M&R: 30 days or bust for Raiders in Oakland

It’s a short article and a rather incendiary headline from Matier & Ross, but it’s not like we haven’t seen this coming.

‘If we don’t have significant progress within the next 30 days, I’d say one party or the other will call an end to it.’ That’s how one source close to the Raiders stadium negotiations in Oakland characterizes the on-again, off-again talks.

Okay, I guess. This doesn’t mean that Coliseum City is dead. There’s a lot of context we don’t have here. Is the anonymous source only talking about the new stadium, or does the lease extension also have something to do with it? Remember that as of now, the Raiders have nowhere to play for the 2015 season. If the only issue is the stadium discussion, that’s an awful way for the Raiders to go about things. Besides not having a place to play and no approval from the NFL to make a move, there’s little concrete evidence that the framework of a deal can be reached in 300 days, let alone 30. Maybe, as Larry Reid said, the work is 90% done. So what’s keeping the rest of the 10% from being done? The Raiders? Maybe. New City? Floyd Kephart said that the ENA runs through April. The ever-balking Alameda County? Who knows?

To me it sounds like yet another bluff. Last week’s reveal that the Raiders and Chargers are working on their own plan was characterized as a bluff by many. Scratch the surface and you’ll see that the Carson site is nearly ready to go after a great deal of cleanup, according to the State. Again, there are so many moving parts here with all the different players and deliverables that it’s hard to know what progress really is. Frankly, if this is coming from the Raiders, I’d like to see what happens if they leave the table. It’s always been up to the Raiders to make the first move. Mark Davis may actually have the courage to push that first domino. And if that happens, expect everyone else – the public sector, the A’s, the NFL and MLB – to start moving in kind. Eventually.

59 thoughts on “M&R: 30 days or bust for Raiders in Oakland

  1. Time for Oakland to tell the Raiders, “Sorry, we can’t accommodate you. We have to choose one team and it has to be the A’s. I’m sure you understand. We encourage you to move in with the 49ers and keep ‘Oakland’ in your name.” Enough of the pipe dream of two privately built stadiums – nearly $2 billion worth of buildings – happening in Oakland.

  2. If this 30 days quote is correct, and is more than an attempt at even more leverage, well then Mark get the hell out.
    Wolff will have “Won”, and we can see if he is truly willing to build at the suite with one hand tired behind his back by MLB.

  3. I don’t know where this comment came from there is no date specific deadline voiced by any of the principals. However there should be no question of the issue that needs resolution..as I have stated numerous times, the City and County as joint owners of the land must come together and establish a joint disposition and development process that doesn’t require separate negotiations to reach a resolution. This issue definitely needs to be resolved asap or there is not any decision about anything can be made by anyone related to Coliseum City. Also until the A’s make a commitment to Oakland and based on a new stadium, there is only one new stadium; development of the transportation hub; and the ancillary development identified in Parcel A of the Specific Plan under consideration.

    • @ Floyd

      What’s the hold up? Why is it so difficult for the city and county to get on the same page. We are only talking about agreeing on a process to turn over the land to a development team that’s working with, or for the Raiders. Am I incorrect? We aren’t even talking about real negotiations yet, are we?

    • I suppose if the A’s can find a way to make a new ballpark pencil out in Oakland based on the existing conditions – no public money for a ballpark – then they will make that commitment. Are the A’s supposed to commit to Oakland even if it means they will lose lots of money? The A’s are trying to get it done without the public money that has been made available in pretty much every other MLB city. The A’s witnessed the city/ county spending hundreds of millions on facilities for the Raiders and Warriors in the 1990s and nothing on them.

    • Why is your name in all caps?

    • Floyd is right fellas. Relax there is still much game to be played

  4. @ Floyd

    The fact that the A’s haven committed to the project yet, how is that effecting things? Why don’t the Raiders just move forward with their plan (if they have one), if the A’s join good,if not oh well.
    Is this a situation were the A’s have a plan with the country, and the Raiders have one with the city? Is the problem competing plans? If so who is closer to making it happen? I realize you can’t answer many of those questions in an open public way, but can you give us some idea of what’s going on?

