News for the week: Tommy Boy Edition (1/16/16)

While Mark Davis drowns his sorrows with some beer and wings, pondering his next move, we should consider what else has been happening this week. After all, unless either the Chargers decide to stay in San Diego, Davis is more-or-less stuck in Oakland. He could conceivably apply to move to a vacated San Diego or San Antonio, but that require going through this rigmarole again with a much smaller payoff. So we’ll let whole football thing settle down for a few weeks. If you want to understand what Oakland is getting ready to offer the Raiders, read my post from November.

Matier and Ross reported earlier this week that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is pushing Howard Terminal hard for a new ballpark, which is no secret. Included was this nugget:

The city would probably also have to come up with at least $90 million in infrastructure improvements, including funding for a car and foot bridge connecting Howard Terminal to Market Street east of the railroad tracks.

That $90 million figure is no accident. Schaaf is offering the Raiders the same amount for infrastructure at the Coliseum. She’s trying not to play favorites with either team. Of course, there is the danger of spiraling costs, and Oakland is putting itself in the position to carry the debt burden all by itself, since it’s nearing a deal to buy out Alameda County. As costs rise, the question will linger over how much Schaaf is willing to support before the projects become untenable. At least her staff has acknowledged the need for an overpass at Market Street, which was a major issue for me. Frankly, I think they need two overpasses because of Market Street’s location well away from Jack London Square. If you want to get reacquainted with Howard Terminal, read my various posts about the site.

Other news:

  • The City of St. Petersburg’s City Council approved by a 5-3 vote to allow the Rays to explore other stadium sites outside the city limits. That includes all of Pinellas County (St. Pete is the county seat), and neighboring Tampa and Hillsborough County. It’s too early to tell whether this will ultimately lead to the end of the Rays’ tenure in St. Pete, but proponents are at the outset painting this as the team’s best chance to stay in the 4.3 million-strong Tampa Bay Area, which has proved poor for attendance and excellent for TV ratings. As always, the biggest issue is figuring out how to pay for it. Head over to Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium for complete coverage.
  • The Warriors are pushing back the opening of their arena to 2019 to accommodate the legal challenge by the anti-arena Mission Bay Alliance. MBA also sued UCSF’s Chancellor and now has two lawsuits against the arena project in different jurisdictions. It’s a legal Hail Mary that will largely depend on whether the arena will be afforded an expedited legal review. (SFGate, LA Daily News)
  • The new arena near the The Strip in Las Vegas has a $6 million per year naming rights deal with wireless carrier T-Mobile. (Las Vegas Review Journal)
  • Hartford’s downtown ballpark is delayed and has $10 million, for which no one has figured out how to pay. Thanks to the delays, the AA (Eastern League) Yard Goats will be forced to play on the road for the first six weeks of the season. (Hartford Courant)
  • Walmart announced a slew of store closures, including a store in south San Jose and the Oakland store on Hegenberger near the Coliseum. The store will close Sunday, which led @fanpledge to wonder if it could work as an A’s ballpark site.

Most importantly, the In-N-Out in the northeast corner can stay intact. I’ll cover this site in greater depth later.

64 thoughts on “News for the week: Tommy Boy Edition (1/16/16)

  1. Raiders get Coliseum, A’s get Walmart Hegenberger, Warriors get Howard Terminal. This could actually work…

  2. 90 million for infrastructure cost at Howard Terminal that’s interesting, it seems far short of what will be needed but interesting.

    Hay, any politician in Oakland or Alameda County, if any of you ever read our repetitive comments here on ML’s wonderful blog, can any of you check with Sacramento and see if you can get some redevelopment funds to help with either of these potential projects? As I understand it the governor is, or has reastablished redevelopment monies in some way shape or form. I do realize you folks are on top of these things, or should be but it would be nice to hear something, something at all from you.

  3. I know this is an A’s ballpark blog, but has anyone ever though of trying to squeeze a Raiders stadium into Howard terminal?

    • Won’t work, it’s a lot harder to get 65-68,000 into that space then 24-36,000 and the 24-36,000 asumes the proper clean up and infrastructure is in place to support that number, which seems to be a farley large assumption.

