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26 January 2009

NFL encourages Niners and Raiders to shack up

This isn't difficult, folks. NFL stadia are expensive, at least twice as much as MLB ballparks due to all of the associated costs. It makes sense for both teams in a two-team market to explore ways the mitigate cost. Carl Goldberg of the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority says it best:
"It's unreasonable to think that each of these individual franchises would be able to invest the billion dollars necessary to build a new stadium alone," said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, which owns the land under the new Jets-Giants stadium. "The whole thing seems to be a horrible waste. Let's not forget that they only play 10 games per year per franchise. Doesn't it make more sense to build a better facility, with better fan appeal and a better fan experience, for both teams?"
This is not rocket science. It makes sense. It won't destroy the "legacies" of the two teams if done correctly.

Update 1/26 9:42 a.m.: Per Hal Ramey's interview with Jed York (via John Ryan's article), the 49ers have dropped their request for redevelopment funds from $130-160 million to $28-45 million. Part of this reduction may have come from certain parts of the project being left aside, such as movement of the onsite PG&E substation (funny how that's a recurring theme). Movement of the stadium to the overflow parking site just across the street from team headquarters would allow them to forego the substation move. From the beginning I've advocated this option because simply put, the overflow lot doesn't get much use. The original plan had the stadium on a lot immediately north of the Great America entrance, which made little sense (especially for Cedar Fair).

The rest of the reduction could be attributed to lower construction costs. I've heard figures of contracts going for 20% lower right now as opposed to this time last year. This drop could last as long as the recession or longer, so teams looking to build, such as the A's and Niners, should feel sufficiently spurred on by the prospect of a less expensive stadium.

34 comments:

Zonis said...

use enough digital signage, and on gameday no one will know the other team plays there.

Jesse said...

good one Zonis. Sharing a stadium cant hurt their legacy more than playing in two antiquated embarrassments will. We know Candlestick will be torn down, but what will happen to the Coliseum?

Anonymous said...

My guess, Jesse, is that within five years, the Raiders will be back down in Southern California, and if the Santa Clara project falls through, which at this point is quite a pipe dream, the Niners will take a close look at the Coliseum, with another remodel.

Marine Layer posted about a remodel of the Coliseum for football only.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Raiders will be down in LA at all.

There's still no stadium and they sell out more in Oakland then they ever did in LA!

Jesse said...

Why couldnt the Niners and Raiders work on a Coliseum remodel together? The Coliseum is a perfect stadium location. Share Candlestick for a couple of years and then move into a state of the art Coliseum redo.

Anonymous said...

Hi 5:56 & Jesse, 5:20 here.

The reason I think the Raiders are more likely to pull up stakes and leave again is that even though they came back home to Oakland, Al Davis still believes Los Angeles to be an untapped market - an untapped market that belongs to him, the court ruling against him notwithstanding.

The thing about the NFL encouraging the Raiders and Niners to work togther in sharing a new stadium, well, that's the exact reason the Raiders ended coming back up to Oakland.

Back before the move back home, the Raiders were going to move into a new football stadium at Hollywood Park.

In fact, the Hollywood Park option was in play until right up until the Raiders committed to Oakland, and Al Davis said the only reason he came back to Oakland and NOT Hollywood Park was because the league imposed a condition of having a second team sharing the stadium.
Kind of what is being suggested now.

Al Davis, senile old goat that he may be now, was a visionary in that he saw the revenue streams from luxury suite sales before just about anyone else. When the LA Coliseum promised to build them for the Raiders, he bolted.

Don't imagine for a second that Davis or his successors would not bolt again for southern California for a stadium that they would not have to share with anyone, immediately placing the franchise on a big market level par with those in New York and Chicago.

Add to that the fact that Amy Trask, along with Davis have Los Angeles (USC) roots, and it's not hard to imagine them moving into the proposed stadium Ed Roski is trying to build in the City of Industry - where they just approved a bond measure to help finance and NFL stadium.

Finally, (and sorry for the longwinded post), the thing that always bothered me most about the return of the Raiders was the relatively short term of the lease; I mean, jeez, the lease is up in a couple of years it wasnt even a twenty year lease.

