11 January 2008

Raiders look to Dublin + Santa Clara moves forward

How does "Dublin Raiders" sound?

No? Try "California Raiders."

Maybe not. In any case, according to the SF Business Times, the Raiders have expressed interest in the Army-owned Camp Parks site in Dublin. So far, Dublin mayor Janet Lockhart isn't a proponent, saying, "My personal opinion is it would destroy the city of Dublin if we even considered it."

One interesting nugget about Camp Parks is at the end of the article, which states that the Army isn't allowed to sell land. They are able to exchange land for construction of additional structures, but my guess is that an $800 million football palace isn't all that well suited for reserve training purposes. There was no mention of how a stadium on the site would be paid for, nor what the plan would look like.

Is it a stalking horse or something more concrete? What about negotiations with the Coliseum Commission? We'll find out soon enough.
Down in the valley, Santa Clara city staff have recommended the city start negotiating in earnest with the 49ers for their new digs. I'm still wary of a 100,000-person city taking on over $100 million in financial risk even if it's largely redevelopment money. The biggest obstacle, Cedar Fair, remains in opposition to the plan. Efforts to placate the theme park operator may eventually sink the plan. We'll know by the end of the year, one way or another.


Anonymous said...

The Raiders have since corrected the media and stated that the Dublin visit was only hypothetical and educational in nature and they are not really that serious about building a stadium in Dublin. Both the team and city/county are negotiating for a lease extension. This update was mentioned at Jerry McDonald's Blog "The Dublin Raiders?"

In Art Spander's article, he thought the idea of the Raiders and 49ers leaving their respective cities to relocate some where else in the Bay Areas as dumb, I don't totally agree. I thought the military not being able to sell the land and could only accept building upgrades at Camp Parks was interesting as well. Some business or wealthy party is going to jump on that land opportunity.

It would make the most sense for the Raiders to remodel and upgrade the existing stadium, altering it for just football when the A's leave. It already has the Bart access. This would be much more cost effective and quicker than building a brand new stadium not to mention the leftover debt would be smaller. They could really make MaCafee their own. They should use black seating with a little silver as well when the final structure is done.

Part of the lease extension process would most likely include an agreement to upgrade the current stadium by the city and council. They may have to involve a third party like a major corporation to help fund the massive remodel with naming rights along with the funding from the Raiders themselves.

Anonymous said...

Just to fix a typo in the 4th paragraph I meant to say "city and county" not city and council.

Georob said...

Well Tony, you have two Bay Area NFL franchises, both with stadium issues and both open to moving elsewhere in the region.

Here's an opportunity for San Jose to convert your "eternal optimism" into more than just babbling bravado. No territorial rights to deal with and presumably two very interested organizations.

"Babbling Bravado"...sounds like something the late Spiro Agnew would have said, doesn't it?

anon-a-mouse said...

I agree about redoing the Coliseum after the A's leave. It's already halfway done. Just demolish the old bowl and build another Mt. Davis in its place. That makes far more sense than starting from scratch somewhere else. It will be a nice NFL venue if they do that. Right now, it's not adequate for either sport.

Jeffrey said...

There is a real opportunity for the City of Oakland in the A's leaving. Imagine the Super Bowl in Oakland. It would be pretty cool.

Marine Layer said...

Tearing down and rebuilding the old Coliseum bowl for the Raiders won't be cheap. Mt. Davis has no team facilities and none of the "back of the house" stuff you need to run a stadium such as kitchens, laundry, etc. Still, it would be far cheaper to do this than build an entirely new stadium from scratch somewhere else.

There would be some logistics issues. The rebuild would be far more complicated than the record-time Stanford project or Mt. Davis, so you could expect the Raiders to play somewhere else for a year while getting everything built. And there's still a question about how to funding it. Will they have to sell Coliseum land to help pay for the stadium?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this I think this is just the beginning of the end of the Raiders in Oakland.

I truly believe that they will end up back in Los Angeles, playing in the Coliseum for a year, while the NFL works hand in hand with the Raiders building a stadium for them down there.

The Raiders havent been happy since they left Oakland in 81. Things havent been the same either since they returned, and like it or not, they remain near the bottom of the league in revenues, while a move back down south would remedy that...

I was so ecstatic when they came back in 95, but even at that, I thought that the lease they signed was pretty dang short, and now its almost up...

Jeffrey said...

The Raiders were in Dublin because they just had spare time or what?

Georob said...

Much as I was happy to see the Raiders return, I never understood why they did.

The Rams were leaving and Al Davis would have had the entire LA market to himself. If he wanted to leave Memorial Coliseum, they probably could have played in Anaheim or the Rose Bowl until a decent stadium was built in LA. I think Davis said publicly at the time that he felt that the NFL was conspiring to bring in another team to replace the Rams and help build a stadium for it.

Well, 13 years later there's no NFL football in LA, and as far as I'm concerned, the Raiders will stay in the Bay Area. I also think that Oakland officials will try harder to keep them having invested so much in the Coliseum already, especially after the A's leave.

Of course, once Al Davis is gone all bets are off. But just like Fidel Castro, he's going to be around much longer than we want him to be.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, once Al Davis is gone all bets are off."