    • There are 50 acres for building a stadium and other stuff. Unfortunately that’s not enough to fill parking needs. Besides that Schaaf prefers Howard Terminal for the A’s because of the 82-vs-10 game days.

  4. The Walmart spot seems a bit far from the Coliseum BART station (1.2 mile walk according to Google Maps). How much would it cost to infill a station on the BART to OAK line?

    • I’d answer with what I know, but I believe ML is prepping a post with much more information about the Walmart lot and vicinity than I have.

      Yeah, I’m tired of being patient about the ballpark situation too, but that’s not under our control.

  5. How is walmart going to be any better than any other proposed site when it comes to parking?

  6. What makes the Walmart Hegenberger lot prime real estate for a ballpark within Oakland?

    • There may be ways to leverage the Coliseum’s transit infrastructure and parking. The site as it is isn’t entirely ideal. It’s attractive because it could become available soon and is already properly zoned.

  7. Awesome. A site with a fantastic view of a freeway, a Wells Fargo Bank, a Toyota dealership and a few dentist offices! What a location!!!

  8. Ultimately, I don’t think the area is nice enough for an A’s stadium. If the A’s remain the Bay Area’s “downscale” team, they’ll never get the attendance and viewership that we all want (or at least some of us).

    For the A’s to win a World Series, they must convert Giants fans (unless someone thinks that new baseball fans will be created). They have to do this in order to get a payroll that is among the top 15 teams.

    I think this means that the A’s have an experience that rivals AT&T park in from the architecture, vistas, and urban food/drink options available.

  9. No parking once the ballpark is built and far from Bart…not a good option in my eyes

    • Use the Walmart site for parking – using shuttle buses, while a ballpark is built in the NE corner of the current property

  10. Mark Davis is not drowning his sorrows. The L.A relocation vote was pre-determined even prior to the Carson proposal announcement and Mark was in on it. All owners were. The NFL orchestrated the whole thing to maximize extortion dollars from S.D. and Oakland. Chargers are in full extortion mode now and Raiders are waiting their turn. Wolfe and Fischer will wait this whole process out, which could take as long as two years, then they will make one last appeal to MLB for San Jose. MLB will most likely say no. Then the A,s will finally choose a downtown site. Howard terminal or Laney college 2021

    • If it was a pre-determined vote the extortion attempts haven’t worked well against Oakland, and probably won’t work much better in the future. As a matter of fact one could say that by standing there ground it was Oakland that extorted money from the NFL (if Davis builds at the coliseum), at the rate of one hound million dollars.

      I think it’s safe to say that whatever Oakland gives it will be reasonable, of course some folks consider anything is unreasonable, but in NFL build a new or remodele an old stadium turms, Oakland is being reasonable.

  11. The Walmart site would be terrible. It’s not that far from BART, but the crappy area and freeway overpasses you would have to walk through to get there would be would deter everyone. There is no room for other development you would need gentrify the area

    • Here we go! The Giants, and their sock puppets KNBR and the Chronicle are beginning a big push promoting Howard Terminal. The main goal is to make sure the A’s stay in Oakland and don’t give Lew Wolff any reason to go back to MLB and say he still needs SJ. With the Raiders now stuck at the Coliseum, the A’s will most likely be pushed out. All of the other sites in Oakland have been carefully reviewed and found unacceptable by the A’s and MLB. I am pretty sure the BRC came to the same conclusion, but Bud S. buried their report. The media blitz, orchestrated by the Giants will continue full blast! Count on it!

  12. If Oakland officials really want to help the A’s to build a new ballpark in their city, then Oakland has to buy the land at either Laney College or Victory Court. If Lew Wolff was given the land for a ballpark at either choice locations, I think Wolff would then agree to stay in Oakland. He certainly doesn’t want for the A’s to have to build its ballpark in an inaccessible industrial area of the City such as Howard Terminal.

