Oakland too little, too late?

oakland city
Too little, too late?

Oakland’s city and county officials voted in favour of entering negotiations to keep the Raiders in Oakland, by backing Ronnie Lott’s and Rodney Peete’s $1.3 billion proposal.

The hard-won agreement will include $350million of public money, but nothing has been confirmed as to where, exactly, that money would come from.

The City voted 7-1 in favour of entering negotiations whilst County was a bit more reticent, taking three hours of discussions to some to a 3-2 agreement.

With The Raiders needing just one win to confirm their playoff status, it was also revealed that any proposal to move to Vegas would not be tabled until the team were out of the hunt for Superbowl honours (or as we optimists like to think, when they win it), rather than at the first opportunity on 2nd January.

Over in San Diego, the Council was scrambling to save ‘their’ Chargers from moving with a proposal to lease the Qualcomm Stadium to the team for $1 per year, whilst talks for a new stadium progress.

So what is it with local politicians in Oakland and San Diego?  You’ve had months, no years, to come up with proposals for keeping your teams. So why leave it to the very last minute to get your backsides in gear?  How can you be taken seriously if you value the teams so little as to only be galvanised when it looks like they are leaving?

Last Ditch Effort from Lott

Ronnie Lott, LA Raider
Ronnie Lott, LA Raider

Officials from the NFL and members of the Oakland Raiders have a meeting scheduled with an Oakland based investment group for further discussions on keeping the Raiders right where they are. The investment group is headlined by the Lott Group, aptly named after Hall of Fame cornerback and Ex-Los Angeles Raider, Ronnie Lott.

Interesting how a hero who made his name playing for the Raiders outside of Oakland wants them to now stay put.

This comes in the run up to the council in Oakland voting on a proposed term sheet for a $1.3billion dollar stadium, an agreement which would put the Oakland area in a strong position to retain the team if it should pass. A day after this vote is scheduled, an NFL meeting is taking place in Dallas to address the issue.

The term sheet from developers outlines the Ronnie Lott group would contribute $400million to the new stadium, but Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has previously stated that there will be no taxes used to raise money for the new stadium (which is understandable after they are still paying off the current one!).

So that begs the question- where is the money going to come from for the stadium in Oakland? The Vegas Raiders have all but financed their new $1.7 billion stadium already, with $750million agreed to be used from public funding and Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson also committing $650million, whilst the remaining $300million would likely come from both the Raiders and the NFL themselves.

Money talks, and right now its screaming Las Vegas.

Raiders need to get away

Raiders need to get awayThe Raiders recently used the NFL international series game in Mexico as one of their ‘home’ games for the year, sacrificing the supposed home field advantage they experience back in Oakland. They came out victorious in that encounter, beating the Texans.

Now think about the team’s perfect 5-0 record in road games and you’re looking at a Raiders team that travels well and plays well away from home. Why is this significant?

The Raiders games played at Alameda Coliseum lack the same kind of home field advantage that other teams have.

Divisional rivals Broncos and Chiefs both have stadiums that sell out every week and opposing teams never seem to perform quite at their peak because of this, which often sees the Chiefs/Broncos only lose one or two games at home each year.  That doesn’t happen with Raiders games in Oakland.

By moving to Las Vegas there is no doubt that the team would experience the same kind of home field advantage of the top teams based on the excitement and interest from fans for the potential move. This year if the Raiders lose all their remaining road games they will go 5-3, and if you combined that with a 7-1 or even 6-2 home record you would see either an 11 or 12-win team, easily good enough to win the division and possibly book that all important first round bye.

Now the Raiders are starting to win, some people are getting nervous that a move will turn them back into a losing team. But looking at the stats, the opposite is true.  The potential upside of a move to Vegas could well mean the Raiders becoming a league powerhouse for years to come.

Amen to that.

Chargers stadium plan rejected

chargers stadium moveThe San Diego Chargers were linked with the Oakland Raiders in a proposed move to Los Angeles (see Are the Raiders Moving?).  That proposed move was outvoted by the NFL membership in favour of The Rams moving back to LA and building a new stadium at Inglewood, leaving both The Raiders and The Chargers to look for new or improved homes elsewhere.

Both teams have been asking local authorities for funds to build new stadia, and have been looking at moves away.  Most notably this entire site is dedicated to the Raiders proposed move to Vegas.

The Chargers hopes of a new, improved stadium in San Diego took a hit early in November 2016 when a ballot called ‘Measure C’, run by the Chargers and questioning 110,000 local inhabitants, failed to get a two-thirds majority.  Indeed, it was defeated 57% to 43%.

This is important for the Raiders because the Chargers were given one year to exercise an option to join the Rams in Inglewood in 2019.  If they do not exercise that option, it transfers to The Raiders.

Vegas Stadium Survey

Raiders Survey

The Raiders have sent out emails to at least a section of their fan base in an effort to determine demand for the new multi-purpose stadium in Las Vegas.

The wording goes “As a valued member of Raider Nation, you are invited, and encouraged, to participate in a survey regarding the potential stadium project. The survey is intended to help the Raiders understand your opinion and potential interest in the project. ”

If you have received such an email, we would strongly like to encourage you to take the survey.  It will take about 10 minutes, doesn’t try to sell you anything, and everything you reply-to will be treated confidentially.

The start and end of the survey ask some general information like what sports you are interested in and who you support (Duh! as a member of Raider Nation!) And the end asks about how likely you are to attend games.  But the majority of the survey is about possible seat locations, the pricing of those seats to watch the Vegas Raiders and how serious you might be about buying or investing in those seats.  It seems the team are looking closely at PSLs or Personal Seat Licences.

The survey is being run by the BarrettSports Group LLC, but the emails are being sent out by nfl.com.