I think I have convinced myself they are going to leave again in order to not take it so hard if they do. I was crushed when they left for Los Angeles in 1982; I never saw it coming - NOBODY did. If they leave again, at least I will have seen it coming.

The move opened the doors for the Colts, Browns, Oilers and others to move (it has always bothered me that many sportswriters bemoaned the moves of teams like the Colts and Browns but never gave a fig about the Raiders abandoning Oakland).

bartleby said...

The Coliseum is a good stadium location, but hardly perfect. Santa Clara has several significant advantages for a shared Raider-Niner Stadium:

1. It's more "neutral turf" from the perspective of each team's fans. Niner fans will mind less going to Santa Clara than to Oakland.

2. It's closer to the corporate money that will drive club seat and suite sales for both teams.

Jeffrey said...

bart,

I don't think your reasons are good actually.

1. Is an emotional argument that holds little water with me. 49ers fans and Raiders fans come form all over Northern California. Driving to Oakland vs. Driving to San Francisco vs. Driving to Santa Clara makes little difference.

2. As with the Warriors and Sharks, it makes little difference how close the corporate ticket holders offices are to the venue when there is only one venue to buy tickets for in the entire region.

Dan said...

Has anyone considered however that Santa Clara would likely NOT want the Raiders coming to their fair city? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Raiders fans could get over sharing a stadium with the Niners and having to trek to Santa Clara. But I don't think Santa Clara could get over having their city invaded 8 or more times by the Raider Nation and their shall we say, more colorful elements. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that bring guns to and use them in the parking lot, smoke copious amounts of pot and other illegal drugs, fight, drink like the 18th amendment is going back into effect the next day, etc...

Anonymous said...

Santa Clara Site is getting the attention it deserves!

I agree w/ the NFL!The Santa Clara is perfect for a combined project. The Santa Clara site has all the infrastructure already in place and was built for major Entertainment Venues: Santa Clara Convention Center, Great America Amusement Park and The Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park.

The SANTA CLARA site is unmatched 8 lane Great Ameica Parkway w/ two Major Freeways, lightrail and Train service at the site would handle traffic well (especially on Sundays w/ most of the work force off).

When Schott was running the A's team during its very successful playoff run years he chose the Santa Clara site as his number #1 location and that totally make sense for anyone who has ever studied ballpark sites and backed it up w/ expert data. Santa Clara is by far the best site for any sports ballpark and stadium.

It is to bad Lew can not convince MLB like the 49ers did w/ the NFL. I think the A's Ballpark would work o.k. in Fremont or even in (downtown) San Jose were voters soundly defeated a ballpark measure and have additional pending financial concerns. In Santa Clara there is more than enough room (Santa Clara owns over 200+ acres out in this area and with infrastructure and roads aleady in place, it would save millions of dollars. Not to mention that Santa Clara has already set a side $40+ million for another parking structure.

Santa Clara makes sense but not always does the best site get chose, I am glad the NFL see Santa Clara as the answer!


Gary

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary(Anon 3:17), if you think Santa Clara/Great America is a better location than SJ/Diridon for a baseball stadium, then pass whatever you are smoking over here. I agree that for NFL its PERFECT. But better than Diridon for MLB?? WOW!! Do I have to remind you that Diridon has Cal Train, light rail, Amtrack, Capitol Coridor, Ace, future BART and HSR? Not to mention its in an URBAN location where most succesful ballparks are located. Cisco Field at Great America is just as hilarious as Cisco Field at PC or WS.....lol... Be happy its getting looked at for NFL and call it a day bud..lol

Anonymous said...

Humor me for a moment--If the Raiders were to decide to up and move back to LA, would the A's be willing to stay in Oakland? Would they be happy with a re-build of the Coliseum like they did in Anaheim after the Rams left? Would that be cheaper than building a new stadium in Fremont?

MIke in MN said...

Anon 5:08

Unlikely. The costs to renovate the coliseum with all the suites/ club seats/ etc would likely be almost as high as starting from scratch with Cisco Field. The difference with Angels Stadium is that it was originally built for baseball (Dodger Stadium Lite), and then expanded/enclosed for the Rams. The coliseum will always be a circular, multi-purpose designed stadium, with massive foul territory, etc.

Marine Layer said...

