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Raiders playing 2019 at AT&T park not the worst idea, but not the best either

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Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - Illinois v UCLA Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There is a new potential location among the short list of possible locations for the Raiders to play their 2019 season. It wasn’t thought about much initially because… it’s a baseball park.

It’s AT&T park, where the San Francisco Giants play.

“There has been initial interest expressed in exploring the opportunity of the Raiders playing at AT&T Park,” the Giants told Bay Area News Group’s Kerry Crowley in a statement. “Many details would need to be figured out. The Giants want to do what’s best for Bay Area fans and would be open to the concept just as we hosted Cal Football in 2011 when Memorial Stadium in Berkeley was being renovated.”

Playing at AT&T park is an interesting proposition. It happens to be the closest possible locale for the Raiders to play outside of Oakland. Making it just a quick BART ride away or short drive over the Bay Bridge for Raiders fans in the East Bay.

It would be a way for Mark Davis to keep from paying money to Oakland Coliseum for a one-year lease, which he is loath to do because the City of Oakland filed an antitrust lawsuit against him. He sees it as paying for his own lawsuit. It would also keep the games close enough to Oakland for the fans there to still attend games and for it to still feel like a home game for the team as well.

It certainly would be preferable to Santa Clara from a distance standpoint. They would also be sharing Levi’s stadium with the 49ers all season whereas they would just have to play on infield dirt for a game or two at AT&T and they do that already at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

It would also be preferable to hopping a flight to San Diego for all their ‘home’ games.

Yeah, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to play at AT&T. It would also not be the best.

Let’s remember, this is still a baseball stadium. OACC is a multipurpose stadium. It houses baseball and football equally well. AT&T Park was always meant to be a baseball facility. That comes with some weird layouts. It’s doable for a college football game – albeit awkwardly – and would be even more awkward for an NFL game.

One of weirdest aspects of playing there is that both teams would have to share the same sideline. That’s right, one team on one side of the 50, the other team on the other side, and no one on the opposite side of the field.

The end zones are really tight because the park can barely fit the 100-yard field plus end zones.

Where the bleachers that would normally be in the baseball outfield are not a place to sit for viewing purposes as they’re so far from the football field and temporary bleachers are placed in the way.

The capacity for a football game there is approximately 45K, which is some 8250 less than OACC (53,250) with Mt Davis tarps in place.

The best idea would be to just stay put and play things out for one more season in Oakland. Just bite the bullet and stay as previously planned.

We know the stadium works for football and baseball. It has for decades. The bleachers connect and disconnect seamlessly for either layout, there is ample parking for tailgating, and outside of Mount Davis (which is tarped over anyway), all seats are good seats.

Sure, OACC has its own problems, but those are all known. Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.

Is going through all the logistical issues and the troubles with playing elsewhere for one season and potentially paying more in rent than was the one-year Coliseum lease really worth it for pride? That will be up to Mark Davis. It’s his pride.

For now, it’s good news that potentially the top two options are Oakland Coliseum or AT&T Park because neither would involve playing across the state or worse, in another state altogether. Let’s wait for 2020 for that.