RAIDERS LOOKING FOR A HOME:
Note: This article was originally posted in September 2015 and updated in December 2015 after dates for the 2016 Owners Meeting were announced.
As Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders continue their search for a new NFL Stadium, the Carson proposal seems more and more inevitable. Yet nobody knows for certain what’s going to happen. And that includes owners Spanos and Davis. The next set of clues, however, will come at the owners meeting on January 12-13.
Most fans (except maybe those in the LA area) want the Raiders to stay in Oakland. And they won’t give up hope, no matter the news, until Mark Davis signs a contract with a competing city. But the fact remains, if the City of Oakland has been unable or unwilling to come up with a viable plan in nearly two decades why should we expect them to come up with an acceptable plan before the end of 2015, much less the 2016 Owners Meeting?
Making the sell that a new stadium will increase jobs and tax revenue is never easy but making it to a city with as many challenges as Oakland is nearly impossible. No matter the financials and mathematics, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture when public money goes to a fat cat owner and the NFL instead of the poor and disadvantaged. Fat Cat Owner–for Mark Davis, that’s a stereotype, not reality. And yes, there are studies that show new sports stadiums do not increase local revenue. But it begs the question, how objective were they?
Critics say public money should never be used for a sports stadium, thereby subsidizing a rich owner. The alternative, of course, will widen the gulf between owner and fan. What we will see is more and more teams owned by a smaller, yet elite group of hyper rich that can self finance and in many cases look at teams as a commodity. Stan Kroenke comes to mind. Not exactly sure how many professional sports teams he owns at the present moment. Pretty sure, though, he owns much more than the St. Louis Rams.
So where does that leave us? Well, hoping against hope. But isn’t that the Raiders? Hated, feared, and misunderstood. Loved by no one except their fans.