The Raiders and Oakland have a love-hate relationship. They love each other when times are good but hate each other when times are bad.
The relationship is now in flux.
The Raiders' ex, Los Angeles, is back in town and going around asking out all the available teams who want to dance. Even though San Diego and Jacksonville are on the top of L.A.'s dance partner list, there's always going to be something between the Raiders and Los Angeles. But the Raiders and Oakland have danced twice now and are trying to make things work this time around.
Here's a quick five-step plan the City of Oakland and the Raiders need to do in order to keep them together.
The Oakland City Council needs to get behind this team. It should not take a threat to leave that the city council springs into action like the A-Team. Oakland is on the verge of losing its other two sports teams (the A's might be moving to San Jose; and the Warriors are being courted by San Francisco, with plans of a new arena near the current AT&T Park location.) If the Raiders were to move, the area where the O.co Coliseum now sits would become a desolate landscape, and the City of Oakland would lose thousands of jobs, contracts and income.
The TV blackout is an old, antiquated idea. The purpose of the blackouts was to force people in the area to head to the arena or watch other games on TV to produce revenue for the teams or stations. In the past decades, this did work. But with NFL Network's RedZone, and the advancement on home theaters, the TV blackouts seem less likely to work.
Instead of paying $61 for seat in Mt. Davis at the Coliseum, fans can stay home and enjoy it all from the comfort of their own homes. A blackout will not make fans come watch the game—a competitive team will.
This seems like a no-brainer, but fans need to have a competitive and cohesive team in order to keep the Raiders relevant and exciting. The Raiders seemed to be gelling early last season; but with injuries to McFadden and Campbell, it's hard to see where exactly the Raiders would have ended. Not to mention the utter collapse of the defense over the season's final games.
The Raiders organization has been making a ton of moves this offseason, and it appear to be going all-in with general manager Reggie McKenzie. After 8-8 records in each of the past two seasons, McKenzie's Raiders need to reach at least that mark, or else the team and city will be yelling at each other and no doubt try to figure out who is to blame for the failure—Raiders management, the coach, the players or Oakland itself.
The Raiders sold out each of their home games last year. In order to keep the team in Oakland, the fans need to keep showing up for games. This will not only show the Raiders organization that fans want them to remain here, but it will also show the city that the residents of Oakland want the team to stay. This would make it easier for the City Council to approve new measures and laws to get the Raiders into something we all know they need.
The Coliseum is old. Everyone knows that. The Raiders know they need a stadium and so does the city of Oakland. That is where the conundrum lies. Does the city spend money and start getting specs on a new stadium, even though the Raiders might leave, new stadium or not?
The city needs to spend this money to keep the Raiders in Oakland. This will show the organization that the city is committed to the Raiders and is willing to put money where its mouth is.
And it appears as though they are: The city of Oakland just authorized $3 million for a series of studies that will be done on the entire Coliseum area, not just the Coliseum complex. They've hired the architectural firm HKS (they're behind Lucas Oil Stadium and Cowboys Stadium) to put together the Coliseum City blue prints, with the hopes of keeping one or all three professional sports teams in Oakland.
Once these plans come together, the city and its population must approve the measures and get the stadium done and keep the Raiders in Oakland.