NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s continued public support for building a football stadium jointly used by the 49ers and the Raiders seems like a brilliant idea at first glance.
Building one stadium obviously is cheaper than building two.
A joint stadium would ensure both teams, which have very different fan bases, remain in the Bay Area.
A joint stadium could double the revenue from football games, assuming Raider fans turnout in bigger numbers than they currently are and are willing to pay the same price 49er fans pay for tickets.
The idea seems logical, too. After all, if the NY football Giants and the NY football Jets can both play at the Meadowlands (ironically in New Jersey), why would that not work in the Bay Area?
This is where it gets complicated…
For starters, where would the stadium be located? Can you really see the Raiders moving into “49er territory?” Would the 49ers move to the East Bay? Would both being willing to play in San Jose? How will the stadium be funded?
For starters, as Raiders Examiner Patrick Patterson reports, the Raiders want to build a stadium adjacent to the Coliseum (the full article may be viewed at: http://echoflam.com/oakland-raiders-in-oakland/raiders-promoting-oakland-stadium-project).
Even if the Raiders were looking at a joint stadium, Al Davis reportedly does not have the cash to cover the Raiders half a new stadium. Even if NFL officials and owners were to overlook their issues with Davis, the NFL may not be in a position to help finance the stadium, as the G3 Progam that has provided low-cost construction loans for other stadiums (including about $300 million towards the new Meadowlands Stadium) reportedly is no longer flush with cash.
If the 49ers were to finance a stadium, would his ego allow Al Davis to pay rent to the 49ers?
That means public financing. Another sticky topic.
This past June, voters in Santa Clara approved building a new stadium for the 49ers. Taxpayers are expected to contribute about $114 million towards the new stadium, which is estimated to cost about $940 million to construct.
And getting back to the location issue… Even if the Raiders would be willing to relocate to the proposed new 49er stadium in Santa Clara (a big if), opponents have raised legitimate questions about the venue. The site is short by about 20,000 parking spots, obviously a concern to neighbors. Adding another eight regular season games, plus maybe some playoff games (one can hope), will only magnify those concerns.
Even if the teams and voters support a joint facility, one final group of important individuals remains: politicians.
The same people that took almost twenty years to hammer out an agreement on the “new” Bay Bridge will need to agree on the stadium’s location, ownership and financing.
The Bay Area may need either a miracle or a really cold day for that to happen.