Nope. The A's have a laundry list of dozens of "deficiencies" they've identified with the Coliseum. Remember that the Coliseum's first mission was to serve as a football stadium, not a baseball stadium. I went into this in detail here. Beyond that, the way the club areas and suites are laid out is outdated and would require major changes.

Then there's the political reality. Even if a stadium deal were struck between Ed Roski and Al Davis tomorrow, they couldn't start playing before the 2012 season due to construction lead time. Roski's not going to build his stadium on spec, so he'll wait for someone to commit to him, which will only push that date out further. That timeline is couldn't be encouraging for the A's.

On the flipside, the Coliseum has "free" land. But there's no clear financing path, and there'd have to be a way to pay off the still-lingering debt associated with Mt. Davis.

bartleby said...

Jeffrey,

1. Yes, it's an emotional argument, and one that does not hold water with me, either. But you're kidding yourself if you don't think it's real.

A quick check of various fan blogs shows that a lot of fans of both teams have trouble with the idea of sharing a stadium to begin with. Having to travel to the enemy's turf just makes that pill harder to swallow.

49er fans, especially, have a problem with the idea of the Niners playing in Oakland, no matter how much sense it might make. In part, it's an elitist, class thing.


2. Having only one NFL venue in the region would certainly mitigate the effect of distance on sales, but it would not eliminate it. You can be the only game in town, but if the hassle factor is high enough a certain percentage of prospective customers will simply not buy.

The Raiders in particular currently struggle to sell suites. You can bet they'd have a much easier time of it in Santa Clara than they do in Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Hi ML,

I wrote the longwinded post at 753 last night as to why I think the Raiders will move back down south.

What is your best guess with regards to where the Raiders (and Niners for that matter) end up playing.

Btw, the Raiders can move back into the LA Coliseum while the Industry site is prepared, as soon as their lease is up here.

I'd love to see some speculative evidence (which is all any of us have, myself included) as to why they will remain in the Bay Area, but as I said last night, Al Davis sees Southern California as a way to make his franchise consistently competitive due to the large revenues he would generate down there.

I know, I know, you still have to spend it wisely, and the guy certainly has not done that lately, but he's never once committed to the Bay Area when interviewed. Even when they came back, he was asked if he regretted moving down south, and he gave a kind of non answer in that he regretted it inasmuch as it affected the team and its readiness to play, but he never said he regretted moving down there.

bartleby said...

Dan,

First off, have you ever even been to a Raiders game? As a fourteen year season ticket holder who has been to twenty other NFL stadia, I can tell you that game day conduct at the Coliseum is no worse than just about any other NFL stadium (and a heck of a lot better than many).

Second, the parking lot incident you're talking about involved someone who didn't even go to the game. It had more to do with the neighborhood the Coliseum is located in than the Raider fanbase who might attend games in Santa Clara. The SF Giants have had SEVERAL similar violent incidents in their parking lot. In the interest of fairness, are you going to start slandering Giants fans as a gang of thugs and ruffians as well?

Third of all, the point is somewhat moot. As soon as they build a new stadium, a lot of the existing fanbase is going to be priced out of going to games and replaced by well-heeled techies. This is basically what happened in Foxboro, Phillie, and even AT&T Park. The good citizens of Santa Clara have little to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Please complete the stadium parking survey
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Ln99Fzf56VJRR7o05JrQtg_3d_3d
Thank you

Marine Layer said...

Whoever posted the survey link - Please identify your organization and explain how the survey info is going to be used.

Dan said...

bartleby,
Yes I have been to many Raiders and Niners games over the years. And based on my own first hand experiences I can say that the clientel is vastly different at Raiders games compared to Niners games. You may discount the ruffians and scofflaws that attend Raiders games in far greater number but I most definitely don't. And it appears that the residents around the Santa Clara site don't either.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_11559430

And as for the parking lot incident being between folks not going to the game, what does that matter. Fact is they were drawn to the game by the Raiders and were at the stadium even if not inside it. Fact is that even if the stadium in Santa Clara wasn't already DOA, adding the Raiders into the mix is doing even more harm than good. But as has been mentioned, it's a moot point. The Raiders will be gone back to LA long before any stadium opens in the Bay Area for a football team.

