Oakland Raiders’ Hope for a New Stadium In East Bay

The Oakland Raiders have a number of pieces that could reaffirm the team’s “Commitment to Excellence” once again. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Khalil Mack, and new head coach, Jack Del Rio, are the key factors that will drive the Raiders forward on the field.

However, the uncertainty of their future tenure in Oakland casts a shadow of anxiety over Raiders fans.

With all of the Raiders’ fresh potential, whether or not the team will move is the last thing fans want to worry about. It’s certainly difficult to get excited for upcoming home games in Oakland while fearing their potential move to Los Angeles.

A move to Southern California could also mean a shared stadium with the San Diego Chargers. There is no way that Bay Area Raiders fans would be supportive of losing the “Silver and Black” again, especially to a shared spot with division rivals.

On the bright side, the Raiders recently made preliminary progress towards their Coliseum City project in Oakland. According to ESPN, San Diego real estate developer, Floyd Kephart, met the deadline for submitting a new plan. Although explicit details are confidential, the point of the submission was to outline the development of offices, housing, retail shops, and a new stadium at the Coliseum site.

The ESPN report quoted Kephart saying:

“I think we delivered a good product. If we can get a little bit of movement from the city and county at this stage and a little bit of movement from the Raiders at the next stage, we can get a deal. It’s not nearly as complicated as what’s going on in San Diego.”

These past few days certainly sparked some excitement that the Raiders could potentially stay in Oakland. However, fans should not get their hopes up too high at this stage of the game.

It’s still unclear how the required $400 million will materialize. The Raiders and the NFL will provide $500 million of the budget, but the city of Oakland will not use their own funds and tax payers to finance the project.

Even so, the Raiders need to get the ball rolling quickly. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the NFL demands that Oakland must produce a stadium plan by the end of this year or else the city will lose the team.  To make matters worse, the same article also stated that the Oakland Athletics co-owner, Lew Wolff, “has no interest in sharing the site with the Raiders.”

Basically, the Raiders are a small step closer to staying in Oakland, and the Athletics seem on their way out the door. It’s safe to say that any Oakland sports fan would hate for either team to leave the beloved East Bay city.

With reports stating that the Golden State Warriors will depart for San Francisco by 2018, there are tensions in the air over which teams Oakland may or may not have in the coming years.

In regards to the Oakland Raiders, owner Mark Davis has repeatedly expressed that keeping the team in Oakland is vital. The San Jose Mercury News reported the following on Davis’s thoughts:

“Raiders owner Mark Davis have described the preliminary financing plan as a potential make-or-break moment in the long-running effort to transform the sprawling 120-acre Coliseum site into a privately-developed urban center with sports facilities, apartment buildings, offices, shops and a hotel.”

There seems to be a lot riding on this preliminary plan. Hopefully the fans will soon be rewarded with news that the Oakland Raiders will definitely stay where they belong.

Oakland has become the key essence to the Raiders’ brand, and a relocation would destroy everything the city built for the team. It would be a great shame to see the team leave for another city.

Interestingly, NBC Bay Area reported that the Raiders were a “no show” at the Carson stadium town hall meeting. It was supposed to be an opportunity for Southern California Raiders and Chargers fans to hear from both teams about a joint stadium, but it didn’t go according to plans.

There was no presentation and no information given to the audience because the Oakland Raiders did not even provide a representative. This might be a sign that the Raiders’ plan to relocate with the Chargers won’t happen.

Yes, this is merely speculation, but it is a good sign that the Raiders are committed to Oakland. The East Bay needs this team that is on the verge of better seasons to stay.