  5. Sounds as if ALCo has made a decision on which team they want to see remain in Oakland and it’s not the Raiders. By delaying developing a joint development process with Oakland it seems as if they are waiting for the raiders to be the one who calls an end to the CC project- a lot of cya going on with elected officials-

  6. As always, completely amazes how some here think it would go soooo smoothly for Wolff / A’s at the Coli if the Raiders “just leave!” I know, I know… $600 million < $1 billion, 81 games per year! All the issues of the Raiders current Coli endeavor would just vanish with the A's in control, blah blah blah..

    Matier & Ross? Really? Enough said.

    Thanks Floyd for clearing things up; get er done Sir!

    • It amazes you Tony because you don’t have a firm grasp on the details. You’re shocked about the $300 million in infrastructure? I’ve been writing about that repeatedly for nearly a year. Here are the advantages of a potential Oakland ballpark-only deal:

      1. Complete site control for Wolff
      2. Smaller “funding gap” leading to less costly buildout and infrastructure
      3. No cost associated with negotiating territorial rights

      Even if Oakland doesn’t work out, you shouldn’t believe that Wolff will get San Jose for free. There will absolutely be a price to pay to the Giants. Maybe Wolff and Saperstein are hoping there’s a minimal or zero payoff. There’s no reason for the rest of the owners to approve that.

      • @ML- assume you would agree that the $30M annual welfare payment that LW would lose only raises the bar that much further for Oakland in terms of economic attractiveness. By that I mean any development deal has got to not only help pay for the ballpark but also support revenue streams that will be no where near as high as they could be in SJ-

      • Nowhere near as high? The A’s will be competing with the Sharks, Quakes, and 49ers for the South Bay’s attention, plus glamorous SF for baseball. They can’t price themselves out of the market. $600 million + the T-rights payoff is no joke. No one has articulated exactly how that would be addressed, and it can’t all be corporate.

      • Addressing 1-3: if the ballpark were going to cost $100 million ala Avaya Stadium, yes, all of that would make sense. But we would still be talking about an over HALF A BILLION dollar sports venue with a hypothetical ballpark. That “smaller funding gap” would still be a significant gap: perhaps $3-400 million? Add on the above infrastructure and possible demolition costs and, well, I’m skeptical a Coli ballpark development would be any smoother than the current Raiders endeavor (won’t even mention the poor corporate support and disposable income of the region). Besides, I don’t think the current ills of the Raiders endeavor is the “funding gap”: appears to be more centered on control and disposal of the Coli land. Remember, 90% there.

        Damnit Wolff! If the price for San Jose is really that steep and you don’t want to deal with the politics, ineptitude of Oakland on display…GO BACK TO FREMONT.

      • Tony, do you have any clue how the ballpark’s funding gap would be addressed in Oakland? You sell tickets. If the Raiders and Warriors leave and the A’s are the only game in Oakland, how much do you think East Bay fans would flock to the team that dared to stay? They’d take care of that funding gap.

      • So all those “high rollers” of a region with a low disposable income (fact) and poor corpoate support (fact) are going to swoop in, buy tickets and cover a possible (being conservative) $2-400 million funding gap? The Giants barely got $70 million with their Charter Seat licenses. Being that the Giants have already cannibalized the Well To Do East Bay region that does exist, I just don’t see how the A’s could even get to $70 million at the Coli.

        You the man and all Rhamesis (always have been, always will be), and I respect all that you put out there, but I’ve learned a lot over the years myself (thanks largely to this blog). My opinion is simply an A’s Coli proposal would not go as smoothly (or smoother) than the Raiders current proposal; that is simply it. Respectfully…

      • Guys, Oakland isn’t in rural Tennessee. There is plenty of opportunity for the last team standing (assuming it gets to that this century) to capture buckets of revenue by being in a state of the art facility in what would go from being a saturated to a potentially underserved portion of the Bay Area at that point.

