For as long as Al Davis has been in a position to do so, he has sought a premier stadium for the Raiders to call a home.
The long and winding road has had many ifs, maybes and buts, lots of lawsuits, hard feelings and broken promises. One thing has remained consistent through it all—the Oakland Coliseum is as good as it has gotten for Al an his beloved franchise.
Al doesn’t like the Oakland Coliseum. He doesn’t like the Oakland city government or their cronies and strange offshoots who controlled tickets for years, who have lied, ripped him off with absurd tax laws, covered their butts by creating new civic codes and whatever else.
Make no mistake, there is bad blood between the Raiders and the Oakland city government, the county of Alameda and everyone associated with that hunk of concrete knows as the Oakland Coliseum.
All things considered, it’s not a bad stadium, just a little old (built in 1966) and of course has to be shared with a professional baseball team which makes the field look like a dirt infield for half of the season.
The San Francisco 49ers have a similar quandary. Their home stadium is a wind tunnel, a mammoth structure so steep people have dropped dead climbing the stairs.
The seating arrangement is awkward, making for mostly bad angles. Who designed this place? This is the most obvious question if you manage to actually make it up the stairs. Well, it was designed for baseball not football so that explains the bad angles.
Candlestick Park or whatever it is called these days, is not the long term answer for the 49ers. They know this all too well.
The problem of course is new stadiums are incredibly expensive to build, land does not come cheap, especially in the Bay Area, and money is tight these days.
The 49ers have a shot though to get a new stadium, potentially in the south bay area, near San Jose in an adjoining town called Santa Clara.
The problem is, there are no sure things and this would have to somehow be paid for. The ins and out of it all are too complex to go into but safe to say, it is a real longshot this would happen at all.
The best shot this has to pass the local vote is if the Raiders joined forces with the 49ers and shared the stadium. This would assure voters of a fatter revenue stream for their city and presumably some perks.
Would Al be interested in joining forces with the local rival? He just might if this ever goes to a public vote. A new stadium would be a crown jewel for Al and in my opinion, he just might be able to live with sharing this jewel with the 49ers.
Would the fans be upset the Raiders would move 30 miles south from Oakland? Some fans will be upset and others would be overjoyed. Raider fans come from all over, most of which are not from the Oakland area.
People travel vast distances to get to Raider games and I don’t think the extra 30 miles will make a difference to their plans. They will go where the Raiders play.
This could all be wild speculation since the proposed stadium is years away and has not cleared many political hurdles. However, the stadium issue has always been a hot item on Al’s desk so you can be sure he is following developments closely. That means so will we.