    • didn’t the business owners at victory court say they wouldn’t sell?

      i don’t know what would be the easier land to buy out, victory court or laney which in itself i doubt will be all that inexpensive.

      doesn’t matter as the coliseum site is realistically the only site that makes sense financially for anybody wanting to build any kind of sports venue in the city of oakland.

  13. Looking at the Walmart site Oakland would have to buy out Chiptole, GameStop, Starbucks for sure and maybe the Chevron just to start.

    I doubt Gamestop, Chipotle, nor Starbucks would want to stay as their parking would be gone 100% pretty much.

    That gets you a site for a ballpark that is large enough dimension wise, I am assuming there is not some kind of utility underneath it that cannot be moved or something of the nature. But if Wal Mart was there, safe to assume the site good from that perspective.

    The issue is parking, For baseball all the local businesses would not pledge parking because there are too many games during the week.

    People would have to walk or shuttle over from the old Malibu lot or the general Coliseum complex. From the Denny’s to the Walmart it is a 12-15 min walk, maybe faster if you walk fast so about 20 min from the general Coliseum lot.

    ML will have this all broken down, but BART can easily build an infill station as they are already building out a line straight to the Airport anyways. So that should not be an issue.

    I think the site is solid if people are willing to walk it from the Coli lot. Shuttles will be available and BART access is generally there with some minor upgrades for a infill station.

    Wolff should take a look, even Mark Davis should too, a NFL stadium makes more sense as the businesses can pledge parking like the 49ers in Santa Clara as games are on the weekends for the most part.

  14. isn’t one of the main reasons why wolff or any of these sports owners “forced” to stay in oakland want the coliseum area is because of the massive area around the venue they could build that would help pay for the new park?

    i mean if a site like laney, victory court, howard terminal and now this site where the former walmart is is chosen there isn’t land to be developed around it.

    unless the city of oakland gives some of the area at the coliseum site to the owner, in particular the a’s owners, to develop separately but how much will it be worth if a new sports venue to attract thousands of people to the area isn’t around to be the centerpiece of the project.

  15. I think the best site for a downtown ballpark is the site of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. You would have to take up most of Peralta Park, a segment of Lake Merritt Blvd and the “amphitheater” at the southern tip of Lake Merritt.

    [img src=””]

    • Let’s see if this link works better:

      • I’d suggest you rotate that 90° clockwise. By intent and design (batters looking into sunsets being an issue) MLB stadiums do not tend to orient that far towards the west.

      • Isn’t Henry J. Kaiser on a preservation list? I think if that’s the case the basic structure has to stay intact.

      • Other than that, it’s a nice idea.

      • I admire the creativity. It isn’t practical. The land at HJKCC is simply too small (5 acres), and no one will allow the practically brand new Lake Merritt Blvd to be changed, or for a ballpark to be built that towers 30 feet above the street and the lake.

      • How about this – it’s quick and dirty, but instead of using Peralta Park, use Snow Park at the corner of 19th and Harrison…

      • gah…jpg didn’t load…here’s the code…

  16. Either of these sites, whether it be the Coli or Walmart will pale in comparison to ATT. My hope is that Fischer is pissed enough at Baer that he decides to directly compete with his own waterfront ballpark that can place a serious dent in the gints revenues. As someone has previously said Oakland needs to step up and deliver a waterfront site that is ready to be developed and then let’s see what LW’s Magic and Fischers money can do to seriously compete against the gints

  17. All the proposed ballpark sites within Oakland have been rejected in previous studies, for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean that there are no ideal suitable sites for a new A’s stadium within the city. What I do believe is that the most ideal ballpark locations are in and around the downtown/Lake Merritt area, and by the way which is also in close proximity to BART. The main stumbling block to building such a facility in these areas is that land value is just too costly to purchase and to possibly have to relocate current residents in order to clear the land for ballpark construction. What makes matters even worse is that Oakland is unwilling or unable to provide any public funds towards the project. If in fact the Raiders can work out a deal for a new/rebuilt stadium on the Coliseum property, then MLB will be forced to settle the A’s ballpark problem once and for all. With no suitable workable sites within Oakland, MLB will reluctantly have to look at Bay Area sites outside of the A’s East Bay territory,. or to even consider moving the franchise to another market. Oakland officials are well a well aware of this possible scenario. That’s the reason for the renewed discussion on previously rejected sites for a new A’s ballpark.

