Raiders owner Davis wants A’s offa his damn lawn

Sunday is the fifth anniversary of Bud Selig appointing a three-man “blue ribbon” committee to decide the future home of the Oakland A’s, and I really hope you’re not expecting any news on that front, because that’s not happening no matter how many times sportswriters predict it. There were some A’s-related rumblings this week, though, from another direction:

Raiders owner Mark Davis said Monday that he and the A’s seem to be playing tug-of-war over the future of the Coliseum site and that it’s almost impossible to see how both teams win.

Simply put, if the A’s get the 10-year lease extension they are seeking in lieu of a move to San Jose, the Raiders’ push to get a new stadium built on the site in the Coliseum City project would be severely affected.

Um, yeah, right, it would be tough to tear down the Coliseum and build a new football stadium if the A’s are still playing there. Not that the Coliseum exactly needs to be torn down for this to work — there should be enough room to build a football stadium in the Coliseum parking lot — but if Davis wants to play negotiating hardball, he’s welcome to do so. Even if it’s a bit unclear what he’s playing hardball for — to get the Raiders’ stadium demands ahead of the A’s on Oakland’s agenda, I guess?

The Port of Oakland, meanwhile, is moving ahead with its Howard Terminal stadium plan that A’s owner Lew Wolff absolutely hates, while Wolff still has his sights set on San Jose, which MLB has shown no inclination to let him have. Selig’s promise that he’ll “work out something” by the end of this year is looking less and less likely to pan out.

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10 comments on “Raiders owner Davis wants A’s offa his damn lawn

  1. The Raiders drew 403,000 fans last year, the A’s drew 1.8 million. All things considered I know which one I’d front money for if I was interested in a city paying for something, monster truck rallies be damned.

  2. Deelron: Exactly right. As a fan, I always felt the Raiders “belonged” in Oakland (yes, I know, I know… not a strong negotiating position). That said, there is just no argument that the Raiders are anything like as important a business to the city as the A’s are.

    We can argue all day long about what the actual economic benefits of sports teams are, but it’s clear that a team that plays 81 games in its host city is a better bet than one that plays 8 there… particularly given the fact that new stadia for MLB run about half the cost of NFL calibre facilities.

    Better return, lower cost. Easy math.

  3. errr…. make that “better potential return on investment”… I don’t wish to suggest that there is any guarantee of return on a baseball stadium, as many cities have managed to negotiate deals which see them not only pay all upfront costs, but also effectively subsidize their tenant’s operation on an ongoing basis as well…

    “… Sunday is the fifth anniversary of…”

    Neil, do you know if there will be cake?

  4. If the recent Forbes article is to be believed, then the A’s are doing quite nicely in the “dilapidated” Coliseum (I appear to be one of the very few who actually likes the Coliseum) with an Operating Profit exceeding $27 million. Revenue sharing or not, the team on and off the field is doing very well in Oakland.

    For the Raiders, why move to LA when you can set up shop across the Bay in Santa Clara? If Mark Davis is so PO’d about playing football in the Coliseum, why isn’t he at least open to the idea of playing at Levi Strauss Stadium?

  5.  The threat of LA to the Raiders is like the threat of San Jose to the A’s in the eyes of Oakland. Oakland will not take it seriously as there are major hurdles with the league in both cases.

    Oakland and Quan especially lag because they know Davis won’t move in with the 49ers out of pure stubbornness and stupidity. That coupled with the fact the O.Co Coliseum is still far nicer than anything LA currently offers with the Rose Bowl. The LA Coliseum is now off limits to the NFL.

    The real threat if Davis was smart is Levi’s Stadium if he truly wanted leverage. He should negotiate a 5-10 year lease agreement with the 49ers and then hold Oakland hostage. The threat of playing 35 miles away would make Oakland move a whole lot faster in this process than they are now.

    It would be an embarrassment more so to Oakland than Davis in reality to move to Levi’s. In Santa Clara, the Raiders would get a state of the art stadium to play in making zero capital investment while Oakland would be sitting on the Mt. Davis debt with unwilling tenant in the A’s.

    That is negotiation 101, something Mark Davis does not understand because he never made his “own money”.

    So why move forward at Davis’ pace? Davis is barking a bunch of BS and Oakland/Quan know it hence they move at a snails pace, much like the way they treat the A’s with Wolff.

    Why do anything if Oakland can keep the Raiders in the same place for years to come?

    Unless Davis wises up and uses Santa Clara as leverage he will rot in the Coliseum for years to come.

  6. Mark Davis should stop wasting his time with the folks in Oakland. He ought to make a deal with Los Angeles and move them to L.A. after the 2014 season is over.

  7. David:

    His best bet is probably LA… however, it’s not available for free. He’ll have to compensate the other owners for taking that market (which won’t be easy, as the Davis family is one of a very small group of owners these days who don’t have major business interests outside football), and he’ll either have to give up equity to get a stadium built (with AEG or someone else), or pony up more cash to build one himself. The days of moving anywhere you can throw a dart on the map that doesn’t already have a team are long gone.

    As Aldon says, LA’s stadium situation for football is far worse than Oakland’s as well. It’s unlikely USC will allow a team back into the Coliseum. And I think we can be pretty clear on the fact that the NFL isn’t so desperate to get back to LA that they’ll take any deal that is thrown before them (they’ve either rejected or expressed concern at several possibles thus far).

    Just a gut feel, but I’d wager that the Rams are a lot closer to moving back to LA than the Raiders are at the moment… Though I don’t believe that is imminent either.

    From the NFL’s POV, I’m unconvinced that they believe not being in LA has cost them even $1 in revenue. This absence has, of course, also provided the mother of all stalking horses for any number of ‘small’ city stadium heists. It’s hard to accurately estimate how much money they’ve “made” by employing this tactic, but it would be well into the billions.

  8. I was listening to Colin Cowherd show on Espn radio and he had a amazing suggestion for the nfl moving back to L.A…he recommends that u build a small exclusive 50-55,000 stadium in L.A…easier to sell out and make it exclusive. ..he feels with nfl becoming a tv sport its better to have smaller stadiums because they are mAking money off tv revenue anyway. ..

    Back to my post..listen. if the Raiders moved out of Oakland before to L.A…they could do it again…so I dont doubt the davis family.

    As a temp suggestion for Oakland (have a lot of family that love the Raiders)…Oakland can plz the Raiders by kicking the A’s out the Coliseum and give Davis full control and parking revenue. ..its a band aide but something that could work…

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