Field of Schemes
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January 11, 2012

Davis threatens to move Raiders to L.A. (yes, again; no, different Davis)

Newly anointed Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis made his first public remarks on the future of the team yesterday, and they were drawn straight from the threatmongering playbook:

"The timetable is yesterday. So that's where it is. We've got to get a stadium. We've got to get that done," Davis said Tuesday in his first public comments since taking over the organization in October following the death of his father, Al.
"It's such a competitive business. It really is competitive. We can't compete for a lot of the players that other teams can, at times."...
"We're trying to get something done up here but if we can't, we've got to get something done somewhere because we need to be able to compete," he said. "And that's where it's at."

The message is clear: If no new stadium is forthcoming in Northern California, then Davis will likely look south to Los Ange—

Davis said he has talked to groups in Los Angeles but hasn't received an offer he likes.

Well, alrighty then. It's no surprise that Davis hasn't liked the offers from L.A. — as covered here previously, they both pretty much come down to "if you pay for it, we will build," which isn't what most sports owners want to hear, especially in the NFL, where moving to a bigger market doesn't even get you more TV money. So this pretty much comes down to a reiteration of Davis' late dad's strategy: Complain loudly that you need a new stadium, and see what shakes loose, whether in Oakland, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, or Cucamonga. It's worked before, though sometimes you have to repeat it for a few years first.


I will first say that I am an avid Oakland Raiders fan so my view will be skewed. Second, I also feel the team should never leave Oakland.

After viewing the various articles written on the internet and watching the teleconference yesterday, you could have sworn Davis came out and stated the team was already moving to LA. He did not explicitly express that and I believe the writers are just attempting to create drama.

Alternatively, I can also appreciate the views expressed on this website that rich owners should stop attempting to gain extravagant venues at the expense of taxpayers.

This all said, my thought for people to ponder is to propose "gutting" the existing 46 year old site (keeping what has been expanded upon in 1996) and modernizing the existing remainder of the facility at a fraction of what a new building would cost. Now of course the question becomes how much would that cost be and who pays for that cost?

I am of the belief the NFL should assist (G4 money?) as well as the team for some of that (ya right).. However, I will leave the remaining ideas up for discussion and debate. Could the Niners not also buy into this idea given the infrastructure already in place??? i.e great access to the local airport, BART, San Francisco, trains station, freeways, etc???

Posted by Craig on January 11, 2012 05:38 PM

Anytime I've ever seen it suggested that a team should just remodel it's current digs is always followed up by the rhetoric "but it costs (as much/slightly less/slightly more) as building a new one. So we shouldn't do that..." and this argument gets put to rest.

The best test for whether remodeling existing buildings is truly more expensive than building new ones would be this: take away all government funding for all arenas and stadia. Now - do owners make do, remodel, build newer but modest arenas? My guess is more times than not teams will make do with what they have and make slight alterations and adjustments over time and the average age of the sports stadium will grow.

While I'd like to see this experiment attempted, I'm hard pressed to believe it'll actually happen anytime soon.

Posted by Andrew T on January 11, 2012 06:24 PM

I still think that the York Family and Davis Family are down-playing that they'll be sharing the existing Santa Clara Stadium because of the negative perception that the Raiders bring. The residents of Santa Clara don't want them and neither does Los Angeles, so I get the feeling is that the York Family won't do much until ground-breaking occurs then they'll extend a "friendly" second tenant contract for the Raiders and by 2014 when the stadium opens the Raiders will be playing their too. It makes too much sense.

Posted by James on January 12, 2012 05:19 AM

If they had a deal in place (or even in the works) to move to Santa Clara, why would Davis bother saber-rattling about L.A.?

Posted by Neil deMause on January 12, 2012 06:56 AM

If the Raiders play in SC their rent will be substantially higher than at the Coliseum.

And the issue of seat licenses is there too. 49ers fans have to buy seat licenses, but there's been no mention of seat licenses for Raiders fans.

And we know how well the seat licenses worked out for the Raiders at the Coliseum.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on January 12, 2012 10:47 AM

The Oakland-SF sharing a stadium in Santa Clara makes no sense to me from a macro perspective. Why have a team called Oakland and a team called San Francisco, playing in a third city an hour away from each?

I know they do it in East Rutherford, but it's just across a river, and both represent the same city.

Posted by Ty on January 13, 2012 12:01 AM

I agree Ty and would like to add the notion of a pro-football team "representing" a city is pure balderdash to me. If SF defeats New Orleans do I receive spoils of war such as an Apple computer, a BMW, or a woman?

I think not. In fact the reality is that these are mercurial family businesses who play upon people's infantile emotions in order to extort from a city unlucky enough to play "host".

Our ex-mayor and current council member Patricia Mahan has waxed nostalgic about childhood days at Kezar and has expressed the strong desire to connect with her late father by getting the SC stadium built.

It's been unbelievable to have to live through this.

Posted by santa clara jay on January 13, 2012 12:56 AM

The reason is that Davis can't find a barber up here with the right size bowl to sit on his head while they touch up that stylish hairdo.

Posted by Ernie on January 18, 2012 04:28 PM

They finally sellout an entire season since moving here sixteen years ago. Now they're going to abandon the customers again? Not wise.

Posted by T.J. on February 15, 2012 12:16 AM

They finally sellout an entire season since moving here sixteen years ago. Now they're going to abandon the customers again? Not wise.

Posted by T.J. on February 15, 2012 12:16 AM

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