And that's it in a nutshell, Rob.
I think LA officials will be far more inclined to deal with someone like Amy Trask, a USC grad, with roots in SoCal, and I think that she figures prominently in the Raiders' succession plan.

Unfortunately, a move back to Los Angeles makes too much sense for the Raiders AND the NFL. Al Davis's fears about the new economics of the NFL (luxury box sales) not being able to be sustained in the Bay Area have become reality.

Of course much of this was due to the shoddy play of the team, the incompetence of the OFMA and other factors, but the sad reality is that the Raiders of the 60's & 70's were supported by a blue collar fanbase that by and of itself can no longer provide the economic impetus for the Raiders to remain in Oakland when their lease expires in TWO years. Other revenue streams have not come to fruition...

Zonis said...

Bringing up an old idea; The 49'ers stadium situation is short of funding. So why don't the Raiders use the opertunity to throw in with the Raiders, make it a Niners'-Raiders stadium deal, and all is fine.

The Niners and Raiders both save a lot of money themselves, instead of baring the whole stadium cost, the city gets two teams for less than the price of one, and the hotels get even more money because they get twice the event dates to get guests, and it could mean that two hotels will benefit instead of one (or 1 will benefit greatly).

The only party that loses would be Six Flags, as they lose parking for 2x as many dates, but with two football teams, it would be easier to pool funds to placate SixFlags.

anthony dominguez said...

Babbling Bravado? I'll take that as a compliment Rob. Surprisingly, I actually agree with Geo regarding the Raiders. I was also happy to see them return to Oakland, but man, they would have had it made had they stayed in LA. Could you imagine...the NFL's version of the Lakers! A football stadium in the likes of Staples Center, with Hollywood elite pouring millions into the Raiders coffers. The entire LA region, TV and media, all to themselves. Wow!! Anyhow, what's done is done. When the A's leave the Coliseum, the old bowl should be demolished and, as others have stated, a second Mt. Davis should be erected. Lastly, anyone know about the rumor that John Madden is in line to be the Raiders owner once Al Davis kicks the bucket? If this is the case, it looks like the Raiders will be in the Bay for the long haul.

Anonymous said...

For being the second largest media market in the nation, L.A. has been without an NFL Franchise for 13 years as Georob has pointed out. I don't think L.A. is as lucrative or as good of an option for an NFL team as some seem to think it is.

Like Oakland and San Francisco, Los Angeles internally has its own political and economic issues despite being such a large media market. Some even argue that L.A. just isn't very a good football city and is full of transient fans from all over the U.S. who may or may not support the local NFL team passionately. I have had people from L.A. admit to me that the fans down there can be "very" flakey and fair weathered if the team is not winning and will do something else on the weekends instead going to the games.

That being said, if there is an NFL team that has a strong chance of relocating to L.A. it is the San Diego Chargers. People I know in Southern California have told me that the Chargers have almost given up trying to build a stadium in San Diego and are quietly looking to L.A. to relocate in the near future. The Chargers already have strong presence in Southern Cal. and they already have a decent following in L.A. This is one team that may work in Los Angeles.

As for the Raiders and 49ers, I think both these teams will be staying in Northern California. The Raiders are in the process of extending their lease and the 49ers are trying to build a stadium in Santa Clara. I don't think Bay Area fans have to worry about losing their football teams.

Anonymous said...

Marine Layer, in your opinion which other stadium in the NFL could be used as possible template or influence for a hypothetical remodel of MaCafee Coliseum?

I seem to recall a similar discussion on this blog sometime last year with Heinz or LP Field as possibilities.

anon-a-mouse said...

I don't think LA not having a team yet means it's not a good market for football (or more precisely that the NFL isn't sure it's a good market). The NFL is used to cities bending over just for the possibility that they'll come. LA isn't playing that game. They're saying: if you want to come, you get it built. We're not paying for it. The NFL isn't used to this and I don't think they quite know how to approach it. But I don't think there's any doubt that the NFL wants back into LA.

Anonymous said...

Arnold wants two NFL teams in LA and I think seeing the Raiders join the Chargers in a new stadium in LA is more likely than going in on a deal with the 49ers. The comparison to the Jets and Giants isn't the same because that stadium is being built right next to the old one that the two teams have shared since the mid 80s when the Jets left Shea. Davis doesn't seem to want to share a market, so the Coliseum being renovated after the A's leave is probably the most likeley scenerio especially since half of it is already a modern football stadium being built in the mid 90s. But if the Raiders were to relocate, LA is the proven market for the Raiders even if it meant moving in with the Chargers who look like they will be moving to LA. The Raiders have played in LA before, and Santa Clara has never had one team and now it would have two?

I have made it sound like the Chargers in LA are a done deal. To me its very likely because theres been such a push to get a team back to LA and San Diego doesn't want to pay for a new Chargers stadium. Given the close proximity and the costs of a new stadium LA seems like the logical home of the future for the Chargers. However, if San Diego gets a deal done and the Raiders are still looking for a deal, then LA seems very lucrative for the Raiders to have to themselves.