        It’s true, they can’t count on the same level of “sub regional pride” from corporations as they may be able to in the South Bay. But we aren’t talking about Manhattan v. Millington.

        The A’s, in a state of the art baseball only facility will be fine with regards to revenue no matter where they are in the Bay Area. In Oakland, I’d think their valuation/revenue would be similar to the Nats or White Sox. In SJ it’s the Mets or Angels. In Portland it’s the Royals or Rays.

      • RM, I thought Wolff already had Cisco Field commitments from Silicon Valley companies for suites, premium seating and sponsorships? I’d add that “glamorous SF baseball” would be over 40 miles away and has only 15-20% of Silicon Valley’s corporate support. Heck, your answer to GoA’s makes a hypothetical Oakland ballpark look even more dire (re corporate support, revenue streams), especially one costing $600 million..

      • If that’s what you’re picking up from my reply, you’re pretty dense.

      • Jeffrey,
        It’s not under served. Assuming the Raiders left, they’d still have the Giants (how many BART riders in the East Bay don black/orange during the baseball season?) and Warriors. And I don’t think we can compare Oakland to DC, NY or LA/The OC. Hopefully Davis and Kephart make this discussion a moot point.

      • Oops, should have said Chi, not NY.

      • Lew Wolff will not privately build a ballpark for his A’s on the Coliseum property, if he deems that site not to be economically viable, The viability has to be evaluated in terms of whether the area’s ancillary development would be able to generate and sustain sufficient funding resources to pay for the new ballpark. In addition, an evaluation has to be made as to the potential for the A’s to generate sufficient ballpark related revenue streams each season in order for the team to effectively operate and compete on the field with the other large market teams within its division and league..

      • @ML- you had Saperstien say this week the A’s prefer SJ- so yes- I would say the proposed revenue streams are quite different. Also you have the W’s, Giants and whoever stays in Oakland competing for the dollars up that way- in both SF and the Eastbay- which is why the Giants are actively marketing to EB territory-

      • Sure, as long as ownership doesn’t have to pay anything for T-rights. Once they find out they do, suddenly San Jose’s advantage starts to disappear.

      • You can’t compare Oakland to the Chicago or DC. You can compare The Bay Area to both. Easily.

      • The San Jose vs Oakland fanbase is interesting. Sure SJ typically ranks among the top 5 cities for favorable demographic stats – Oakland near the bottom, and the Sharks are a big success.

        However, the Oakland fanbase supports the teams well. The Warriors, for two decades, were one of the least successful W-L pct. sports franchises, however always ranked among the top ten attendance in the NBA. The Raiders haven’t been over .500 since the Gruden days, considering that – they get good support. The A’s play in the worst hole of an MLB Park (if the A’s played in a new baseball only ballpark – they’d at least likely average 5K more per game attendance) Also the Coliseum has proven to be a safe venue for fans. For example – there was much more fan violent incidents at Candlestick and also these days at phonebooth park than the Coliseum has experienced.

        MLB doesn’t believe the Giants argument that the Giants will lose 800,000 fans if the A’s move to San Jose. Maybe MLB is debating (besides arguing with the Giants) which is the better fanbase – Oakland or San Jose.

      • Absolutely TR costs influence the economics- so does losing $30M minimum of welfare. If a deal in Oakland can be reached that provides enough development dollars to pay for the capital costs of a ballpark plus provide ample revenue streams including making up the $30M loss of revenue than sure it can move forward- but it would be a mistake to assume that if the Raiders leave then the A’s are staying in Oakland- MLB will never allow an owner to pay for their own ballpark with sufficient revenue streams and that remains to be seen if Oakland is willing to strike a deal that meets this criteria-

      • Duffer,
        The Warriors are the only game in town (NBA), so it’s easy to see why they draw well even in Oakland. The Raiders play only once a week, so they draw regionally (I once had season tickets, and many family/friends down here in SJ currently do have season tix). Baseball is a totally different animal; more local than regional (hence smallish crowds in Oakland during the week).
        I think you’ve nailed it brother; alas, you apparently don’t have to worry about insults being lobbed at you by the establishment ;)..