    • @ llpec

      According to the SF Chronical, Fisher who owns 80% of the team (Wolff 10%) is taking another look at Howard Terminal. Who knows if this is even true, but it was interesting as ML pointed out that the city is talking about coming up with 90 million for infrastructure cost at the site, if the A’s choose that site (assuming that 90 mil would be in play for any Oak site), I realize there is a lot more to it than just that but it is interesting…
      HT could work if the money was there for clean-up and infrastructure, but that is a BIG if.

  18. @Lakeshore/Neil, A ballpark at Howard Terminal would require a significant amount of money for both clean-up and to make the area accessible for both foot and car traffic. This would be before the first shovel hits the ground to build the ballpark. I doubt that the $90 million that Oakland is talking about pledging towards infrastructural improvements to the HT surrounding area will come close to getting the site shovel ready. Also, unless someone comes up with the funds for an infill station on the BART track right-of-way, the Howard Terminal site is just too far away from the nearest BART station. The Howard Terminal site has too many problematic issues to make it a worthy investment risk, even with John Fisher’s good intentions.

    • @ llpec
      I agree, it would take more money than is probably available to make it work, I believe I expressed that in my response to you, but it’s not an imposable site if Oakland, Alameda county, the state of California, someone comes up with more money it’s posable. It would be nice if the BART stations were closer but the site is still relatively close to two deferent stations, there is talk of renewing a streetcar/free bus to JLS down Broadway, Amtrak , and fray service are already available to the area so I don’t think transportation would be as big a problem as your stating…
      I guess my only points were a) Oakland has pledged 90 million which is interesting (not enough I know), and b) Fisher may be looking at the site again, which is also interesting.
      The fact is the A’s could be in a situation where they might want that site more than any site in the world (sure wish that was true), and it still may not work for them, but that wasn’t my point.

    • I think it’s pretty clear that the A’s don’t want to move out of the Bay Area, as every alternative would put them in a much smaller media market. The Bay Area’sa shared situation with the Giants is still a far superior situation than being the only team in a much smaller market. Also, I’ve yet to hear any city with any type of pitch to get the A’s to move.

      So, like the Raiders, the Athletics are in Oakland for the foreseeable future.

      HT’s shortcomings are well-documented. Toxic cleanup, traffic accessibility, and parking are the main ones. Not saying BART is NOT an issue, but there are stopgap solutions such as shuttles and well-designed walking paths from existing BART to HT are doable.

      I have no idea how far $90MM gets you to overcoming, but I do sense that Fischer’s motivated and senses that Schaaf at least has a semblance how to get things done vs. previous mayors. Fischer taking a more active role in negotiations vs. Wolfe is in my estimation a positive development.

      Others have said it, but a stadium at the former is easier. But ultimately, to get the casual fan for an ‘experience’ a la AT&T Park, HT or downtown is the only way to put a dent into the Giants’ overall domination of the hearts and minds of the majority of casual Bay Area sports fans.

      It also could serve as a ‘legacy’ for Schaaf’s administration. She kept both sports franchises in Oakland, brought vitality to Jack London Square (or downtown) and did it w/out public funding. She seems to be motivated and strikes me as more popular than any Oakland mayor in recent memory.

      Obviously far from a slam dunk, but there’s reason for optimism.

  19. The NFL has given Mark Davis and the Raiders a path to move to either Los Angeles or San Diego, if a new stadium deal in Oakland cannot be worked out within the next two years. The pressure is now on Oakland officials to get something done, otherwise the Raiders will be as good as gone. Also, Oakland officials very much realize that if a new Coliseum stadium deal can be worked out for the Raiders, the A’s will then most certainly be forced to vacate the Coliseum property. This is the reason for the renewed discussion about the previously rejected proposed Oakland sites for a new A’s ballpark. I do know that neither Lew Wolff nor John Fisher will agree to privately build a new A’s ballpark at a less desirable site that they deem as being too risky, without getting significant public funding assistance from Oakland and or Alameda County. In addition, MLB will have to play their part to absorb some of the risk on the A’s, by allowing the franchise to continue receiving revenue sharing. Finally, and most importantly, I can see light at the end of the tunnel for a resolution to the stadium issues for both the Raiders and the A’s.

