Friday roundup: Potential Raiders homes for 2019, ranked (okay, actually not ranked)

Man, who opened the stadium news floodgates this week? Here it is almost noon on Friday and I still haven’t gotten to the news roundup — okay, know what, less whining, let’s just get right to it:

  • The city of Oakland filed its antitrust suit against the Raiders as promised this week, which means it’s time for a list of places the Raiders could play next year if they are forced to leave Oakland in a huff. “Do a multi-week residency in London and play the rest of the season on the road” is one I hadn’t heard before, anyway.
  • New York’s Empire State Development Corporation approved its draft environmental report on a new New York Islanders arena at Belmont Park, and it basically comes down to “yeah, traffic is already bad and it’s going to get worse, we’ll try to figure something out but don’t hold your breath.” The state will also provide a whole two Long Island Rail Road trains to take fans to and from games, which will require new switches to deal with the massive mess that is that train interchange, for which “it is also expected that [the arena developers] will contribute to LIRR and MTA funding,” which isn’t exactly the same as saying the developers will pay for it.
  • Tottenham Hotspur‘s long-delayed stadium is still delayed, but at least now fans can enjoy drone footage of the place they’re not being allowed to set foot in.
  • The National Parks Conservation Association was “shocked” to learn that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wants to take 300 acres of federal parkland to use for a new Washington NFL team stadium. “I have talked to lower-level Park Service employees who are just as shocked as I am about this,” said the organization’s Chesapeake and Virginia programs director, Pam Goddard. “We are vehemently opposed.” Hogan has said that no public money would be used for the stadium plan, but public land and building out sewer and power lines into federal parkland, now that’s another story.
  • Residents of South Boston want the New England Revolution to stay offa their lawns with any stadium plans.
  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants more NBA-ready arenas in Latin America so the NBA can play occasional regular season games there, but didn’t offer to help pay for any, that’d be crazy, and does he look crazy?


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31 comments on “Friday roundup: Potential Raiders homes for 2019, ranked (okay, actually not ranked)

  1. I mean the raiders could play in the 49ers stadium. Or they could play 4 games in London and 4 in Mexico, maybe 4 in the 49ers and 2 in London, 2 in Mexico.

    1. Not if the NFLPA has anything to say about it. And they don’t since it’s the most useless union in sports.

    2. What specifically is Davis’ problem with playing in the Niner’s stadium? Every article says he’s totally against that idea and I get it might not have been his first choice but it seems like it beats out a lot of other options if he and Oakland are at a total impasse.

      Bottom line is Davis simply doesn’t come across as being overly bright but somehow he totally fleeced a billionaire there in Vegas, getting Adelson to do all the heavy lifting of getting them the new stadium and then managing to totally cut ties without giving Adelson a single red cent. I doubt we’ll ever figure out how that all happened. But truly bizarre that Adelson apparently thought he’d end up a minority owner and then got totally used and dumped. Then Davis went right back to playing the total rube as he signed Gruden to that ridiculous contract and then couldn’t even secure the one final year they had to play there in Oakland.

      1. His problem with it is that it isn’t a dedicated stadium for the Raiders. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on that one. Part of the reason the Raiders moved back to Oakland from LA (aside from Oakland and AlCo spending stupid amounts of money to build Mt Davis, which ruined that stadium completely) is that the NFL was going to require Al Davis to share a new stadium in LA, which he completely refused to do.

        Levi’s is a sea of red and would continue to be even with the Raiders playing there. There’s no signage for them and basically none would be installed. Everything on the inside is Niners themed and that wouldn’t change, even temporarily. And then there’s the part where the Raiders would be paying to play in a stadium that they aren’t even the sole or main attraction for. It’d be like what the Chargers are going to be in Inglewood, only even more pathetic.

        I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next year, but I really don’t think there’s a likely scenario where they are playing in the Bay Area. The well in too poisoned with Oakland and Levi’s is too much of a poison pill for Davis.

      2. People like Adelson play the long game and tend to do it really well (do not be fooled into thinking this makes me a supporter or fan of his in any way at all).

        It appears he got fleeced right now. But now is not forever. When Davis is crying for help in a few years, we might see Adelson again… though I expect Davis will have to make an appointment to see him at that point… and may learn he and his associates have long memories.

  2. Excellent work this week, Neil.

    Hope this isn’t stepping on your toes, but OVG’s trade publication, Venues Now, has an article on Denver’s arena in which an anonymous source was quoted as saying, “it’s a 20 year-old building and they’re getting ready for major upgrades.” If I recall correctly the Denver arena deal didn’t include a big public subsidy, but I may be something to keep an eye on.

