Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more difficult, Oakland is now being confronted with the possibility of losing their NFL team. It was reported yesterday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has asked the Raiders to look into building a shared stadium with the 49ers.
As you know, last year Santa Clara voters approved the 49ers building a stadium near Great America, so it’s unlikely a shared stadium would be built in Oakland. However, at his press conference to announce the hiring of a new coach, Raiders owner Al Davis said that while the team needs a new stadium, sharing one with the 49ers was not something he is considering at this point. He also said that he is still interested in pursuing options in Oakland at the site of their current home, the Coliseum.
We here at Baseball San Jose would like to applaud Al Davis for his continued commitment to Oakland and encourage the city to do whatever it takes to make a new stadium for the Raiders happen. We understand the difficulty the city might have building two stadiums for their professional sports teams given these trying economic times, further exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding redevelopment agencies across the state. So, in the spirit of being a good neighbor we will happily help to take some of this burden off their shoulders and graciously accept the Athletics move to our city, San Jose.
Oakland has always had a preference for the Raiders anyway, having built a monument in honor of the team’s owner, aptly named “Mount Davis”.
In doing so they turned the Coliseum into a dreadful eyesore that has driven baseball fans away and made it extremely difficult for the Athletics to sign and/or retain quality talent. In a show of lesser enthusiasm for the Athletics, when in 2006 an ownership group led by Lew Wolff purchased the team they tried for 2 ½ years to work with the city on a new stadium plan, to no avail.
Oakland’s affinity for the Raiders is understandable since they bring with them the Raiderettes, an enthusiastic fan base and really cool team colors (Silver and Black). All the Athletics bring to the table is a really drab General Manager with an upcoming movie for which in an effort to make him more interesting had to be portrayed by Brad Pitt.
So Oakland, don’t let this opportunity pass you by, focus time and resources on keeping the Raiders in town. It would be unfortunate for you to try and spread yourself thin and then end up losing both of your professional teams, particularly since one of them wants to be there.