy project to his father, after all Oakland is where it all started. I guess if you don’t have money, you don’t have money.
    Davis has to know he can’t get more out of Oakland/Alameda County, then infrastructure cost paid for, and that’s heavily dependent on, if the politicians can get one of these infrastructure/transportation tax passed. If Oakland was ever Davis preference, it certainly does not seem to matter; as it’s looking more and more likely he is holding out for the highest bidder, regardless of what his preferences may have been.
    Given the finical situation Mark finds himself in, that’s all the more reason Oakland should go with Wolff, and pray to the sports gods, that he is serious, because Wolff has the money and the expert experience, hopefully he has the will, as well, because if Davis ever had the will (that’s debatable), he certainly does not have the other two.

    • Actually it all started in San Francisco… but the Raiders too often gloss over that inconvenient fact.

      • @ athletics68
        You would be correct, my friend.

      • How is it inconvenient? The Raiders spent a miniscule part of their history in SF, and none of the glory years. Who cares?

      • It’s inconvenient because Oakland isn’t where they got their start. Nor is it where they spent several of their glory years.

        Fact is other than 2002 they’ve been largely irrelevant since the mid-80’s. And even more so the last decade. I doubt most football people in Oakland nevermind the Bay Area would miss the Raiders if they up and left.

      • “It’s inconvenient because Oakland isn’t where they got their start.”

        So what? That fact isn’t inconvenient. Irrelevant, yes. Uninteresting, yes. It doesn’t get talked about because there’s no reason to talk about it. Seems pretty convenient to me.

        “Nor is it where they spent several of their glory years.”

        Again, so what? Oakland is where they spent most of their glory years and their overall history, and is certainly where they captured the public imagination. LA gets its due as well for thirteen years and one title, but I don’t see what that has to do with San Francisco.

        “Fact is other than 2002 they’ve been largely irrelevant since the mid-80’s. And even more so the last decade. I doubt most football people in Oakland nevermind the Bay Area would miss the Raiders if they up and left.”

        They’ve been poor on the field for a while now, but you’re dead wrong in your assessment of their public standing. There’s a reason why the City bent over for the Raiders at the expense of the A’s back in ’95. Notwithstanding the A’s recent success and the Raiders recent mediocrity. Notwithstanding that a baseball team is a more valuable public asset than a football team. Notwithstanding that the Raiders had already left town once, and were a difficult and litigious business partner.

        It may be galling to you that the Raiders are valued more than the A’s in Oakland, but that’s the reality. The Raiders get an impressive degree of public support for a team that’s been miserable for over a decade, while the A’s still struggle to draw fans despite years of success on the field. Don’t be surprised if, forced to choose one over the other, the City chooses the Raiders again.

  7. Not to suggest there’s “hope” that they will stay, just because they won’t extend their lease doesn’t necessarily mean they’re leaving. They could easy shack up with the 49ers, temporarily, and continue to talk to the city about CC. Without the Raiders as a tenant, it may push them to be more active.

    • Don’t care if they shack up with the Niners or LA, as long as they’re not at the Coliseum anymore ripping up the A’s pristine field it’ll be a good start. .

    • Yep, sending the Raiders to Santa Clara could be holding Oakland’s feet to the fire. All Oakland needs to do is come up with $2 billion to cover its pension liabilities, hire a whole bunch more cops, take care of other municipal matters and then the city can start to talk about spending $600 million a football stadium used 10 afternoons a year. It all sounds like a collection agency pressuring some person behind in their bills to pay up, but the person simply doesn’t have the money and all the pressure in the world won’t change that.

  8. Mark Davis will re-sign a lease in Oakland after he sees the NFL will not let him okay at the Rose Bowl or even the Alamodome unless a new stadium has these 4 areas ready to go:

    1. Financing
    2. Site control
    3. Ownership stake negotiated
    4. Ground breaking and completion dates secured

    Does Davis have any of these 4 things done?

    He has zero and that is why he will be playing in Oakland next year. He would rather do that than play in Santa Clara because of his ego.

    Davis is just stirring the pot so Oakland drops their pants like they did in 1995.

    • Sid, he has 6 months. You don’t think San Antonio or the interests in LA who’ve been in a holding pattern simply waiting for a team could secure those things for him in 6 months?

      Something tells me both cities could get that and more done for him in that time. San Antonio already has site control at the Alamodome site, wouldn’t need an ownership change, and could arbitrarily select ground breaking dates. The only thing they’d need is financing and they’re already talking about the financing to renovate the Alamodome as if its nothing but a formality.

      With LA, they’ve long had the financing in place with AEG (and I don’t doubt Guggenheim could put together a package quickly). Both organizations have access to sites the NFL has looked at previously with AEG all over the downtown site and Guggenheim at Chavez Ravine. The ownership stake would be the big thing with both of those organizations, but I highly doubt either would ultimately be objectionable to the NFL. And again dates involve little more than circling a date on a calendar.

      • @Athletics68- The NFL does not want a team to move to LA or San Antonio for that matter without a new stadium about to break ground.