Anonymous said...

I am a Fremont resident who want the A's move to Fremont. I created the survey. This survey will help solves the parking problems at Pacific Commons. I just need to know how to prevent people to park at Pacific Commons.

Transic said...

Look at it this way. The Giants and Jets couldn't get a new stadium in New York City. So they moved to New Jersey: first the Giants because NJ gave them a very good deal with the original Giants Stadium; the Jets followed them when the owner at that time couldn't stand Shea Stadium any more.

Four years ago, the Jets tried to move back into the city, but powerful political forces combined with dogged activism worked to stop a stadium on the Manhattan West Side dead cold. Meanwhile, the Giants wanted a stadium that has a lot more luxury boxes than the current place and questions over whether they could afford that. Enter the partnership with the Jets.

Two "New York" teams forced to share a common location in another state because of circumstances beyond their control.

As to the on-again, off-again question on L.A. football, well, if we are to believe the reports, I think that the people behind the new football stadium project have found themselves in a buyers' market right now. They're in a position right now of not having to take the first offer made to them. When you have at least six clubs who are rumored for a move there, it makes no sense to limit yourself to one. Therefore, they may afford to not take in the Raiders and all that is associated with them when there's a team a little more to the south of them that would fill that role quite nicely (and whose roots started in L.A. to boot).

Another thing to consider: the site of the proposed stadium is right by the 9ers practice facilities. Do the Raiders want to move to where it is perceived to be 9ers territory?

Tony D. said...

Dan,
The Merc article is in regards to "Mixed reactions," key word being "mixed," meaning some SC folks are for and some against shared stadium. Nice try at trying to paint all SC residents as being anti-Raider.

For the record, I'm a Raiders fan who never really cared for the Niners or the false "Dan" perception that all Raider fans are thugs and drunks. But I love the idea of a shared SC stadium! If the NFL encourages it, bet on it happening.

By the way, I don't see the NFL encouraging the Raiders to move back to LA; what's with all this BS Dan that somehow the Raiders will be back in SoCal? Waiting patiently for your links and sources. I can hear it now..."YOUR SAN JOSE RAIDERS!"

mrdutta2004 said...

As someone who lives in LA currently but originally from Milpitas, I have come to realize that nobody here cares to have an NFL team put in place. This is Los Angeles, where the day after the Lakers were ousted from the NBA finals not a single word was mentioned, nor were there any unhappy faces to be seen. These people at least have the USC Trojans to be proud of in regards to football. As for the City of Industry, you might as well call the team the IE Raiders if they move there, because it is way out there.

Dan said...

Tony, seems to me reading the article there are some supporters, but they're businesses around the site, not residents. The opposition on the other hand appears to consist of the neighborhoods around the potential stadium site, and a large number of Santa Clara residents who don't want their tax money wasted on rich people.

As for the "false" perception that Raiders fans are thugs, I just call it like I see it. I've smelled the pot at every Raiders game I've been to, seen the fights (multiple at each game) at every Raiders game I've been to, etc... Now if they're the exception to the rule fine, but fact is the Raiders draw in these nutjobs and would continue to do so in Santa Clara just as they do in Oakland and just as they did in LA.

And speaking of LA, it's not the NFL encouraging them to go there, it'll be Al and his son along with Ed Roskie (sp?). There's a giant NFL ready stadium going up in LA and some NFL team will have to fill it. And in the end it's going to come down to the Raiders, Niners or Chargers. And the latter two are at least exploring a new stadium. The Raiders have said nothing on moving to Santa Clara or having any interest in working with the Niners, and have no stadium plan of their own.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Santa Clara site is ideal--and by sharing the stadium you have doubled the revenue over what was initially proposed.

I have no sense of whether or not it is supported by Santa Clara residents or not--but I have to believe that the majority would welcome a $1B plus investment in their city--especially now. Best part is we will see in November when the residents vote on the measure.

Jeffrey said...

Dan,

You seem to value your opinion much over facts... which you use fairly loosely. There is no NFL stadium "going up" in LA.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jerfry,

The City of Industry just approved bonds to finance infrastructure for a stadium there.

As to what team relocates there, who's to say, but it is interesting that the Chargers are going to start marketing to LA and Orange Counties.

bartleby said...

