Oakland Raiders: Threat of Team Bolting for Los Angeles Looms
Stuart Kovacs – Jul 6, 2012
The Raiders have called Oakland their home for almost all of the team’s existence. However, in thirteen of those years, they called Los Angeles their home.
With the city of Los Angeles clearly looking to host a professional football team, the Raiders are the team that constantly gets brought up because it is believed the transition would be easier than it would be for most other teams.
For many fans of the Silver and Black, Oakland is where the Raiders belong. Moving them to Los Angeles would just be devastating to those in Oakland who have supported the team before and ever since the team spent time in Los Angeles.
However, the threat does continue to loom due to many factors including the team’s stadium lease, as well as the recent gaining of the O.co Coliseum by AEG. Albert Breer of NFL.com delves into this major issue that should definitely worry fans of the Oakland Raiders.
O.co Coliseum, which is the current home of the Raiders, is simply getting too old. It has been in existence since 1966 which is the third oldest of any current NFL stadium. The only stadiums that are older are Lambeau Field and Candlestick Park. However, Candlestick Park will soon not be on that list as the San Francisco 49ers are getting a new stadium for the 2014 season and Lambeau Field was fully upgraded in 2003.
With that said, it is clear that the current stadium isn’t going to be sufficient for the Raiders for another lease.
Speaking of leases, another issue that Breer poses is that the lease for the Raiders expires after the 2013 season. In addition to the lease expiring, Breer points out that the team is constantly losing money in O.co Coliseum. This is a major issue for which the Raiders are looking for a solution.
There are several solutions to the Raiders’ stadium issue. The ideal one for the Raiders would be to build a new stadium in or near the city of Oakland. However, stadium construction in California at this time tends to be a difficult proposition so building a new stadium near Oakland is probably unlikely.
If unable to build near Oakland, the Raiders could move a little bit out of the area. This would likely entail them sharing the stadium in Santa Clara with the 49ers. Both teams have constantly talked about this proposition but, as a solution, seems unlikely.
One question that has been posed is: Is Bay Area is big enough to support both the Raiders and 49ers? This kind of silly when you consider that the bay area has been the home to these two teams for many years now, and with over seven million people in the metropolitan area, there is no reason for this to change.
The problem seems to be in the interest in the NFL. It does not appear that the league cares about having two professional football teams in the area, and it's obvious that the NFL wants a team in Los Angeles. They are likely willing to get one there at any cost. They are so desperate in the sense that they are likely to ignore the fact that the Bay Area is sufficient enough for two professional teams.
The league appears to be so focused on getting a team in Los Angeles that it's not clear that they would even consider the significant blow to civic pride, the economic ramifications or the disappointment of fans in the Oakland area should they force the Raiders to leave.
This of course leads to the third possibility which is the Raiders would move to Los Angeles for a second time. This is definitely an option if the Raiders aren’t able to get a new stadium.
The issue is that the league, in fact, may not want the Raiders to get a new stadium. This would likely force the team to make the move that so many fans of the team do not want to see happen.
For Raiders’ fans, especially in the city of Oakland, it is time to act! It is time to start making a difference by getting together as a “Nation” and doing things to convince those in power to do what they can to keep the team in its rightful city—Oakland.
These politicians and city planners need to be informed of what the fans of the Oakland Raiders want. Letters need to be sent out, signs need to be created, and differences need to be made.
The city of Los Angeles has acted and the league is refusing to act. The time is now for Raider Nation to act. If you want to keep your Raiders in Oakland, here are some of the people that the loyal members of Raider Nation should be getting in contact with in an attempt to prevent the Raiders from being ripped from their home:
Amy Trask CEO of Oakland Raiders: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Davis Managing General Partnermdavis@raiders.com
Fred Blackwell Assistant City Administrator, (Very important to contact, Fred is in charge of redevelopment, Coliseum City and is vital in keeping the team in Oakland) email@example.com
Rebecca Kaplan City Council Person At Large firstname.lastname@example.org
Like Raider Nation Times
How Would You Grade the Raiders Free Agency So Far?