        Playing in the Rose Bowl or Alamodome would be no better than the Coli because market size does not matter due to TV being shared equally.

        The last thing the NFL wants is a team stuck at either site indefinitely without a way out in the short term.

        It would take a lot longer than 6 months to secure financing, site control, and ownership stake. A 1B stadium takes years to get these things under wraps.

        Look at the 49ers as an example, they announced Santa Clara in 2006 with a 2012 opening. Because of the recession it got pushed back to 2014. It took 8 years, 6 if you take away the recession.

        San Antonio would need a major public handout, that could take 1-2 years to get on a ballot.

        The NFL has rejected the AEG proposal and all its mechanisms a while back, that is why it is sitting there.

        Your telling me an idiot like Mark Davis in 6 months can put this all together for a owner vote early 2015?

        Bahahahah! I have no faith in Davis, he will rot at the Coli because of his ineptitude.

        Only Stan Kroenke can get an LA Stadium done, but he is from Missouri and will give the State/City every chance first.

      • Sid, with LA you don’t have the public financing aspect or vote that was needed in Santa Clara (which is what really slowed that stadium down) nor would either party be starting at square one like the Niners were. Both have sites under their control, and AEG even has government approvals and the financing plan. So not an apples to apples comparison when talking about Santa Clara and LA.

        With San Antonio, I think you’re presuming a lot when you say putting it on the ballot. There’s been no indication that it would even need to be on their ballot. It’s Texas remember, not California. Which also means far more streamlined process when it comes to approvals. If SA gets approvals for a renovation of the Alamodome between now and the end of the season and makes some tangible and significant steps toward a more permanent venue to replace the Alamodome you can bet the league will take a hard look at them if the Raiders say they want to go. We’re talking about a stadium that is NFL ready today and would have some nice polish put on it by the $27 million plan the city has already drawn up, replacing the worst stadium in the league. In a league where the local market doesn’t matter you can bet the NFL will consider them even if they don’t have the completely final stadium plan in place in 6 months, assuming they can’t get it together in that span of time.

      • The Alamodome is the poor man’s Edward Jones Dome, with only one level of luxury boxes, an ugly boxy design, and of course indoors. I wouldn’t call it any better than the Coliseum (which at least has plenty of luxury boxes). It’s NFL ready in that football games could be played there, but they’d be rotting in limbo until a new stadium is built, just like in Oakland, but without the history/tradition that Oakland has with the Raiders which has allowed them to have decent attendance through the cavalcade of 4-12 seasons.

      • Dead last far below 2nd to last is “decent”?

  9. what are the chances the raiders do actually play in levi’s stadium for a short time before they settle what their long home is?

    niners fans aren’t too thrilled with that idea considering raiders fans already “vandalized” the venue already, pic of the bathroom has been released on the internet in the past week, during the whole sj-sea soccer game that christened levi’s stadium.

    not to mention raiders fans possibly not spending as much money as niners fans do and also them getting access to the new luxuries of levi’s stadium that other niners fans won’t or will pay less to get into.

    • The question is does Santa Clara or the 49ers get the rent money. The city might go for it under the money-is-better-than-no money theory, but I imagine the 49ers would try to charge an unconscionable amount to take them on as a tenant. And why wouldn’t they? By taking them in they’re aiding their own competition, as well as leaving themselves open to damage and a cheapening of the restricted access areas.

    • At least the Montana and DeBartolo statues are tucked away in the 49er museum (which costs an extra $15 to see) and they are guarded closely. But the idea of inebriated Raider fans, frustrated after another Raider loss, having to watch games at the Cathedral of the San Francisco 49ers is just not a good idea. Would they take their frustrations out on the stadium?

  10. I was thinking of the reasons the Raiders will not play at Levis, the fact that the place is an absolute shrine to the 49ers, and no I don’t believe it would be as simple, as the Jets and Giants (switching signage), or Mark Davis being too stubborn to subject his fan base (such as we are), to the travesty of siting in a stadium, that does not pay homage to his father.
    But the simple fact that none of this will probable, be worked out soon, and that Davis gets to keep his training facilities in Alameda, up to 2017(I believe), if he continues to negotiate, with Oakland.
    I don’t think the NFL really wants the Raiders in LA, or are thrilled about the idea of San Antonio, not that they would stop Mark necessarily, but I don’t think they would help either, and I think we all know Mark needs a lot of help.
    I think Mark might cave on Levis, or perhaps he could work something out with Berkeley (Cal), I know in order to get the NIMBY groups to go along with the remodel, the university had to agree, not to allow other teams, or events to take place at strawberry canyon, but on a temporary bases you never know.
    Hell, if either of those option don’t work, he could even look in to playing at Stanford on a temporary bases, admittedly I don’t know if that could be done, but I guess what I am saying, is there are plenty of temporary options in the Bay Area, even with candlestick being torn down, none of them very attractive, but if he really wants to stay in the Bay Area (debatable), as he says he does, it can be worked out.
    If only one team can play at the coliseum site, I hope it’s the A’s. I would be cool with the Raiders having the site, if I knew the A’s could go to San Jose, but I am not willing to sacrifice the A’s (being in the Bay Area), for the Raiders, if that’s what it comes down to.