      • @ GoA’s
        I think if the A’s stay in Oakland they will retain the right to remain a revenue receiver. I don’t see how that’s not part of the deal. I believe Wolff will fight for that guarantee, if he is forced to build in a place where he would rather not, and he would have a party good case since MLB is defining his territory (to build), as two counties out of nine.
        I would not be surprised if Wolff already had a hand shake agreement in place, which allows the A’s to retain that status, if he builds in his MLB defined territory.
        If we really think about it, losing revenue sharing status, along with having to pay the Giants for the TR rights, and building the new ballpark with private funds is a lot even if it’s in the lucrative south bay market.
        If the A’s build in Oakland they don’t have the TR payout, there is a good chance they retain the right to receive revenue sharing if needed, so while I’m sure Wolff would still prefer San Jose, it would make a difference.

      • @LSN- I agree with you on the revenue sharing and oakland but others on this blog, including ML, say it goes away once a new ballpark is built anywhere in the Bay Area. Losing $30M+ annually in welfare and then taking on a $20M annual mortgage payment for a new ballpark is a big chunk. I can’t imagine a TR buyout would be greater than $10M annually over some denied period of time- or a hell of a lot less than losing welfare payments today in Oakland-

      • @GoA’s
        Man, if Wolff can’t get a guarantee on revenue sharing, building in Oakland (or defined territory) I don’t see how the A’s remain in the Bay Area if they don’t get San Jose.

      • @lakeshore/Neil : a possibility, Wolff wants to keep the team locally. Either Oakland or San Jose are better options than all other potential MLB markets out there. However, what if a city gives Wolff an offer he can’t refuse – 100% public funding for a new stadium – that might be enough to offset the better MLB fanbase that San Jose/Oakland offer.

      • @duffer

        Yes, unfortunately that may become a strong possibility, the longer this drags on.
        It’s probably not the most likely outcome, but this can’t go on forever and we know that there will be little to know tax money coming from Oakland, San Jose, or any other California municipality.

  7. BTW… $240-300 MILLION in infrastructure costs? $hit!! Does that magically become $24-30 million if it’s the A’s at the healm vs the Raiders?

    • Tony: We don’t know yet if the A’s can make it work in Oakland. Hopefully, they can. We know it is going to be pretty much impossible if the city gives the Coliseum property to the Raiders. The Raiders and Warriors got their goodies from the city/county in the 1990. Time to give the A’s – who fill more dates than both of those other teams combined – the attention and accommodations they deserve. If Oakland just can’t be made to pencil out for the A’s, then we have to cross our fingers that MLB does the sensible thing and lets them have San Jose.

      • Pjk,
        The “Goodie”-bag of Oakland is empty, if you believe Schaaf that no public subsidies will be given to the team(s). Unless you count the aforementioned infrastructure costs as a public subsidy (which, come to think about it, would be one HELL OF A Goodie)

  8. MT2 to the cute haircut : GTFO nicely

  9. Last team in Oakland, turn out the lights.

  10. If the Raiders do get the NFL to approve their move to LA, it will not necessarily guarantee that the A’s will be able to get a new ballpark deal done on the Coliseum site. I believe that both Oakland and MLB will most certainly have to step up to the plate to offer the A’s some significant inducements for Wolff to take the added risks for building his new ballpark at this less desirable location. If Wolff is forced to remain indefinitely at the current Coliseum facility without an alternative, the A’s could wind up being the laughing stock of all of MLB. I am not only referring to the team’s play out on the field, but I am also referring to the bad publicity concerning the ongoing conditions at the antiquated Coliseum. At that point, we will be more able to pass the blame on Manfred(MLB) and the Giants for perpetuating this ongoing embarrassing situation. Maybe that’s what it will take for the powers to be to finally wake up.

    • If the Raiders leave and Wolf can’t make it work at the Coliseum site, eventually MLB will have to step in for exactly the reasons you’re calling out.