    1. Assuming you mean The Pepsi Center where the Avalanche and Nuggets play. I haven’t heard of any coming major upgrades but I wouldn’t be surprised given its age. However, it’s a darn nice venue and by modern standards was dirt cheap coming in at $187 million. I can’t readily find details on how it was paid for but they seem to have gotten a lot for the money paid.

      1. The other thing good thing about the Pepsi center is that between basketball, hockey, and concerts it is incredibly busy. I think they play indoor lacrosse there as well.

  3. Wow. NBC Bay area had the nerve to include a copyright notice on an article that included no supporting information, few facts, absolutely no proofreading and multiple grammatical errors per paragraph.

    Really? Somebody is going to steal lazy ass journalism like that and put their own name on it?

    Sam Boyd is a bad option. So are all the other non-Bay area options, as they will almost certainly result in the sad sack Raiders playing in front of 5,000 fans (insert Chargers joke here).

    San Diego or San Antonio (or St Louis, not mentioned) as a temp home? Really? The NFL just jilted all of them and it thinks that fans will flock to see a truly pathetic franchise that is currently trying to lose as many games as it can play as a home team for a single season?

    Oooo, where do we sign up for tickets?

    Some of the bay area options – as bad as they obviously are – might at least allow the team to play to some of the fans who would want to see them for one last lame duck pathetic losing season. So there’s that.

    Where would they play in Mexico? Renovations to Azteca and overuse have made the field virtually unplayable remember… and one NFL game a season is much less damaging to the pitch than 8. The problem with any viable Mexico stadium is that they have primary tenants that won’t want the kind of pitch trouble they will get when groundsharing with the US game.

    A couple of home games in London makes sense. Is there any interest in another “Tokyo” bowl? The Skydome is pretty much out as the facility has been converted to baseball only for all intents and purposes (and the “Bills in Toronto” series wasn’t exactly a roaring success…).

    I guess there’s Vancouver and Montreal if they want to spread the games around… but at that point there are plenty of better US options as well… and they don’t require the players (or owners) to go through criminal background checks before taking the field.

    Of course, if the NFL really wants to fleece somebody… why not move this team to Beijing for one year… You know people would show up just see what the hell it’s all about…. and of course, it’s all about money and nothing else. For the League. For the Raiders. For their owner and their coach. Literally, nothing else matters.

    1. “…it’s all about money and nothing else. For the League. For the Raiders. For their owner and their coach. Literally, nothing else matters.”

      It’s a business, why would anything else matter?

      1. The customers matter in normal businesses, Keith. They don’t here.

        Name me another business where the owner is guaranteed to turn a profit before selling even a single ticket and gets his ‘factory’ paid for and property tax exempt courtesy of the taxpaying public – most of whom cannot afford to buy those tickets.

        It’s not a business in the traditional sense. In the cartel sense, perhaps, but those aren’t normal businesses.

        1. Of course customers matter. The owner has that guarantee because the league puts out a product that folks are willing to watch on TV.

      2. Yeah I never understand this criticism of sports leagues.

        It is not the owners fault you buy into their stupid BS about winning and their tribalistic rah rah garbage.

        The teams are predominantly there to make money, and there is nothing wrong with that. But it is also why we shouldn’t be subsidizing them. People look back at the Byzantines and their riots over chariot teams and think it is silly, but we are not really that far removed from that behavior even today.

  4. Swallowing their pride and staying at the Coliseum makes the most sense for the Raiders, but as Mark Davis’s decisions don’t often have anything to do with sense, I’d rank all the options equally.

  5. Where to play in 2019 for the Oakland Raiders.Out of all the options the Coliseum and Santa Clara seem to make the most sense.Stanford,Cal,San Antonio are out as the College’s don’t want them and Mark Davis doesn’t want to play on artificial turf.So in order of what might work out for 1 year. Coliseum: Basically comes down to the lawsuit and if both parties can work it out.
    Santa Clara:York and Davis family need to compromise.Maybe 6 games at 49ers stadium & 1 each in London and Mexico,and
    San Diego: Again maybe 4-6 games with other 2-4 played in Santa Clara,London,Mexico,or Reno
    Another possibility is UNR Mackay Stadium in Reno,27,000 with field turf.They could always play a few games there.Field turf is better than artificial turf and a few division games would sell out.
    The NFL wants a decision by February so if I’m Mark Davis I pick up the phone and call Jeb York to try to play at least 4 games in Santa Clara.The ones I don’t play there I play in San Diego with 1 game in Reno.But that’s my personal opinion and not that of Mark Davis and the Raiders.

