As the Raiders gear up for their near future by preparing to put a competitive team on the field for the 2009 season, there remains uncertainty as to where the Raiders will call home in the future after the 2010 season. That future is now around the corner, as the Raiders' lease with the Oakland Coliseum is set to expire after the 2010 season. The Raiders continue to play in one of the NFL's oldest stadiums and are one of only three teams to still share a stadium with a baseball team.
The city of Oakland does not appear to have the financial or mental resources to plan for, develop or maintain a first-class stadium for their professional sports teams. The Athletics have apparently exhausted their efforts to have their own, baseball only facility in the city of Oakland and are currently and have been looking elsewhere. The Raiders have been battling County and City officials for years over stadium issues, whose incompetence and lack of true effort will likely drive away the Raiders again as well as the A's.
The Raiders simply cannot compete with the rest of the NFL while they remain in an antiquated, sub-standard venue, that is not only diminishing their revenue but the overall franchise value.A solution must be sought and the Raiders are seeking them.
Now comes the report that the Raiders Bay Area neighbor, the 49ers, have reached an accord with officials of Santa Clara to construct a new 68,500-seat stadium near Great America and the Santa Clara Convention Center.The $937 million stadium project has a feasible finance plan that will put the majority of the burden on the NFL and the 49ers.
This is where the Raiders can come in. It appears that the financial model will greatly improve if the stadium is shared by a second team, much in the way the Jets and the Giants share in New Jersey for New York. For one, the proposed stadium would be occupied for 16 weeks of the season, not just for eight. The Raiders revenue would greatly increase, and with the possibility that the NFL will never have a salary cap again, the Raiders will have the financial resources needed to compete for the best free agent available.
The NFL is urging the Raiders to consider the option of a shared stadium with the 49ers and Raiders CEO, Amy Trask has an open mind to the possibility:
"We are exploring — and keeping an open mind with respect to — all opportunities to create a world-class stadium for our fans and our team, and that includes keeping an open mind with respect to a shared stadium," Trask said. "We enjoy a cooperative and collaborative relationship with the 49ers."
The Santa Clara option, for the moment, seems to be the most viable option other than extending the current lease long-term with the Oakland Coliseum and would keep the Raiders in the Bay Area. Other than that, what is out there? Another move to Los Angeles? Could even San Diego be a possibility?
The point is, the Raiders and the city of Oakland are soon to be at the point of, "something's gotta give". The long-term future for the Raiders needs to be solved in the near-term, so that the franchise, the players and their fans have a direction to point to and for stability to be finally achieved.
What do you think Raiders fans. What should be done about the Raiders future home?