04 January 2009

Another slice of Raiders may be for sale

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that the Raiders are in talks to sell at least 10% of team to a group of LA-based investors. As usual, Raider management has steadfastly denied the rumor.

The real issue here is that of controlling interest of the team, which has been in Al Davis's hands for more than three decades. It's difficult to see Davis as a figurehead given his penchant for meddling in everything from personnel moves and gameplans to stadium deals, even with his somewhat advanced age and health concerns.

Unfortunately for Davis, he doesn't hold many cards. The chances of Davis getting a stadium deal in the LA area without ceding control are slim. The NFL's G3 loan program has dried up and talk of a new fund has been tabled as the league bundles up for a cold economic winter. There are no Irwindales out there willing to give him a fat check, and the only stadium deal on the horizon is Ed Roski's plan in City of Industry, which would be privately financed. Roski, according to the LA Times, is quietly pursuing a team. Couple that with Roger Goodell's curious December visit to Oakland, and it would appear that something is happening behind the scenes.

While Roski and his SoCal cohorts get their affairs in order, talks continue between the Raiders, Oakland, and the Coliseum Authority. Of course, if Davis needed a cash infusion to keep the team going, how would he have the cash needed to get a Coliseum revamp or new stadium started?

Our two local NFL teams are in a similar position economically. They won't admit it, but either would love the other to leave posthaste as it would help crystallize support for their own local stadium efforts. Yet they must both look at Roski's vision and see dollar signs. Both ownership groups want to hold on with a death grip, but may not be able to in order to move or even get a stadium deal done locally without ceding control. And both teams have been woefully mismanaged over the past decade. There's a race here, but I'm not sure what it's for.


BleacherDave said...

Amazing new factoid: No other stadium in the leagues has been the home of more WS champions than the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Preserve America's historical landmarks!

Marine Layer said...

Amazing how that reasoning isn't helping Yankee Stadium. Or Shea. Or Texas Stadium. Or the Boston Garden.

Anonymous said...

I've thought for quite awhile that a Raiders move back down south is a fait accompli - so can Lew make his vision that he had for the property next to the coliseum work?

The one where he was going to use the parcels, including the flea market site?

Marine Layer said...

The "Coliseum North" plan only involved the original Coliseum insofar as parking was concerned. The stadium and arena were left untouched partly to satisfy the W's and Raiders.

The landowners of many of the sites Wolff would've needed to piece together the concept weren't willing to sell and definitely not for cheap. That issue wouldn't go away just because the Raiders conveniently skipped town. And there isn't enough land at the Coliseum to replace it.

Dan said...

Dave, Fenway Park actually has the honor of the most World Series wins for a current stadium at 6 in 1912, 15, 16, 18, 2004 and 2007.

Anonymous said...

The Raiders have now denied Espn's Chris Mortensen claim that the team is trying to sell a percentage of controlling interest in Raider ownership to a group led by C. Dean Metropoulos.

Al Davis or the Davis Family will not sell any controlling interest in the team. They will sell to parties "non controlling" interest in the team however. The Raiders are still trying to get something done stadium wise in the East Bay but the A's are really holding things up.

Then there is the purposed Roski Stadium deal in LA. Roski wants a percentage of controlling interest in any NFL team that winds up playing in his purposed stadium which eliminates the Raiders as a possible candidate. Roski's however are close friends with the Spanos, owners of the Chargers which would suggest a possible move by the Chargers to LA if the Roski stadium is built.

Transic said...

Things have become more interesting on the 49ers stadium front: