Poor, Poor Mark Davis

Judging from various media reports, Mark Davis is about to be rejected by the NFL in his LA pursuit, leaving him as the loser while the Rams and Chargers work out details of a shared stadium in Inglewood. I have no sense of the validity of that story, but there is something interesting about the process that came out of an article in the Orange County Register yesterday. To wit:

While Kroenke is adamant about moving and Spanos has accepted the fact that a move to Los Angeles is essential for the Chargers’ financial health, Davis has hurt himself with some NFL owners by wavering between Carson and publicly stating he wants to stay in Oakland. In particular, Davis undermined his argument for relocation during an emotional appearance at an October town hall meeting in Oakland set up by the NFL.

All three owners have pitched LA to their peers, with Kroenke and Spanos the most strident about not staying. But if I’m reading this correctly, Davis is actually getting punished for showing even the slightest amount of loyalty to Oakland. Kroenke may win in part by deploying a scorched earth campaign in which the Rams pump up San Diego and Oakland by claiming that Oakland will surpass San Francisco in gross domestic product in 10-15 years.

Maybe Davis simply hasn’t made a good enough case for his team compared to Kroenke and Spanos. It’s possible that Davis’s strategy, to play second banana to either team’s project while stating he was a full partner in Carson, was a foolish gambit. Apparently the owners feel that’s wishy washy. In the end Oakland may get to keep the Raiders after all, though there’s plenty of uncertainty still remaining about that.

The lesson? If you’re going to succeed in this game you have to be cutthroat. Empathy is a sign of weakness. That’s the NFL, folks.

28 thoughts on “Poor, Poor Mark Davis

  1. And potentially, if true, poor, poor Oakland A’s.

  2. If davis is shut out of LA, the rumors of him getting the NFL to subsidize his stadium is hilarious. In fact I could see the NFL going the mlb route, and not caring. Davis hasn’t done any leg work in either city. So, other than complaining in the coming years, what makes one think he can build in Oakland. I still want to see what the raiders said about Oakland, that will be interesting. In the end, this is bad for the A’s, because now there is no reason for anything to get done in Oakland. Oh well, at least we have Billy Butler

  3. This is how I envisioned it shaking out. Except I don’t see the NFL subsidizing a new stadium for Davis when in fact they already have. It’s in Santa Clara. And I don’t see this helping the A’s because the Raiders and Oakland will continue fumbling around on a new stadium as Davis refuses to go to Santa Clara. Maybe it’s time for Wolff to formally roll out a stadium plan for the Coliseum lot.

    • What kind of message does it send to the other NFL cities when a city tells the NFL “We’re not paying a dime” and then gets rewarded with a new stadium sans taxpayer dollars? Look for Levi’s to come up in the conversation quickly. I doubt Oakland is going to be rewarded here.

      • Agreed… NFL is going to tell them if they want a new stadium get it done yourself in Oakland (not going to happen) or move into Levi’s.

        I was reading another article (I think it was actually on NFL.com) that says there is a firmly dug-in camp of owners that flat-out refuses to vote in favor of anything involving Marc Davis in a move because they don’t think he has the financial resources or the marketing wherewithal to get it done in LA. In fact, this camp even wants him out as an owner altogether.

        If Marc Davis isn’t willing to swallow his pride, keep the name “Oakland Raiders” and play in Santa Clara, then they will stay in O.co indefinitely in a long-term series of year-to-year leases… which could be a good thing for the A’s.

    • One of the items that has to be agreed to by Davis to complete his bid is accepting the decision of the Relocation Committee.

      If he doesn’t accept that, he’s back at square one.

      If he does, and they tell him he’s moving to Santa Clara, he can’t fight it.

  4. If they go with Kroenke’s plan then the NFL is saying that they want that Stadium bad enough to go against their own bylaws and procedures. STL has done more than enough to show they want the team to stay. In the past the Rams would not of been allowed to leave. I guess the NFL has changed to solely represent greed. They don’t care that Ingelwood is not offering much except infrastructure, but MO has to pay through the nose to prove it deserves to keep the team, which it has. All the arguments against that are excuses that would of not flown in the past. They’ll do what they want to, like also forcing London on the fans.

    • So Saint Louis offers $350 million in public money and gets rejected and Oakland offers $0.00 and gets to keep its team. A bit confusing.

      • On the surface yes, but I’m sure you know more about this then the average person, of which is not paying attention at all.

    • St Louis officials offered $350 mil. of public financing towards funding a $1.1 bil. stadium (not a very good offer, certainly not enough to lure Kroenke) Recall that St Louis also lost the Cards to Phoenix in ’87, and appears to be a bad NFL market.

      Also St Louis could have opted to upgrade the Rams stadium (it appears to be a dump) For example, the New Orleans Saints stadium has been retooled and has the look of a new facility – St Louis officials could have done that also, however evidently decided not to.

  5. Wolff could change the game with “Here’s my ballpark plan for the Coliseum lot. I get full control of the site, the existing debt is paid off, the ballpark is privately funded. Sorry, there’s no room for the Raiders in this plan but fortunately there is a nearby state-of-the-art stadium they can use so they don’t have to abandon their loyal fans.” What would Oakland do? Risk all that to host 10 Raiders games a year in the existing decrepit stadium, with no new NFL stadium in sight?

  6. Of course, one thing that hasn’t been discussed much is the 49ers did all the legwork on that stadium of theirs. Should the Raiders get in on it just by paying mere rent, or would they be expected to make a 9-figure investment in the place? I’ll bet it’s the latter. It’s all been moot because of Davis’ refusal to play there but now this issue might be coming up quickly. The NFL could put its foot down with Davis and say, “No more games on a baseball infield when it’s not necessary,” “No more games at a stadium where the plumbing is falling part.”

