Raiders owner wants new stadium that’s same size as old Coliseum, on Coliseum site, just not the Coliseum

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis gave an interview to’s Paul Gutierrez this weekend, in which he said, among other things, that he doesn’t intend to share the San Francisco 49ers‘ new stadium in Santa Clara, and wants to build a new stadium on the site of the Oakland Coliseum:

Oakland is absolutely where we would prefer to get something done. And it would be on that specific site. There’s definitely issues that go along with that. We’ve been meeting with the city and the county.

That “specific site” comment apparently means where the Coliseum is now, not in the parking lot. And that has some people flipping out that it would force the A’s to relocate. Oakland councilmember Larry Reid even hinted that A’s owner Lew Wolff could use this as leverage to force MLB to approve a move to San Jose: “Lew Wolff would be happy if that was the scenario that played out. He could tell Major League Baseball, ‘See, they didn’t want us. Look what they’re doing for the Raiders.'”

It’s actually pretty unlikely that Selig would care about any of this — or, really, anything other than Wolff and the San Francisco Giants owners working out a price tag for territorial rights to San Jose — but it makes for helpfully scary headlines for Wolff, if nothing else. Not addressed by anyone, seemingly, is where the heck the Raiders would play while Mount Davis was being demolished and a new stadium erected in its stead. Davis was pretty clear that sharing Santa Clara is out — “[It’s] going to be red and gold, they’re going to have the Joe Montana hotel across the street” — which leaves … Candlestick Park? UC-Berkeley? Seriously, has anyone even hinted at anything about this?

And speaking of Mount Davis, the luxury-seating tower’s namesake (or son of its namesake, anyway) dropped this bomb about the 1990s remodeling of the Coliseum that produced it:

I’ve come to the conclusion that a 53,000-seat stadium, that we played in from the 60’s and all that, is basically what our market is. We’re not an 80,000-seat stadium, we’re not a 65,000-seat stadium, really, unless you’re winning every game and all that stuff. But those aren’t the hardcore fans that are there … for us the 53,000–seat stadium is good and maybe 5,000 club seats bring it up to 58,000 seats. But in all those years, I think when we moved back (to Oakland) we overbuilt the market, so to speak.

In other words: “Hey, Oakland, remember that ginormous seating tower we made you spent $200 million to build in order to get us to move back from Los Angeles, and which helped spur the A’s to demand a new stadium that wasn’t hideously ugly for baseball? Turns out we didn’t need it after all. But hey, everybody makes mistakes, right? Anyway, now we want a smaller stadium after all, so be a doll and give us $300 million to knock down this oversized one and build us one that’s just right, okay?”

25 comments on “Raiders owner wants new stadium that’s same size as old Coliseum, on Coliseum site, just not the Coliseum

  1. Absolutely nothing about this makes any sense at face value. Davis has to have a deal to sell a share of the team and move to LA. And I assume that’s also the case with the Chargers goofy proposal this week.

  2. You know, just going to throw it out there, maybe marketing your stadium crowd as the world’s roughest biker bar doesn’t attract season ticket holders.

  3. @neil- Davis said he wouldn’t share the 9ers new stadium long term but he didn’t say anything about an interim home while the Coli is being redone. He and the ‘9ershave a good working relationship so I am sure he could live with red and gold for a few years. Having said this I don’t see how Oakland can get this done-my guess is he is showing that he made an attempt and it didn’t work so he would be cleared to move.

  4. I really don’t see the leverage Davis has here. They haven’t had a winning season since 2002. Would it really be so horrible if the Raiders left town?

  5. Still no suitable place to play in LA. Still no sign that either of the “frontrunner” stadium projects will ever actually happen.

    Davis & Spanos might or might not want to move to LA and might or might not think they can get permission from the league to do so. But I’m pretty sure neither one of them wants to play in the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum indefinitely just so they can say “we’re here”.

    LA often gets portrayed like the spurned former lover who will do anything to get the NFL back. It’s not true. Thus far, they haven’t been willing to kick in very much at all toward any of the stadium projects put forward. Maybe Angelinos don’t love the NFL the way the NFL thinks… plus, they can watch whatever they want so long as there isn’t a “local” team they are blacked out for. Maybe not having their own team is working out for them just fine…

  6. The NFL will never give the Davis family G-4, G-5, G-whatever money to move to LA. It will not happen.

    The Raiders will be the 9ers tenants, just accept it.

  7. For the Raiders, the nice thing about replacing the Coliseum is that they wouldn’t need to do an EIR. The land is already entitled for a stadium with a certain capacity and height. A second stadium would trigger the need for a review of some kind. But There’s no way the Raiders and A’s can continue to operate jointly at the Coliseum if the Raiders’ wish is granted.

  8. Lew Wollf did not lie…if the East Bay had a viable site, Bud’s Blue Ribbon Committee would have told us about it no later than Christmas 2009. Instead, it’s complete, dead silence. The committee found the same thing Wolff did – no viable sites. And then started looking at San Jose. Thus sending Bud running for cover from the Giants and too terrified to do anything “in the best interests of baseball.”

  9. If Oakland builds them a new stadium theymshould incorporate Mount Davis into it and thatmshould save alot of $$$$$$$.

  10. Regarding where the Raiders would play while the stadium is being demolished and the new one being built, there is precedence.

    When the Seahawks got over on the Seattle taxpayers, they had to demolish the Kingdome and build on that site. In the meantime, they played at UW.

    The Bears played all the way down in Champagne-Urbana which is closer to St. Louis and they did that for a year or 2 since the new stadium was being integrated in and around the old Soldier Field.

    The Raiders will most likely play at Cal if any of this comes to fruition.

    But all in all, I agree in that NFL stadiums are the biggest waste of public funds around. I don’t care how popular the game is. In fact, the popularity of the game is reason why there is no need for new stadiums if you think about it but here is why they are even less needed than new stadiums and arenas in other sports…

    1) They only play 10 games a year plus playoffs. Baseball stadiums are guaranteed a minimum of 81 games plus playoffs. NBA and NHL arenas sometimes host over 200 events a year.

    2) There are rarely other tenants other than the NFL team so the other 355 days of the year, the place is for the most part dark. As mentioned before, arenas sometimes have both the NHL and NBA plus a major college, minor league hockey, the WNBA and arena football as well as 100 other events.

    3) They cost twice as much as baseball stadiums and sometimes 3 times as much as NBA/NHL arenas.

    4) NFL teams are already making a ton of money off of TV. Game day sales don’t run the league like TV does so there is less need for a newer, revenue generating stadium to be competitive and profit. The Niners were in the Super Bowl AND very profitable despite being in a “dump”.

  11. @Shawn

    Agreed. If this does happen, they should at least demolish the baseball side and replicate Mt. Davis on the other side and then have end zone seats to get seating over 50,000. By doing that, you already have a 3rd of the stadium completed. I have to think that would save at least $200 million.

  12. Keep the silver and black circus out of LA. That organization has no one else to blame but themselves. Al should’ve signed the contract the the Hollywood Park deal 20 year ago.

  13. Correction is should be “Al should’ve signed the contract on the Hollywood Park Stadium deal 20 year ago.”

  14. Shawn/Trueblood: Agreed. If any of this ever actually happens, the Raiders/city should simply duplicate Mt Davis on the other side and fill in end zone seating as required (if required)…

    Not so sure about the EIR requirements… environmental laws surrounding development tend to apply differently to significant renovations and demolition/ground up rebuilds. I am not familiar enough with California law to know the answer… but the question is, would a 3/4 demolished Oakland-Alameda coliseum actually be considered a renovation (particularly given the fact that the 1/4 that isn’t being demolished wasn’t part of the original construction either) or a new building? As a stadium already exists there, some of the requirements could be waived (traffic studies etc), but probably not all. My bet would be it would be considered new construction, but who really knows.

    As I recall, Marine Layer did some interesting work in regards to building a new NFL stadium “inside” the existing coliseum. I don’t remember the exact details, but his site did make it appear as though a good part of the construction could be done in the off season (IE: the endzone work), leaving the Raiders homeless for only 1 season while the Mt. Davis copy (or whatever) was built on the opposite side.

    If that’s accurate, I can think of worse outcomes for the Raiders…

  15. Can’t imagine the city, the University or the neighbors would go for the Raiders playing 10 games at Memorial Stadium.

  16. Tim, they wouldn’t. My understanding is part of the agreement that allowed Memorial Stadium to be renovated, despite being on a major faultline, was that no NFL team could play there and the stadium can only host a certain number of events and night events each year. Cal is not an option. If the Raiders want to play somewhere temporarily it’ll be down in Santa Clara or possibly Stanford (assuming they’re amenable).

  17. as a lifelong raider fan I do feel it is time the silver and black got a new stadium. despite the history we have with Oakland alameda coliseum, the venerable coliseum has served its purpose. we are a 21st century team playing in an outdated venue whose time has come and gone.

  18. Maybe that’s been Obama’s problem all along: He’s a 21st-century president serving in a 19th-century White House.

  19. Sigh. All this arguing. Can’t we all just get along and agree that what the Raiders really need is a huge infusion of public stadium cash? What’s good for NFL billionaires is good for America!

  20. @John Bladen: re your Sept 10th comments:

    You are very much right. Yes, there is contingent of LA residents who want the NFL back in town, but they are of moderate size and shrinking every year. LA politicians and businessmen are the ones who most love to talk about the NFL because 1) it gets their names in the papers and evening news and 2) if by some chance a stadium ever DOES get built, Councilman John Doe or whatever can get out their megaphone and say ” I was the catalyst for all this! ME ME ME.” or a small-timer like Ed Roski can immediately become a Somebody in a town where that’s getting harder to do every day.

    It’s all smoke an mirrors!

    LA has done quite well without the NFL for almost 20 years now, and as long as would-be developers keep asking for public handouts — even if it’s just for “maintenance to the surrounding area” — its going to continue to do quite well without it.

  21. I think this is where Oakland Mayor Jean Quan says….(ahem) OUT! GET OUT OF MY TOWN! YOU’RE MORE TROUBLE THAN YOU’RE WORTH! OUT INTO THE COLD!!!

  22. None of these articles speculate how many hundreds of millions the NFL will charge any prospective team ready to move into the L.A. market. I doubt Davis has the funds to pay a relocation fee ON TOP of getting a SoCal stadium built. I say call his bluff, Oakland/Alameda County…Also, if this new stadium is such a great deal…why isn’t he taking a 100% interest in it? Why include taxpayers? Answer: Because it’s a shitty proposition. Hey, I’ve rooted for the Raiders since 1970. I will always follow them. But I’m a taxpayer and I know when I’m being played.