Stadium Actually Doesn't Involve Leaving Oakland

The city of Oakland has to be shocked by the number of relocation threats, vows of civil lawsuits, and other various extortions included in the Raiders' initial proposed stadium plan. Shocked, because that number is zero.

In a move that is totally out of character for this organization over the last two decades, Oakland Raider officials are reportedly considering a multiple hundred-million-dollar new Oakland stadium at a site which is actually not in another city and not even that far from their current Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Per this plan, they would just round up local financing for a modernized location and continue to play in their current town, like normal sports franchises do. A top Raider executive even went and spoke on the record, and at no time did she use the words  "Los Angeles,"  "Las Vegas," or "City of Industry".

Since it's the Raiders organization, some people are going to smell a rat right away. The Chronicle's Ray Ratto sees this as a leverage scheme with the 49ers.

The estimable columnist thinks Al Davis just put out this plan to squeeze the Niners into offering him a better set of goodies on a proposed shared stadium site. I think Al Davis just put out this plan because he giggles at the thought of the Yorks spending all week arguing internally over who had failed to do their due diligence on this one.

But even taking the Raiders at face value, this plan doesn't address any of the really difficult stuff. Most importantly -- where are these multiple hundreds of millions of dollars going to come from?  Odds are this would eventually depend on some sort of generous bond measure being approved by Oakland voters during exceptionally hard economic times. That would take some serious community outreach and public trust-building by city government, and this mayor fellow doesn't frankly seem anywhere near up to that sort of challenge.

Another unpleasant consideration is that this would certainly require an awful, unsoundly corporate name to help cover the costs. But if they could still really actually remain the Oakland Raiders, wouldn't you be willing to put up with the sound of First Farmer's Northwestern Mutual Funds Coliseum?

"The will to win is the fire that burns brightest in this organization", Davis says, "and if a new stadium can help us, then we'll look at a new stadium." This could be the dawn of a new philosophy in Raider football. An era when the Raiders say "Just Win, Baby", but they're talking about on the fotball field instead of in a court room.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer specializing in relocation threats, vows of civil lawsuits and other various extortions.

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