    • also, “You agreed to accept our decision, and we’re moving you to Santa Clara. Do it or sell to someone who will.”

    • Unfortunately, if the Chargers bolt for LA, the Raiders may be making a move to San Diego – not Santa Clara. Both San Diego city officials and Davis appear to be interested with that (San Diego is averaging 66K per game attendance with a bad team, which is respectable) Also, that area did a poll, and most fans there would support the Raiders moving to San Diego if the Chargers make the move to Los Angeles.

      • Don’t see that happening. San Diego is close enough to Inglewood for Chargers fans from SD to stay loyal to the team. SD fans can drive to the game Sunday morning and be home early enough to still get a good night’s sleep for work Monday morning.

        Also, St Louis is a baseball town. NFL is definitely a distant 2nd-fiddle there.

      • DTP, I can confirm that San Diego fans in general will not be continuing to support the Chargers in Carson (or Inglewood). Remember San Diego’s relationship with Los Angeles is more akin to San Francisco’s relationship with LA than anything else. San Diegans as a general rule do not like LA or anything associated with LA. That will apply to the Chargers as well. Fans in San Diego are not going to drive 4+ hours minimum on a weekend (longer on a weeknight) to go to a game for a team that no longer represents their city or region.

    • I would expect them to pay for their locker/training-room buildout costs and to pay for any stadium co-branding needed. For sure a mere fraction of what they would have in out-of-pocket expenses for a brand new stadium anywhere.

      Maybe a chunk of up-front lease money too, but still WAAY cheaper in the long-run.

      NFL would probably have to broker an agreement for concession and parking revenue between the teams.

  7. I’m sure that the NFL is not too pleased with Mark Davis that he is willing to share a stadium in LA, but not in his current Bay Area market. So much for his so called claim that he is very concerned about his team moving away from his Oakland Raiders team fan base. I tend to think that the NFL would want for the Raiders to play in Santa Clara, at least on a temporary trial run basis, before ever considering a move of the team to another market. As far as the Chargers are concerned, the NFL is well aware that a move of the team to LA would still be close enough to allow San Diego Charger fans to travel the one hundred miles or so to attend Charger home games in LA. The only current NFL market whose fan base would lose its team the most is in St. Louis. However, I would envision St Louis regaining a team of its own with either a future franchise move or a NFL expansion.

    • Totally agree, llpec. The Raiders should share Santa Clara for a few years, and meanwhile, they can be exploring the relocation market – to newly opened San Diego, St. Louis, etc.

  8. Not at all surprised that Davis and the Raiders are getting kicked to the corner. Once the Chargers and Rams are confirmed in LA, it will be interesting to see how things shake out. The Raiders could end up renting from the Niners for a season or two, but I think one of St. Louis, San Diego, or perhaps London or San Antonio will eventually give them a strong enough offer to move. In either case, they’ll be out of the Coliseum and Oakland can finally get serious about working with the A’s. Hopefully, that all happens sooner than later.

  9. Honestly, it seems like a plant on behalf of Kroenke’s people. He has been catching so much shit in the press, and in general, for what he said about St. Louis. So what to do? Try to make the most vulnerable competitor look bad while at the same time underplaying what you just did. Ive noticed that Reid has been posting insider “info” helpful to the Rams for his last couple of articles.

    The issue has always been extracting public money for the stadiums and never about the fans so its ridiculous to assert this is somehow going to be a factor when other owners vote. All they give a shit about is the money.

  10. The “flip back tax” really isn’t as nasty as it would appear … Mark Davis keeps floating the “20% of the team” number for what he’d be willing to sell, and the revenue from that right now would be about $300M (accepting a valuation of the Raiders at a slightly-higher-than-current $1.5B

    20% of that is only $60M. Even if the Raiders suddenly become worth $2.5B in LA, that’s still only $100M.

  11. I hope this is true. Would be great for San Diego and also St. Louis. Having the raiders stay in Oakland is the only chance to have the A’s possibly move to Sacramento once the raiders stall there plans further.

    • I have been following the NFL to LA saga pretty closely over the past year and have not heard any reports of NFL owners or the League office pushing the Raiders toward Santa Clara. That seems to be a Bay Area media idea, but it is not going to happen.

      If the Raiders do not get LA, it will be at least partly because the NFL recognizes that the Bay Area market is more lucrative than San Diego or St Louis, even without a publicly funded stadium. But the Raiders are determined to have a Raider stadium, rather than play in front of the red seats at Levi’s. They will build with League help in Oakland, or they will relocate within a year or two to San Diego or San Antonio.

  12. Frustrating bottom line for the A’s if the Raiders do not move to Carson this week: several more years of limbo waiting for resolution.

  13. “While Kroenke is adamant about moving and Spanos has accepted the fact that a move to Los Angeles is essential for the Chargers’ financial health, Davis has hurt himself with some NFL owners by wavering between Carson and publicly stating he wants to stay in Oakland. In particular, Davis undermined his argument for relocation during an emotional appearance at an October town hall meeting in Oakland set up by the NFL.”

    I don’t buy it. The other owners get this is smart PR on Davis’ part, given the chance he would be odd man out in the LA derby. If they don’t approve him to move it will be because he perceived to be undercapitalized relative to the competition and to have done the least of the three thus far to improve his stadium situation in his home market, and because the Raiders have bad history image-wise in LA.

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