Raiders chief executive Amy Trask - Levi Damien
Raiders Chief Executive, Amy Trask, met with the media today to discuss the team's plans with regard to a new stadium.
There are currently three professional teams located on the site where O.co Coliseum and Oracle arena currently stand. But only one of them is making the necessary efforts to stay there - the Raiders.
On Tuesday the Raiders notified some 4,850 season ticket holders who were seated in the Mt Davis upper deck section of the stadium that their seats would be moving. Mt Davis as well as a few other upper deck sections will no longer be available and will be tarped off during games.
Their seats now will actually be arguably better and along with it their season ticket price will go down from around $360 to $250. In addition, all season ticket holders receive a $10 discount.
This decision was made for, as Trask says "to create that vibrant community of season ticket holders." It will also be much easier to sell out. The removal of Mt Davis from the seating chart puts the number of available seats at 53,200 instead of the 64,000 it was before. This, with the 85% rule the Raiders accepted would mean the team must sell around 45,000 seats to meet the minimum requirement to be televised locally.
This could last just one season as the Raiders' lease on the Oakland Coliseum is up after this season. But that doesn't mean the Raiders are moving. The work the Raiders have been doing tell of a team determined to stay in Oakland. And with the fans on board, they can do it.
Not only does the team want to stay in Oakland, they want the stadium to stay right where it is.
"The current site is the focus," said Trask. "Our hope, our desire is a new stadium at that site." She cites the accessibility to transportation services as the primary reason for this. The 880 Freeway, BART train, Amtrak, and the soon-to-be finished AirBART express to the Oakland International Airport (which is also right up the street) are all extremely important reasons for keeping the Coliseum at its current location.
The Raiders are not simply waiting until the lease is up to see what happens either. They continue to buy up local businesses so they can follow through with the plans which were put in place last year around this time.
The original and ambitious plans were called "Coliseum City". The city approved the funds to draw up the plans last year. It includes three stadiums, a convention center (which Oakland desperately needs), hotels, and shops.
The team will meet with city officials next week to discuss the status of the new stadium proposal.
If the stadium were approved to be built, making the 49ers facility in Santa Clara a temporary home is the most likely scenario. Trask said there have been no talks of late with regard to such a proposal but they have not closed the door on it.
The only issue with the current Coliseum City plans would be if all three teams would still be there to be a part of it. If either or both of the A's and Warriors were to leave, the plans would not fall through but simply need to be altered.
The Warriors have been in discussions to move to San Francisco and the A's have been trying to figure out a way to re-locate to San Jose. Obviously, neither has happened yet and if it doesn't happen soon, they may find the Coliseum City proposal much more attractive in the end.
What we could end up dealing with is the Raiders being the key to Oakland keeping all three of its teams in place. That would mean a substantial amount of commerce for the city of Oakland. The residents of the city and the surrounding areas must understand just how tremendous that would be for the area. And they would have Al Davis, Mark Davis, Amy Trask, and the Raiders to thank for their steadfast efforts making it happen.