New stadium idea: Negotiating Tactic, the Real Deal or PR?

Jed Jacobsohn

There has been a mixed reaction to the news of a new stadium proposal for a stadium that would be the smallest in the NFL. It got me wondering what our community would think in a poll on this topic. Here we go people! Get your thinking caps on.

*Update: Stadium proposal actually is for a capacity of at least 56,500

Option 1, Negotiating Tactic: Mark is really showing what he learned from his father in using the leverage of possibly leaving to get his team the stadium it has desperately needed for so long. There is a chance that the Raiders would move to the south again, if push comes to shove it could end up the only answer for the Davis family and that can't be overlooked in the negotiations.

The difference in negotiating to avoid a relocation this time around is that this time moving to LA would include a state of the art stadium. Al failed when he tried to use this tactic, but he didn't have a new stadium being ready to be built for him. That new stadium really strengthens the tactic, and the city having lost the team once before also strengthens the Raiders stance.

Mark doesn't want to seem too unwilling to negotiate though so in comes a compromise by offering a small, more financially feasible stadium plan. Previously the City hadn't been willing to listen as much but now with this offer it could help get the conversation started a little better. Something needed to break the ice to get to the next stage, offering a compromise like this breaks the ice and gets the ball rolling on the true goal of a larger stadium.

The small stadium offer also puts the onus on the City to make the commitment to the team. If they don't it creates a justifiable reason for a sizable portion of the fan base to continue being fans even if the team had to move to LA for a new stadium. Mark wouldn't come off as the biggest bad guy if the City can't pitch in the $300M to make even this small of a stadium happen.

That distinction would go to the politicians that ended up being unable to find a way to keep their beloved team home. This creates a favorable environment to get a deal done for Mark. No matter what side of the fence we fall on for our political beliefs (that shouldn't be discussed on this site), we can agree that they all try to cover their own butts before anything else. No politician wants to be involved in their city's sports franchise leaving town, that's bad for business.

Option 2, Real Deal: It does not appear that Mark is eager to repeat his father's history. This small 50,000 seat capacity stadium plan is much more affordable at $800M than anything proposed previously. It shows Mark Davis trying to be reasonable about the financial concerns of a new stadium. It would be nothing that would compare to their Bay Area rival 49ers' new digs in Santa Clara, but there just is not enough money available in Oakland to realistically get a stadium like theirs done.

Getting any type of stadium done in Oakland would be an excellent feat, even one as small as this proposal. A stadium of that size might not be what the team deserves after such a long wait for a new home, but it could be the start of that deserved stadium if it is designed to be easily renovated. Getting the stadium built in increments instead of all at once could be the most realistic way to get that state of the art, higher capacity stadium the Raiders deserve done in Oakland.

Option 3, PR to Soften the Blow of Relocation: This is the prelude to the end of the Raiders being of Oakland. Mark is trying to make it seem like he wants to stay in Oakland by offering such a financially friendly stadium idea while banking on it not being a substantial enough plan to build the larger Coliseum City plan around. It is a PR move simply to appear like the good guy before hightailing it for the City of Angels.

Mark knows that LA is where the money is and he can't afford to keep the team in Oakland and still pay the eventual inheritance tax. His motives are questionable and he just does not have my trust. It is too convenient to offer a seemingly conceivable plan to the fans that really is not conceivable to the economists.

So what do you think? Is this 50,000 seat stadium a negotiating tactic, the real deal or just a PR plan to soften the teams blow from a move to LA? It will be interesting to see how much trust Mark Davis has in our community with this poll.

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