    • @ llpec

      If the Chargers exercise their option in LA, which most reasonable people would expect them to do the Raiders are stuck, no if, ands, or buts about it…
      Can they move to San Diego? Sure they can, but San Diego hasn’t even voted to use public money for the Chargers yet (which many think well be a no vote), why in the world would the people who will probably not vote to use public money for the Chargers ever vote to use public money for the Raiders?
      Even if the NFL waived the relocation fee for San Diego, do they really want three teams in Sothern California again? If the NFL was ok with three teams would one of them be the Raiders?
      We can probable make a safe assumption that the NFL will only allow Davis in LA under the Rams plan, because they don’t trust Davis, and several probably don’t want him as an owner.
      Can he go to San Antonio? Sure if he can get past the relocation fee and Jerry Jones, not to mention the Texans owner, probably not going to happen.
      Can he go to St Louis? Sure even though he has reputedly said he will not do that. Would a relocation fee be involved? Would the other owners even trust Davis to be in another market by him, probably not?
      A lot of things could happen, but more the likely Davis is confined to A.) sharing with the 49ers in Santa Clara. B.) Remolding the existing coliseum. C.) Building new stadium on the present coliseum site.
      More than likely HT. is too cost prohibitive for the A’s, but apparently they are looking at it, given their limited options a site that has been ruled out may come back into play.

      • @LSN: The NFL would definitely waive a relocation fee for San Diego, Oakland (if needed) and will for St Louis. The problem with the Raiders/San Diego is that the San Diego mayor won’t budge and commit more than $350 mil. towards a new stadium ($350 mil. could raised without requiring extra public tax dollars with that situation) Because of the $350 mil. limit, Davis could not have enough cash to build a stadium that could host a superbowl (which San Diego would want) Davis may put up with playing at Qualcomm stadium more than Spanos has though.

        One would also believe that the Raiders would prefer staying at the Coliseum than try the St Louis market (St Louis also appears to have limited finances for a new stadium anyhow) San Antonio would also be costly, since a relocation fee would be charged – besides the cost of a new stadium (which neither Davis or San Antonio can evidently afford)

      • @ duffer
        Thanks, there were a few things there I wasn’t aware of.

      • What you’re calling out is exactly why Oakland should be pressing the issue with the Raiders.

        Because of the economic differences, the Raiders absolutely do have more options than the A’s. The flip side is that Mark Davis’ lack of funds limits these options.

        The Raiders don’t have a lease for next year. Oakland has presented a credible starting point offer to the Raiders. Davis’ flat out rejection may be a sign he’s unwilling to work with Oakland unless Oakland fully funds a stadium.

        Giving the Raiders additional year to year leases just gives Davis more time to find a city that will build him a stadium. Oakland needs to get Davis to commit to Oakland long term.

        Oakland should propose to Davis a long term lease, similar to the A’s, with wording in the lease that has the two sides negotiate in good faith on a proposal for a new stadium at the Coli site with limited public funds. The lease could have out clauses for the Raiders getting a new stadium in the city or for the A’s getting control of the site, similar to the A’s lease.

        If the Raiders won’t commit to Oakland long term, Oakland should kick them to the curb. Keeping the team in Oakland on a year to year basis isn’t good for anyone.

