05 February 2006

One Coliseum, Two Teams

As 2010 approaches, Oakland, the A's, and the Raiders will have some very difficult decisions to make. Oakland is severely cash-strapped and still stings from the 1995 Coliseum renovation, which brought back the Raiders but has put the JPA in deep for the next two decades.

The Raiders have settled most of their issues with Oakland, but their lease ends after the end of the 2010 season. That would appear to pave the way for the Raiders to leave, but there aren't that many cities capable of building a NFL-sized stadium, and NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue holds the keys to the Los Angeles market, where Al Davis is most interested in relocating.

The A's, who had felt neglected because of the way the Coliseum was renovated, aren't getting too warm fuzzies from Oakland in their desire to build a ballpark village. Their final year in Oakland, if they don't leave early or extend the lease, will be 2010.

Today an article in the Trib discusses how the Bay Area could attract a Super Bowl. The 49ers have an ambitious multi-use development plan in the works with housing giant Lennar and the city of San Francisco. Despite the strained relationship between the Raiders and Oakland/Alameda County, the Raiders came up with a way to keep the 2003 Super Bowl in the Bay Area (where it was originally meant for a revamped Candlestick Park): add 7,500 seats to the Coliseum. That idea fizzled and the 2003 Super Bowl ended up in a more familiar locale, San Diego. The article notes that a Bay Area Super Bowl would be bolstered by a joint 49ers-Raiders effort, but doesn't elaborate on how the competing interests (49ers vs. Raiders, SF vs. Oakland) could make it work.

The Raiders haven't released any plans for a another Coliseum redo, but it stands to reason that with the newly friendly relationship they have with Oakland, along with the team's inability to relocate as easily as they did eleven years ago, they could try to work a deal to "complete" the renovation in Oakland. The Raiders could take advantage of the NFL's G3 loan program, which provides $150 million for new construction or expansion. Myriad problems await, including financing the rest of it ($150 million won't cover it all) and getting pols to sign off on the deal. The sales pitch would involve getting the Super Bowl in Oakland (and its oft-overstated positive economic impact) sometime in the next 20 years, a carrot that has been the main selling point in getting new stadia built or upgraded (San Diego, Dallas, Kansas City).

Should the Raiders and Oakland venture down this path, the A's would once again be on the outside looking in. For how would Oakland and Alameda County be able to invest in multiple new facilities again? Therein lies the rub. Oakland's going to be forced to decide who it wants to support. And I doubt that anyone's looking forward to making that decision.


Zonis said...

I don't understand why Oakland seems so eager to be screwed by the Raiders and completly ignore the A's. The A's have had more success, yet keep getting the shaft. The Raiders have been slapping Oakland around and treating them like their [explicative deleted].

The Raiders will keep flying between Oakland and Los Angeles, toying with each city, while the A's will be almost forcibly ousted.

Your thread did remind me of that quote you posted before though, of the 'idea' of creating a football stadium in Oakland or San Fransisco for both the Raiders AND 49'ers.

Georob said...

I've often felt that once the A's have their own stadium(preferably next door), the original 1966 Coliseum could then be demolished and a matching "Mt. Davis" structure built in its place .

Problem is, how long would that take and what would the Raiders do in the interim? Playing at Candlestick/Monster Park would be the obvious solution if the Coliseum was unusable during that time period. But would SF allow that? Maybe Stanford?

Definitely not Berkeley. Who remembers when the Raiders tried playing at game or two at Memorial Stadium in the 70's when the A's post season schedule got in the way? That was a mess!

As long as Al Davis is alive, I don't see him trying to pull anything. (And I really don't see him selling or stepping aside, either) But once he IS gone, a lot of cities who wouldn't consider going after the Raiders
might RE-consider.

Jeff said...

I should have used another thread for this question M.L. but I wanted to post it where it could be readily visable. I don't know if you can answer it but I have had little luck in finding the answer elsewhere.

In other threads you have delineated the radio/T.V deals that the A's. have. Do you know how the "blackout rules" work? Who sets the blackouts and who decides what is going to be blacked out in a given market? I wouldn't mind seeing a post devoted soley to this topic. For instance, extra innings can be purchased over direct tv, but games within 500 miles of Oakland will be blacked out. What purpose does this serve? The money trail doesn't make sense to me. Why would the A's want their games blacked out in their vicinity? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to get their product out there to entice viewers into coming to the park? Whats more, why would they delibarately strike at their own TV ratings? If the broadcasters themselves are doing it.....why? Aren't they hurting their own advertisement possibilites? The rules are byzantian in their complexity. What gives? Where's the money going?

Marine Layer said...

I'm not sure I can do the blackout issue justice, since I have a difficult time understanding how it works. In baseball, blackouts have more to do with local affiliate protection than attendance, which is the main criteria for the NFL. There are obvious holes in the policy, Jeff, to which you alluded. I doubt that they can be changed internally, however. It will require legislation to do it, especially since the role of internet streaming probably hasn't been completely thought out. Here's an article from the industry mag Broadcasting & Cable that describes the situation much better than I can.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the link ML, it was as maddening as everything else I've read on the subject. Clear as mud these rules. I'm guessing the major reason for the blackouts is the leagues desire to "protect" their marketing rights. It makes no sense though. I can see a local station broadcasting a giants game with the cubs wanting WGN blacked out in their area, but the rest is just asinine. Even blacking out WGN in the scenario I mentioned makes little sense. The vast majority of folks in the local area are naturally going to want to hear the "home" teams broadcast over that of the teams opponent.

Shoot, MLB will loose money because people 200 miles away aren't going to subscribe to extra innings because they can't get their "local" team....even though these same folks cannot recieve the true local broadcast. Strange.

Georob said...

Rhamesis, can the A's get out of their new radio deal before the three years is up if something better comes along? My hope is that a strong performance in 2006 would lead to a better radio contract in '07. But if we're stuck with 1550/1220(especially with no change in power or daytime scheduling) for three years, it doesn't bode well.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm truly bummed out about this. It really highlights how weak the A's are from a marketing/media position. And when you stop and think how long this team has been here, it makes you wonder just how much room there is for improvement.

The Giants have an absolute stranglehold on this market, and I often wonder if a move to San Jose would really be an improvement.