  11. I’m pretty sure the Raiders at Cal is a nonstarter. First of all, its bleachers, no luxury suites, we already know the parking is an absolute disaster, BART is way down the hill. And as you mentioned there is a covenant probably preventing the NFL from playing there anyway. (The Dolphins undefeated streak ended at Cal against the Raiders in 1973. But that was a long time ago.) Same deal with Stanford, I’ll bet: Not useful for an NFL team.

    • @ pjk
      I am sure your correct, well that still leaves Levis, and as much as Davis and all we Raider fans may not like it, if Mark Davis ( father before him), and the city of Oakland had their collective crap together, he would not be in this mess. I have been a Raider fan, since I was a child, but it’s got to be the worst run organization, in all of sports, the Raiders have been vagabonds for over 30 years.

      • @Lakeshore/Neil

        I hate to say this to you, but they are the worst run organization in pro sports today. The Raiders are the laughing stock of the pro sporting world. It wasn’t like that in 1970’s. Ahhh, those were the days.

    • Berkeley has a city tax that takes a fat percentage of gate sales for professional sports, I believe, making it unattractive for pro sports to play there. Too bad the Stick will be imploded before then! The raiders played there a looong time ago, after all

  12. purdy and dolich were on ystl. really not much that we haven’t heard or read or discussed about.

    dolich doesn’t think raiders will play at levi’s due to it being “branded” as a niners stadium with the whole color scheme and history the niners have put into the stadium all over the place.

    purdy also doesn’t think it’ll happen but wouldn’t be shocked if 2 or 3 years down the road something could happen between the two sides.

    if the raiders want to move down to la, they’ll likely have to share the majority ownership to the la group.

    dolich thinks it’s more likely nfl expands by two teams to move to la due to the amount of money they’ll gain by letting in two more franchises in which would be in the billions rather than getting the relocation fees if the raiders or any other teams moves to la. purdy mentioned it too but how is the nfl going to work with 34 teams? i think it’s perfect the way it is with 32 teams with eight 4 team divisions. what are they going to do have two divisions out of the eight with 5 teams?

    • Could the NFL get greedy and expand by 8? LA x2, London, San Antonio…(are there 4 more options? more Europe?) Seems like a stupid idea but with the amount of money they’re breaking and what that could bring in would they try it? Have I just been drinking too much tonight?

  13. dolich said any expansion team would have to pay up towards 3 billion dollars to join the nfl as he compared it to when the lad sold for just over 2 billion.

  14. I think overall, Mark Davis WANTS to leave Oakland. As an owner of the Raiders, Davis will seek out the best deal and go to whatever city will make them an offer.

    I hate to say this, but it’s the cold hard facts of life.

  15. If the Raiders leave Oakland after this year, we’ll have the irony of the Raiders, the only one of the three Oakland-based franchises that wanted to stay, becoming the first to actually leave. (Well, leave again but that’s another story.) The one that expressed intentions to leave long ago – the A’s – are now the most likely to stay (especially if the Raiders leave and Wolff gets the Coliseum site to develop as he sees fit.)

    • When the Raiders were originally in Oakland they were always a blue color team with blue color fans. The tone changed when they moved to LA however and that’s when the fan base took on it’s current image. A lot of the fans in the Black Hole fly up from LA.

      Plaschke kind of contradicts himself though because he calls out the fact that the Raider fans in LA weren’t exactly the wine and cheese crowd, but then includes a quote saying that LA is a conventional market so the Raider image won’t fit. So LA helped shape the current image of the Raiders, but it’s also too conventional for what it created?

  16. Kind of funny. Davis said the exact same thing last year, and what happened? He signed another 1 year extension to play in Oakland. If he really doesn’t want to play at the Coliseum in 2015, his options are severely limited. He can attempt to lease out Levi’s stadium on a temporary basis (which Davis doesn’t want to do, and the 49ers would attempt to get the Raiders to sign a longer lease agreement) or get CAL to waive their current clause (banning professional sports from being played at Memorial Stadium), and play there. CAL could certainly use the $$$ to help cover costs for renovations recently completed at the stadium. And without having to go into all the many reasons why L.A. and San Antonio won’t be happening, Davis’ options are slim at this point. Honestly, I can see him eventually crawling to the JPA to ask for another extension.

    • @ Steven Riley

      You hit on all good points. However, when 2015 does hit, I believe that Mark Davis will leave Oakland. He is a smart man, and he’s keeping all options open, including Oakland.

      If the Oakland crowd gets it together, they might save two franchises instead of one. Hint: R U listening, Oakland?!?!?!

  17. Forbes has put out its annual NFL franchise values list, FWIW. The Raiders, of course, are one of only 7 franchises worth less than $1 billion ($970 million). But four franchises (Lions, Rams, Jags, Bills) are worth a bit less than the Raiders. Three of these bottom feeder franchises (Raiders, Rams and Jags) have been factored into LA discussions.

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