      • @slacker: It wouldn’t be surprising if Davis and Oakland officials are close to a deal (Davis has preferred to keep negotiations about possible Raider’s stadiums and/or other NFL markets private) Doing the math – the Raiders could afford to build a new stadium at the Coliseum sight currently. (That’s why Oakland officials appear to be suddenly booting the A’s out of the Coliseum and also a future A’s ballpark there)

        Davis definitely has $600 mil. financing towards the $900 mil. new Raiders stadium ($300 mil. financed by the franchise + $200 by the NFL loan + an additional $100 mil. gift from the NFL ) Also Davis could sell only 10% of the team and receive $200 mil. or more for that (considering how the value of pro sports franchises has skyrocketed recently, paying $200 mil. for a 10% share of the Raiders would be considered a bargain) for a total of $800 mil. – Oakland will raise $90 mil. – for a total of $890 mil. – a new Raiders stadium in Oakland may be in fact a done deal already.

        On the other hand, Davis could opt for San Diego (if that market opens up) With the Raiders contributing $800 mil., San Diego an additional $350 mil.- the Raiders could build a superbowl quality stadium in San Diego and move the team to that market – either Oakland or San Diego appears very doable for the Raiders.

      • “(Davis has preferred to keep negotiations about possible Raider’s stadiums and/or other NFL markets private)”

        Other than publicly evaluating San Antonio, the entire Carson project, publicly rejecting Oakland’s offer and publicly trashing Oakland, yes he’s been very private.

  20. I have advocated for Howard Terminal several times on this site and got nothing but negatives about it: too costly, too much clean-up, too many agency approvals, distance to BART, railroad tracks, Lew doesn’t like it…. All those and other problems with the site may well be true, but the upsides of actually being able to pull it off are keeping it on the table.

    If Libby Schaaf can contribute “infrastructure money” and get her political ally, Gov. Brown, to help expedite it through the maze of state agencies, then it could happen. The Port would support it, and if it can be shown that JLS and the greater downtown would benefit economically from the ballpark draw into the area, then it could be argued that the benefits would justify the increased cost. Including it in the downtown specific plan, as Schaaf has mentioned, would enable a financing mechanism that could help fund some additional infrastructure on the basis of a ballpark benefiting business there as a whole. It would attract casual fans, tourists and new workers in the area. Few seem to want to go to games at the Coliseum except for real A’s fans. What AT&T Park and the many other downtown ballparks throughout the country show is that they become an attraction and develop a synergy with residents, businesses, employees and tourists, resulting in increased attendance.

    I’m not saying it will happen, I know that there are many issues, obstacles and costs, but especially now that Fisher is talking about it as well as Schaaf, it may become a real possibility.

    • @ Jerry
      Exactly, like you I’m not saying it will happen but apparently Fisher is looking at it (if true), that’s great. Obviously that in and of itself doesn’t meant it will happen as both you and I have mentioned, but unfortunately the maar suggestion is too much for some.

    • Also, the plan Oakland presented to the Raiders proposed that Oakland would eat the $100M on the Coliseum debt.

      In a sense the city was proposing close to $200M in infrastructure and “subsidies” for the Raiders.

      Eating the debt is not the same thing as paying for additional infrastructure, but from a negotiation perspective, Fisher and/or Wolff may feel that they can get something similar out of Oakland for a different site for the A’s.

      • The balance on the Coli debt is the city and county’s liability and irrelevant to any new deal. There’s a big difference between paying off a debt you’ve already incurred and spending more money.

        Let’s say you were selling your car to me and you asked for $10,000. I say, “Tell you what, I’ll give you $5000 plus I’ll pay off my credit card balance of $5000.” What would your response be?

        Eating the debt doesn’t get the city anywhere with the Raiders, it’s just a pre-condition to having any meaningful discussions. Certainly Wolff and Fisher aren’t going to be able to use it to leverage any concessions.

      • @ bartleby
        You make a fare point, but your analogy precludes the fact that the Raiders are directly reasonable for the 5,000.00 in credit are debt.
        Let’s try it like this.

        Let’s say you were selling your car to me and you asked for $10,000. I say, “Tell you what, I’ll give you $5000 plus I’ll pay off my credit card balance of $5000 that you are directly responsible for”.”
        What would your response be? It might be how about 2,500.00 the credit card.

