Released by Forbes before 2009, the Oakland Raiders came in as the least valuable franchise in the NFL. It is now worth only —relatively —797 million dollars. The Raiders lost around 5 million dollars from 2008.
Due to losses, the Raiders had to resort to advertising their brand name on a Thai airline last summer.
Ironically, the Raiders have the highest payroll of any NFL team —over 140 million. That's not a shocker since Al will pay anything to keep his best talent. That is proven by his latest contracts given to Seabass, Shane Lechler, and Nnamdi Asomugha.
At Oakland-Alameda (no sponsor) coliseum, there were approximately seven black outs this season. Seven. How embarrassing, especially for a fan base as large as the Raiders. There are two main reasons why people didn't come out to see games:
2) Product on the field
The fact is that the economy really hurt everyone. Especially the Raiders. Oakland's Alameda-County Coliseum lies in the heart of the city, and right beside the Oracle.
It isn't a family friendly atmosphere to be in. I found that when I went to the game verse the Eagles. I only saw one family in my section. It tells me that the Raiders don't focus enough on marketing to families with two children or more.
The parking there is absolutely horrible. You have to walk at least a mile and a quarter just to get in the main parking lot. There wasn't great organization with police. My Dad I were wandering in Downtown Oakland for a good half hour trying to find our car —long story.
Obviously the product on the field has a lot to do with the number of people in the stands. Are you really going to sell tickets with JaMarcus Russell as your QB? What about relatively unknown Bruce Gradkowski? I actually think starting former 49er Jeff Garcia would've brought more people to their seats.
I also have a problem with the merchandise, specifically their shirts. It's a little bit too bland. Nothing makes me think, I have to have that . Again, this is just an opinion
The Raiders website is fairly solid, and has some nice features on it. So nothing to complain about —finally.
Outlook for 2010: The Raiders still figure to be the least valuable franchise. But as the economy gets better, the less empty the seats are. Ultimately, the product on the field will determine how well the Raiders do financially in 2010.
This is the fifth article in my series where I grade the Raiders in a specific category every day. Here are the first three articles: