It is no secret that the Oakland Raiders need a new stadium. The O.co Coliseum is outdated, run-down, and is the only remaining stadium in America that houses both an NFL and MLB team, with the infield dirt present on the field during baseball season.
The Raiders’ lease on the Coliseum expires after this upcoming season, leading to many questions about where they will play in a few years, which includes the possibility of moving back to Los Angeles.
“Always,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told Tim Kawikami of the San Jose Mercury News when asked about relocating to SoCal. “An opportunity for us to get a new stadium is always on my mind. Oakland is first, OK?”
Oakland is first for Davis, who appointed a committee to propose a 50,000-seat, $800 million stadium in Oakland last month. However, this would require $300 from the public, which is not something that will be easy to accomplish.
Davis is looking at other options, such as playing in the Cal Bears’ stadium in Berkeley.
“Sure. I mean, if they’d want us,” he said. “We’ve done it before. There’s some… things about Berkeley that wouldn’t be optimal–the parking and all of that stuff is always tough.”
The tough thing is that there are restrictions to hosting high-capacity events in Berkeley, and the Raiders would exceed those limits if they played their home games at Memorial Stadium.
There’s also the idea that they share a stadium with the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, but Davis said that would be out of question for now.
Davis, like everyone else, recognizes the urgency to find the Raiders a new home. He does not want to sign another short-term deal to keep the Raiders in the Coliseum.
“I don’t see how that could happen,” he remarked, when asked if the Raiders would play in the Coliseum for the next five years or so. “But yeah, it obviously would be frustrating. It just doesn’t make sense, for anybody.”
Despite all frustrations, Davis says one thing inspires him to keep working towards a new stadium, preferably in Oakland: ”The fans here at the greatest. There’s no question about it. That’s the one thing that makes me keep trying to get something done here. There’s nothing like ‘em.’”