      • @ bartleby
        Of course one could say the Raiders could just walk away from the debt, excluding it from any negotiation around it, since they are not liable for it.
        But at this point unless the share with the 49ers there options are not looking that good, so they may be forced to have to deal with it rather they have the right not to, or not. If that makes sense.

      • @Lakeshore/Neil I take issue with the characterization that the Raiders were “directly responsible for” the Coliseum debt. It was a business deal in which the city, wisely or not, agreed to cover any shortfall in PSL sales. Not the Raiders problem.

        You can argue that the Raiders benefited from the deal. So what? So, presumably did the city, or they wouldn’t have done the deal. Both sides always believe a deal will benefit them at the time they make it, or they wouldn’t do the deal. Sometimes it works out great for everybody, sometimes not. Rational business people don’t renegotiate good faith business deals just because they work out badly for the other party.

        To come back to your analogy: If I were selling my car to you for $10,000, and you said, “Tell you what, I’ll give you $5000 plus I’ll pay off my credit card balance of $5000 that you are directly responsible for,” and the reason I was “directly responsible” for that $5000 was because of a previous business deal between us in which you chose you put your financial obligation on a credit card, what would my response be? It would be: “Are you out of your fucking mind?”

      • @Lakeshore/Neil “Of course one could say the Raiders could just walk away from the debt, excluding it from any negotiation around it, since they are not liable for it. But at this point unless the share with the 49ers there options are not looking that good, so they may be forced to have to deal with it rather they have the right not to, or not. If that makes sense.”

        The city can ask for whatever it wants, if they have the leverage to do it. Even if there was no debt, if the city had a strong enough hand it could say, “Oh, by the way, in addition to the funding the $400 million shortfall on the stadium, we’ve decided to require you to contribute $100 million to fund affordable housing in Oakland.” But that’s not the situation.

        It may be a little challenging for the Raiders to move this year, but they have a ton of options for future years. The city has recognized that getting a stadium funded will be challenging enough and that throwing in a demand to pay off the city’s debt is a complete non-starter and deal-killer. That’s why Libby has backed off that idea.

        If it doesn’t make sense for the Raiders to throw in an extra $100 million to get a long term stadium deal, they’re certainly not going to do it just to get a one year lease extension. They’d just end up playing in Levi’s, Memorial Stadium, Stanford Stadium, AT&T Park or possibly Qualcomm this year.

        Not happening. What will actually happen is, the city will completely bend over to get the Raiders to sign a one year lease, assuming the Raiders are willing to do so, just to keep discussions going and keep the voters hopes up that they might get to keep the team long term.

      • @ bartleby
        Good points, I would quibble with your characterization that:
        “It may be a little challenging for the Raiders to move this year, but they have a ton of options for future years”
        You lost me with “tons of options”, I’m sure Mark Davis wishes he had a ton of options.

      • @Lakeshore/Neil As a die-hard Raider fan I wish it were otherwise, but I believe EVERY NFL team has tons of options. It’s the most popular sport in the US, and the league’s revenue sharing structure make market size relatively unimportant. Lots of cities would bid high to attract an NFL team – some that have not been mentioned publicly yet, and others that would likely fall all over themselves if the Raiders were to show an interest. Free agent NFL teams have a lot of leverage.

        That doesn’t necessarily mean that Mark Davis will get the deal he wants. He may have to fall back to his 3rd, 4th, 5th or 11th choice. But he definitely has options.

        Consider that a lot of the supposed obstacles to some of these options are based on Davis’ preferences (e.g. he doesn’t want to go to Santa Clara, he doesn’t want to go to St. Louis, he doesn’t want to sell a controlling interest in the team). He can eliminate these obstacles by simply changing his mind.

        And he’s already eliminated or mitigated a lot of potential obstacles simply through his participation in the LA derby. The NFL has already said the Raiders meet the criteria for re-location. It has been reported that the NFL will reduce or waive a relocation fee if Davis wants to relocate, at least to certain cities. It has also been reported that the NFL will still give him the extra $100 million if he wants to relocate to San Diego. If the Chargers leave and San Diego voters approve the current stadium plan (including $350 million in public funds), and considering Davis could get the Qualcomm site without any pesky MLB roommates to deal with, he’d be in pretty good shape.