    1. UNR is my prediction too. Reno has better weather so you can play outdoors. 27,000 seats is plenty for barnstorming team. Reno is much smaller than Vegas, so the dozens of Raiders fans who make the 6 hour drive will have a greater impact for local merchants. And it helps to establish the Raiders as a Nevada team before they move to Las Vegas.

  6. Regarding the Washington stadium, I still don’t understand how 30 years, let along 21 years, is considered old and obsolete these days. What other large, expensive constructions are routinely put out to pasture after two or three decades? Why has this become acceptable in our society to continuously fork over free cash to replace perfectly acceptable buildings just so the rich can have ever glitzier playgrounds?

    Regarding the Raiders, they could also consider the Chargers route by working out a deal with San Jose Earthquakes to play at Avaya. Certainly it is small, but can the Raiders really be too picky. However Avaya’s grass is often in poor shape late in the season with only soccer being played on it, I can only imagine an NFL team would tear it up even worse.

    1. Wolff and Fisher own the Earthquakes. Fisher just bought Wolff’s stake in the A’s a couple of years ago. There is not a good relationship between them/the A’s and the Raiders.

    2. I mean if you can con government officials into handing you over hundreds of millions of dollars for your business based on some BS, wouldn’t you?

      I have principles, but they aren’t hundred million dollar principles.

  7. Since the big TV money makes the live gate less critical to the bottom line nowadays, just play their home games on some high school practice field in the bay area and CGI the crowd for the viewing audience. Hey, it worked for the so called moon landings.

  8. Some interesting ideas thrown out here, thanks everyone.

    If there isn’t a bay area option that works for 2019, though, why would they adopt a temporary home?

    At that point (IE: once they are away from their existing fan base and not anywhere near their hoped for LV fanbase because Davis), there is little upside to playing temporarily at a neutral site. They won’t draw any reasonable number of fans anywhere.

    So why not work a deal with the NFL to split the “road” gates more evenly and then just spend 14-16 weeks on the road? It’s not like baseball where the road trips can last weeks… it’s four days away from home (at most). And six of those games are in division and are short flights from wherever the team wants to base itself next season (might or might not be Oakland if they aren’t playing there).

    Is that any worse than setting up a temporary home in SD, Stl or SA just so you can say you have a home stadium (but few or no home fans)?

    1. Derek Carr supposedly told the CBS announcers before the game yesterday that he was keen on the Raiders spending a year in Fresno (his hometown and alma mater). He was obviously playing favorites there, but it actually doesn’t sound like a terrible idea…

  9. I see only three reasonable places for the Raiders to play in 2019-2020:

    1) Capitulating to Oakland, settling the lawsuit, paying up, and then negotiating a 1-year lease at the Coliseum
    2) Twisting Mark Davis’ and the Niners’ arms and playing at Santa Clara for a year
    3) 16 road games

    The NBC Bay Area article already shuts down Sam Boyd Stadium.

    Kroenke would block any attempt at playing at any LA-area stadium (and he now has the clout to do so), not to mention that the NFL probably already examined those options when looking at a place for the Chargers to play and were already denied them and/or found them lacking.

    Playing at Qualcomm would effectively be a direct admission on the NFL’s part that they done goofed in letting the Chargers move to LA, and I can’t see them doing that until after Kroenkeville opens and the Chargers embarrass themselves further there, if the NFL would ever admit that at all.

    I think the NFL wants London to stay a special event venue. The wear and tear of constant travel across the Atlantic and then some would be absolutely killer, as well.

    Every other location would likely be a repeat of the Chargers in Stubhub fiasco, and even the NFL wouldn’t dare risk that a second time.

  10. Here’s one you forgot, Marcos Breton gloating about how the Kings repaid the 1997 loan 8 years early. There’s just one problem: The Golden 1 deal had a requirement that SBH settle that loan prior to occupying Golden 1 Center.

    Anyway, here’s his article, in which he is ignorant to the requirements.

    1. Yeah and Hartman in the Star Tribune in Minnesota has some asinine puff piece about how the US Bank deal has been vindicated because the revenues it is fleecing of charitable gambling at bars (usually for youth teams and diseases and such) is so large.

      Yes a great victory for the state when the Vikings are taking money bar-flys are trying to gamble away to community youth sports!

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