The Raiders are still working to build a new football stadium in Oakland that will allow them to stay in the East Bay.
But, as Raiders owner Mark Davis puts it, the Raiders are also navigating a “parallel path.”
The Raiders and San Diego Chargers are moving forward on a proposed stadium in Carson, just south of Los Angeles, that would house both teams. That’s assuming, of course, long-term solutions can’t get worked out in respective home markets.
The privately financed Carson stadium proposal intrigues Davis, who spoke at length about the project on the “TK Show,” a podcast released Friday and hosted by San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami.
“It will be 50-50 (between the Raiders and Chargers), which will be a very important factor in the whole thing,” Davis said during a wide-ranging 25-minute interview. “I’ve never been against sharing a stadium, but we have to start at the same time and be able to market at the same time and market it together. That’s what we have the ability to do it in this situation.”
Davis said the Chargers have been involved in the Carson project over the past 10 months, and the Raiders were approached to join the effort within the last six weeks.
“(Chargers owner and CEO Dean Spanos) had done a lot of groundwork,” Davis said. “When we talked about it, it was very interesting to me. We sat down and talked about the financing and everything else and, with a two-team process, it was viable. We agreed to work with them and see if something could get done, with the caveat that if either one of us were able to get something done in our home market, then we’d prefer to stay.
“That’s what we’re working on. We’re in the stage of working on the design phase of the stadium. The Carson site has the pre-requisites that I’m interested in. The ingress and egress are phenomenal with two freeways that border it. And there’s parking and tailgating. …With the Chargers with us, we have the ability to do it.”
A one-year lease extension for the Raiders to play the 2015 season at O.co Coliseum was approved on Friday morning, but the Silver and Black have no ties to Oakland beyond that. The Chargers and Raiders are expected to focus more on Carson if progress halts in their home markets during the 2015 calendar year, but Davis didn’t want to put a deadline on anything regarding stadium project.
“I’m not going to base anything on a timetable,” Davis said. “I want to do what’s right for the long-term future of the Raiders and their fans. It’s not going to be rushed. It might seem like it’s rushed (now), but this has been a six or seven year process.”
Davis wants to see a sense of urgency from powers within the city of Oakland and Alameda County in regards to a new stadium. He says staying put remains his first priority.
“We are going to try to stay in Bay Area,” Davis said. “We’re working on that. At the same time, we’re on a parallel path with the Carson opportunity. You have to do that. You just have to. There isn’t a timetable (to move or stay) but, if things fall in place, we’ll see.
“…We have the greatest fans in the world, and we need to get something done in this regard.”