        (I would point out that if the NFL has said Davis gets $100 million if he goes to SD, that belies the notion that the NFL somehow doesn’t want three teams in Southern California, which I’ve considered a ridiculous idea from the outset).

        And it’s possible the Chargers won’t go to LA. They may run the numbers, conclude they would better off as the sole team in a new stadium in San Diego than paying $550 million for the right to go to Inglewood, and wait to see if the voters approve a San Diego stadium plan. The voters might approve such a plan, in which case LA becomes an option for the Raiders.

        So far LA, San Diego, San Antonio, Santa Clara, St. Louis, Portland, Oklahoma City and London have all been mentioned as possible landing spots for the Raiders. Some of these are more realistic or more imminent than others, but I don’t think any of them can be completely ruled out at this point. Davis has options.

      • @ bartleby

        Yeah, and a lot of Davis options may not be what they seem, since there is a strong possibility that other owners don’t want or trust him in another market, let alone want him as an owner period.

      • @ Neil That’s speculation. And there is evidence that other owners do in fact want him in Santa Clara and/or San Diego (if the Chargers do leave).

        It’s also a mistake to assume NFL owners all want the same thing. In any event, I am far from comfortable the Raiders are here to stay at this point (or even for the coming season).

      • @ bartleby

        Of course it’s speculation, that’s damn near all we do.

      • London would likely be the most profitable site for the Raiders (other than a likely stiff relocation fee – Davis would require 0 dollars towards a new stadium over there – and enjoy huge attendance)

        Davis appears to be managing the Raiders franchise better than the Yorks though, and could sway plenty of corporate and fan support from the Niners organization with a successful team. The East Bay could be much more profitable potentially for the Raiders than San Antonio, or certainly St. Louis and at least equal San Diego.

        The reports are that the Raiders are eager to jump at an opportunity at San Diego if the Bolts bolt to LA. With $600 mil. cash available (or more, if Davis sells some interest in the franchise) the Raiders could definitely afford to build perhaps a superbowl sized stadium down there also. If the Chargers relocate – San Diego may be the most likely destination for the Raiders.

      • @ duffer
        I think London will become the new LA, as teams will get hundreds of millions of dollars out of municipalities to build with the threat that the team will relocate there.
        I guess anywhere is a possibility for Davis, but most places seem too problematic, and each location comes with a verity of challenges that I just do see Davis getting around.
        You made a very good point about London for Davis when you pointed out that
        “Davis would require 0 dollars towards a new stadium over there – and enjoy huge attendance)”
        The potential problem, is the NFL really going to trust Davis with London? It certainly appears that many of the owners don’t trust him with LA, and will only let him there if he partners with the Rams owner (who they trust to get things done), and that’s only if (when), the Chargers don’t take the LA option. There have been several reports since Al died that some owners don’t even want him owning a team.
        If the Chargers take the LA option (which they would be crazy not to), anything Davis would do after that would be problematic other than sharing with the 49ers, or remodel of the coliseum, or sale the team.
        Even building a new stadium at the coliseum site which is probable the 4th easiest thing for him to do give all the variables against him won’t be easy.
        If the NFL ever has a permanent team in London I just do see them allowing it to be Davis, San Diego or St Louis, if things brake right for him and those are a big if in my mind. I’m sure someone will say hey they don’t have A/T (like baseball) he can just do like his father? Mark doesn’t have the juice, money, or balls, probable not going to happen.

    • i remember a decade or so ago that there was speculation that “silent owner” hoffman was more interested in howard terminal than “front man” schott.

      we all saw how that ended up and i’d guess the same will happen with this current ownership group.

      sure building at howard terminal would be great and said many times previous visually it’d be the most appealing with a drop back of the estuary and the cranes if they were somehow incorporated into the design as the released images showed a while ago.

      but financially it doesn’t make sense at this time and no sensible businessmen are going to drop a hundreds of their own millions of dollars into a project they could feel they couldn’t recoup.

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