      If MLB thinks the site is viable and Wolf just doesn’t want to sign, they’d make Wolf/Fisher sell.

      If MLB doesn’t think Oakland is presenting a viable deal, they’ll open up San Jose.

      At that point, all of the conceivable options (MLB has ruled out HT) in the A’s territory will have been exhausted. The Coliseum site is the last one on the list from the HOK study.

      MLB does like to drag things out, but at that point this wouldn’t be all that different than the Expos. MLB did step in relatively quickly (for them), even pissing off one of their owners in the process.

  11. @llpec
    I could not agree more.

  12. I for one believe 100% if the Raiders bounce Wolff can privately finance a ballpark at the Coli site and make $$$.

    The economy in the Bay Area recovered, it is Economic Darwinism at its finest.

    Wolff now sees a golden opportunity to turn the Coli site into a massive development, one that dwarfed his vision in Fremont.

    He could in theory build a new stadium, condos, retail, bars, etc….and make a handsome profit.

    The Bay Area is overpriced and Oakland is the last cheap spot left for affordable housing.

    Is the Coli a better site than SJ? For a ballpark no, but for development? Way better, and Wolff sees it, he is praying for the Raiders to bounce.

    But Wolff is in the backseat because MLB won’t let him have SJ compete thus leveling the playing field. He is stuck, Mark Davis is using Carson as leverage, it is that kind of leverage if Wolff had he could make Oakland drop their pants and move, but he cannot.

    So he has to wait on the Raiders, with now the Chargers/Rams also vying for LA this mess will not be solved for 2-3 years minimum before a shovel can hit the ground, could be longer.

    Too much baffoonery from Roger Goodell and if between the Chargers/Raiders get a new stadium in their home market, Carson dies and the other team has to jump in with the Rams as a tenant.

    Too many moving parts, Davis has to wait on Spanos and vice versa in order for Carson to work plus Goodell needs to decide which proposal is better for the league.

    Hollywood Park has a development piece baked in by experienced developers. While Carson does not, there are decisions needing to be made and Goodell has shown no ability to do it in a timely fashion.

    Status quo for the next few seasons, unless the Supreme Court grants cert….

    • All of the issues you’re calling out with the Raiders show that the Raiders don’t have much leverage either.

      At this point everyone (including Oakland) should know that Davis can’t do anything on his own. Davis can threaten, but he needs someone else to carry him on their back.

      I think this announcement and the other recent moves by the Raiders are all desperate attempts to try and give some illusion of control.

      Because MLB is limiting the A’s leverage no one has the upper hand here.

      In theory this is an ideal situation for Oakland to step in and push for what it wants, but that requires them to have a realistic plan as well. Unfortunately for Oakland, it’s easier just to sit back and wait for someone else to make the decision for them.

  13. Could this happen? No way……..?

    Oakland says bye to the Raiders. The Raiders go to Levi’s stadium for what they think is a temporary stay, but then the NFL forces them to stay in Santa Clara and permanently work out a co-ownership stadium\ tenant deal with the 49ers. Then the NFL awards LA to the Chargers and the Rams.

    Oakland then commits to the A’s who will build a new ballpark with private funds and develop adjacent land to have a revenue stream for the team and the city.

    Problem solved.

    Crazier things have happened. Never say never.

    • Yeah! Problem solved! Interested in a big orange bridge I’m selling up in SF?…

    • “Oakland says bye to the Raiders. The Raiders go to Levi’s stadium for what they think is a temporary stay, but then the NFL forces them to stay in Santa Clara and permanently work out a co-ownership stadium\ tenant deal with the 49ers.”

      The NFL doesn’t have the ability to force either team to do anything, certainly not a co-ownership deal. They can try to enforce their relocation rules and also withhold financing for a new stadium, which may well be enough to keep the Raiders from moving to another market (at least temporarily). But they can’t make the Niners give up an equity stake in Levis’ Stadium and at this point I don’t see why the Niners would consider it. Even if the Niners were willing to consider it they would presumably want the Raiders to kick in half of the cost ($800 million), and I don’t see how the Raiders could come up with that kind of money.

