It has been reported by John Breech of CBS Sports that the Oakland Raiders have proposed to the city of Oakland a new 50,000-seat stadium that would cost anywhere from $800 million to $1.2 billion. The new stadium would be located on or near the site of Overstock.com Coliseum.
Under the proposal, the Raiders would pay $300 million with the NFL throwing in $200 million. This would leave a need for at least $300 million in public funding, which sounds much more daunting than it appears for the cash-strapped city of Oakland.
The city of Oakland is still paying the tab for the renovations that were done to the Oakland Coliseum in the 1990s, which were a part of the deal that brought the Raiders back to Oakland from Los Angeles. The renovations included the construction of "Mount Davis," which is the massive seating section on the visitors sideline. To make matters worse, the Raiders are now tarping off those seats to reduce capacity.
There are many obstacles to the completion of a new stadium for Oakland, but this proposal is a first step in the right direction if nothing else. So how far away is this proposal from becoming a reality?
Although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was hoping that the Raiders would share a stadium with the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, he has said the NFL would fund an Oakland stadium for the Raiders to stay.
The NFL gave $200 million to the 49ers in Santa Clara, so that would mean that the NFL and their $200 million contribution should be available for the Raiders in Oakland. Also, because the Raiders made this proposal, it should be safe to say they have $300 million to contribute.
That brings us to the public funding issue and whether or not the taxpayers would pay $300-$700 million for the Raiders' new stadium. Asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds with the taxpayers still paying the tab for the renovations done to O.Co Coliseum may sound ludicrous to some Oakland residents.
Revenue could always be generated with new taxes and fees, but asking for such a large contribution from a cash-strapped city that is still paying off the current stadium may be an obstacle that is too much to overcome.
Right now, all we can do is wait and see what Oakland mayor Jean Quan and the city council have to say about this proposal and hope that at the end of the day, the Raiders stay where they belong.
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