Monday, December 10, 2012

A New Stadium for the Oakland Raiders? Don't Count on it

You have to like Commissioner Goodell's gumption.  He stands in front of media and 150 Raiders season ticket holders and basically says "we want to help you build a new stadium"

The guy in the gorilla suit can't believe what he's hearing. "Wow!  You mean I get to keep hamming it up like an idiot?"  The guy in the gorilla suit has found a life purpose.  Yay for him.

Goodell continues by saying the NFL NEEDS people to fill stadiums. But, there's a caveat.  Goddell is really talking to people willing to pay for ALL game tickets, not just the cheap seats of the Black Hole.

How are Raider fans going to do that?  A fraction of fans can afford Oakland Coliseum tickets as it is today, in a state of decay.  No one would even mind if the team was doing well but they are not and there are no glimmers of hope things will ever turn around. A new stadium or a refurbished Oakland Coliseum will just make it more expensive and people either can't afford it or won't make the investment if the team is sucking.

We'll see how many "Raider4lifers" put their wallets where their tattoos are.

“The priority is what the community and the team work out” Goodell said.

Wait, stop right there Roger.  What do you mean by that?  Don't change the subject on us, tells us what you really mean!

The problem is the damage bequeathed by Al Davis.  There are tumultuous, unresolved lawsuits, money owed, money promised, money swindled, political incompetence and political - you name it between the City of Oakland, the Joint Powers of Alameda County (who runs the coliseum) and the Raiders franchise .  Resolving that is not going to be simple.

Roger knows this.  He knows it all too well which is why he's saying what he's saying. The Raiders are dead last in the NFL "to do" list of priorities and why it took until after the death of Al Davis to even address it.  By coming out to Oakland for Thursday Night Football and bringing the dog and pony show to hopeful Raiders fans, claiming the NFL is willing to pony up 200 million for a new stadium IF the City of Oakland, the Joint Powers of Alameda County and the Raiders franchise can all agree to let bygones be bygones.

Yea right.

Can't we all just get along and forget about all those millions pissed away and still owed?  Gee, I don't know, let's ask Jeff Birren.  What would Al want?  Let's ask Jeff.  No, let's ask Roger instead.

“I think it’s a great benefit that there’s a stadium across the bay that’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility.  That’s terrific.  So that’s an option if this community and the Raiders choose that.  But that’s a decision they have to make.”

So the big question: What will Mark Davis do now that he has at least a verbal commitment from the NFL to help rebuild Oakland Coliseum into a state of the art facility OR, as Goodell's power play more likely suggests, the Raiders bite their tongue and ask the 49ers if they can (gulp) share their new facility 40 minutes south of Oakland in Santa Clara.

Goodell is smart.  He knows the Raiders will not be able to make peace with their regional foes in politics.  It's not going to work,  Despite an offer to help, the league is just tossing the guy in the gorilla suit and other gullible followers a banana.  Don't expect the league to ever lift a finger to help the Raiders.  The man responsible for that is Al Davis and his top henchman, still in the Raiders organization, Jeff Birren, General Counsel.  The slack jawed gape of the gorilla tells me he doesn't know what that means.

What is likely to happen is more extensions of the current lease at Oakland Coliseum, a fanbase continuing to shrink due to horrible play on the field and dwindling options for a revival.

If LA is an option, that will bear itself out eventually but it's not on the horizon as of now.

New memo to Mark Davis - cut your losses send sell while you still can.

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