Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis gave an interview to ESPN.com’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?”