SAN FRANCISCO – While Carmen Policy is leading the drive to get NFL approval for a stadium in Carson for the Raiders and Chargers as co-tenants, those teams are working toward deals in their respective cities, Raiders owner Mark Davis said.
“I think the fact we’re concentrating on our home markets in Oakland and San Diego, it’s good to have one voice speaking for us on the project in Los Angeles,” Davis said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton.
“I’m working in Oakland right now, and trying to get something done in Oakland. We’ll see what happens. We have a parallel path going on in Los Angeles in case we can’t get something done.”
Davis reiterated his desire to keep the Raiders in Oakland. But he clearly put the onus on the local officials to find a way to make it happen. The clock is ticking.
When asked for a timetable for Oakland and Alameda County to put together a plan, Davis answered, “Yesterday.”
There is a deliverable date on June 21 to come up with a financing plan for a new stadium in Oakland. The Raiders and NFL have lined up $500 million for the $900 million project in Oakland, Davis said.
Davis concedes that the $400 million gap would be a difficult sell to taxpayers.
“I would think so,” Davis said. “And the problem is we haven’t had any commitment that we could have the land and we do have the infrastructure so that we could find someone to help fill the funding gap.”
Davis said he would like the Athletics baseball team and his Raiders to remain long term in Oakland with separate stadiums. But Davis has a vision for how he wants to see the plan carried out.
“We’d like for the A’s to stay,” said Davis, who said he will not sell the Raiders. “Selfishly, we’d like to have that land all to ourselves. But we’d like the A’s to stay. We’d like the Raiders to stay. We’d like to build a baseball and a football stadium, maintain the parking we have to maintain the game-day experience. . . tailgating.
“But I don’t want to build a football stadium in the corner of a parking lot, leave the current Coliseum standing, build a beautiful new stadium but be in a construction zone for the next three or four years while they tear down the Coliseum where it stands and build a new baseball stadium and inconvenience the fans.”
The 49ers have kept the door open for a second team to join them in Santa Clara. Levi's Stadium was built with the idea that it could house two NFL teams. But Davis said moving into Levi’s Stadium is not a viable option because he does not want the Raiders to be a second-tier occupant.
“There’s not going to be a No. 1 team and a No. 2 team in that stadium,” Davis said of the possible Carson stadium after the Raiders and Chargers secured 180 acres for their joint venture. “There will be two No. 1 teams, if in fact that’s how it happens. We’re designing it together. We’re making all the decisions together. It’ll be for both teams.
“San Francisco did a phenomenal job of getting something done in California on their own to finance a stadium and get it built and I give them a lot of credit. But it’s not the type of . . . it’s not a Raider type of area. It’s just not going to work for the Raiders. . . It’s just as far for me to get to Santa Clara as it would be to fly to L.A. If we’re going to move the team, let’s get something that’s going to be for the Raiders.”