      Assuming Oakland kicked the Raiders out rather than the Raiders leaving voluntarily, the Raiders might end up at Levi’s temporarily for a few years until they secured a new stadium in another stadium. But I think the chances of Oakland doing this are close to zero because no politician is going to be willing to take the heat for losing a team. They’ll just stall and drag things on until either the Raiders or A’s leaves on their own.

  14. Of all of the possible end results for both teams, I think what your describing is not that far fetched.

    I think the key is that the NFL will first want to exhaust the option for public financing in St Louis and San Diego before giving those teams the thumbs up to move.

    A lot has to happen for your scenario to occur:

    1. St Louis says no public financing
    2. San Diego says no public financing
    3. NFL says no funding for a new stadium in Oakland
    4. SCOTUS says no to the SJ law suit

    Other than maybe the last item though, for each item as a standalone decision, I think it’s better than 50/50 than the decision falls this way.

    • The state legislature comes into play for St. Louis though, and based on what I’ve read so far, they do not seem in favor of giving money to a new stadium.

    • The Giants debt on the $170 million loan for AT&T Park was $20 million per year. Imagine the debt on a Coli ballpark that costs $600 million? Don’t know how much of that would be covered by ticket sales, naming rights and Coli development right, but it can’t be much in East Oakland. You’re most likely looking at an annual debt payment that makes the Giants look like a bargain…in a region with poor corporate support and disposable income. This thread has run its course, enough from me..

  15. dolich was on ystl earlier today and called the coliseum site for the a’s, fremont part 2 referring to the residential/commercial usage that the a’s could try to do again.

    • also mentioned it being a 200 acre project so he’s not buying two bigger plans that were put out there expanding the project beyond essentially the coliseum parking lot area?

  16. You guys should research revenue sharing more before talking about it in such certainties.

  17. @Tony

    Man, you are just as bad as Nav…most of us just want a ballpark somewhere in the Bay Area for the A’s (and many of us hope the Raiders are able to make it work for it up here as well).

    Your SJ blinders and disparagement of other possible solutions grow tiresome, so if it’s “enough from” you, awesome, “brah”.

    I fear one of the two of you (you and Nav/Elmano) is gonna have a coronary when either San Jose or Oakland loses out on the A’s, while the rest of us would be happy with a viable stadium SOMEWHERE in the Bay.

    Others, like Nav and DiamondShrill, I mean Diamond Lil from Oaklandfans.com will be happy if the A’s leave the Bay Area if they cannot make it work in the Town, over success in another Bay Area city such as SJ.
    I hope the same (with the cities reversed) does not hold true for you, but over the last six months to a year, it appears that you are heading in that direction if you are not already there.

    I am 52 years old. I was 18 when the Raiders moved to Los Angeles the first time. It sucked, in fact it broke my sports loving heart, but time, age and (hopefully wisdom) provide perspective. Oakland as a home for the A’s is awesome. So is SJ. Raleigh, Memphis, Portland, Montreal….not so awesome.

    • @ plrraz:

      I was 13 when the Raiders left Oakland on May 7, 1982. I echo the same thoughts that you said earlier in your post. It broke my collective sports heart when the Raiders left town. Does time age, and wisdom provide perspective?? Maybe. It was a mistake the Raiders left town 33 years ago.

      It’s time to let the BIG THREE go if they so choose to.

      It was a mistake letting the Raiders back into Oakland in 1995. The deal was a terrible one, and most didn’t see it until 1996. Not only the Coliseum looks ugly now, but for many, it’s a dump. Things at the Coliseum don’t work and all the teams want to leave.

      Like the echos of PJK’s statement: OAKLAND has no money!!!

  18. I dunno, I know it’s fashionable to say the Raider deal was a disaster for Oakland. But another way to look at it is, Oakland got an NFL team for way less public money than almost any other NFL city.

    • Well they were the only ones (re)creating a multipurpose stadium at the time. The post-renovation Coliseum was conceptually outdated even in 1995.

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