Dan,

The fact that the incident in the Coli parking lot involved a non-fan is significant. The Coli is in a bad neighborhood. Crime happens in bad neighborhoods. Ticket buying fans may follow the Raiders to Santa Clara, but that does not mean that neighborhood criminals will follow the team to Santa Clara.

Further, you have completely ignored my point that there have been TWO homicides in the Giants parking lot at AT&T park in the last five years. In 2004 there was a stabbing death. In 2008 there was a fight which resulted in a kid getting his head smashed against the curb. In both of those cases, the people involved HAD attended the game. Are you willing to make negative characterizations about Giants fans and/or the City of San Francisco based on these incidents?

Personally, I'm not. Every time there is an NFL or MLB game anywhere in the country, a small-city's worth of people come together in one spot. Crime happens in cities. There are going to be some incidents.

I seriously question the assertion that you've witnessed "multiple fights per game" at the Coliseum. I've been to most of the games over the past fourteen years, and can recall witnessing maybe a dozen fights in that entire time. I go to a lot of other NFL stadia, and on any given Sunday, you'll find worse behavior in Philly, Foxboro, Cleveland or New York than you'll find in Oakland.

Yeah, the fan base at the Coli is different than at the Stick: It's a lot more energetic and a lot more passionate. It's also a lot more diverse and a lot more blue-collar. My sense is that many of those who slander Raiders fans as thugs and ruffians are either (a) ill-informed, and parroting what they hear in the media; or (b) using the team as cover to express their own elitist prejudices.

And yeah, there may be some opposition in Santa Clara for these same reasons. I hope that in the end, reason and fairness (or at least simple greed) will prevail over these biases.

Jeffrey said...

There is a large difference between bonds being approved, and EIR certified and a stadium "going up."

Anonymous said...

"There is a large difference between bonds being approved, and EIR certified and a stadium "going up.""

That's true, Jeffrey, but consider the location - Industry - a city with under one hundred residents that is chock full of well...industry. I highly doubt an EIR in this location will be much of a problem. It's already zoned appropriately, and citizen opposition will be pretty negligible, as borne out by the fact that 80 percent of them voted for the bonds.

Dan - I've seen fights at Candlestick as well as the Coliseum. Fact is there are rowdys in most of the stadiums today. Far worse than Coliseum, was the Vet in Philly. Heck they even had a court in the bowels of the stadium to help take care of the hooligans.

Jeffrey said...

To be clear, I understand the particulars of the City of Industry. I have read plenty about it here and on other web sites.

I do believe that if a team committed to moving there, the satdium would eb built with little hassle.

That said, there is no stadium at present and no concrete plan to start building the stadium. It is not "going up" as we speak and it won't be until there is a tenant.

bbison said...

Can someone explain to me why the Raiders need a new stadium? (Yes, I've attended games there.) The Niners don't have the suites/club seats like the Coliseum; they have an old stadium in a a transit-unfriendly site with lots of mud parking. I can see why they need one. But for football, what is so bad about the Coliseum that a few creature-comfort upgrades couldn't fix?

To me, it's like the discussion I have with my 7 and 9 year olds on the difference between "need" and "want." Is it just because everybody else in the league is getting/has gotten a new one?

bartleby said...

The Raiders need a new stadium for several reasons:

1. Sightlines are lousy and seating is far from the field due to the fact that it is a multi-purpose stadium.

2. Concourses are overcrowded and building is dingy, dark and depressing.

I have been to twenty different NFL stadia, 17 of which are still active. Of these, only Candlestick offers a crappier experience.

Bottom line, the game day experience is subpar compared to the vast majority of NFL stadia. This impacts both the Raiders ability to sell tickets and the price that can be charged for them.

Yes, there are club seats and suites, but it is hard to charge premium prices for what is not a premium experience. Club seats at the Coliseum sell for less than half the price of club seats at most new peer venues, and even so do not always sell out.

As a result, despite surprising success selling out games the last two years, the Raiders still rank at the bottom of the league in revenue. Over the long haul, this affects their ability to compete on the field. The question, "Is it just because everybody else in the league is getting/has gotten a new one?" is a bit glib, but basically the answer is yes.