Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis recently said that he is still committed to building a new stadium for his football team in Oakland, according to Paul Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com; specifically on the current site of the O.co Coliseum where the Raiders currently play as well as the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball.
The Oakland Coliseum, which opened in the late 1960s, was renovated in 1995 to bring the Raiders back from L.A. where they shared the L.A. Coliseum with the Rams.
Despite a remodel 17 years ago, the Coliseum is considered a poor home by NFL stadium standards, and the Raiders have been seeking a new stadium for several years with a return to L.A. or a shared stadium in Santa Clara with the 49ers seen as two possible solutions.
Mark Davis has shot down the idea of a shared stadium with the 49ers and remains committed to Oakland. If not Oakland, then Davis will try to move the team to Dublin, keeping Raider football in the East Bay.
So Davis wants to stay in the East Bay, the city of Oakland is one of the most cash-strapped cities in the United States, commissioner Roger Goodell has said (via Robert Klemko of USA Today) that he prefers a shared stadium with the 49ers in Santa Clara and the Coliseum is an outdated sports venue.
With all that in mind, I thought of another location for the Oakland Raiders, and it is a location that they have played at before. In fact, this site is where the Oakland Raiders once played their preseason games.
The site is California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, which is home to the NCAA's Cal Bears. It is a stadium which recently underwent a $321 million renovation and has re-opened for the 2012 season with a capacity of over 63,000 for Cal Bears games.
Is Berkeley a good home for the Raiders?
What were the problems listed above?
Funding? Check. East Bay? Check. Modern facility? Check.
There may be some problems with moving to Memorial Stadium, such as parking space or transitioning the field from a Cal Bears game to a Raiders game overnight, but find me a stadium solution that wouldn't have any problems.
While I want to see the Raiders remain in Oakland, the reality is that both the city of Oakland and the Raiders franchise aren't exactly on the wealthy side. Modern NFL stadiums are costing about $1 billion to build, and according to Forbes Magazine, the Raiders aren't even valued at that much.
Memorial Stadium holds about the same capacity for football games as does the Oakland Coliseum, so there wouldn't be much, if any, less seating.
If the Raiders can't stay in Oakland, wouldn't the next best home for them be to move in with their neighbors less than a 30-minute drive away in Berkeley?