By most accounts, Levi’s Stadium was an excellent Super Bowl host. The new venue had luxury accommodations for the higher-end, often corporate crowd intermixed with some passionate, run-of-the-mill fans.
It’s state of the art in the truest sense, with numerous revenue streams to linethe pockets. That's certainly true for Jed York’s 49ers, and would be to a lesser extent for an additional tenant in that NFL stadium.
But don’t expect the Raiders to sign up for that deal. Owner Mark Davis has said time and again he has no interest in playing at Levi’s Stadium -- already built for two teams -- for any length of time.
“I just don’t think it fits the Raiders,” Davis said Friday. “I’ve said it all along, that there are three words that mean something to me regarding a stadium location. That’s ingress, egress and parking. On game day, our parking lot probably holds the largest non-denominational gathering on Sunday morning that you’ll find. I’m not going to give that up. That’s part of the Raiders in-game experience.
“I don’t believe they have that in Santa Clara. There are other things that create the 49ers game-day experience, but the Raiders have an experience of their own.”
Davis is driven to find a permanent solution that fits his franchise, and remains undeterred by a process that has featured little progress and a withdrawl from immediate LA relocation last month.
“The next stadium we build will be around for the next 40 years or so, and that will be for the rest of my life,” Davis said on Saturday. “I want to make sure that, wherever we are, it's going to be the right place. It can’t be just any place. It has to be the right place.”
In his mind, Levi’s is not the right place.
Levi’s Stadium is notoriously hard to get out of, with but a few satellite lots designated for tailgating. Tailgating has become a lost tradition in many NFL markets, as teams use stadium-adjacent land for development designed to help finance stadium construction or fill coffers.
Davis has been unwilling to revise his vision for tailgating, entering and exiting at a new Raiders stadium. It’s been a sticking point in talks with the city of Oakland, as Davis prefers using land around a proposed stadium for ground-level parking. He wants control of the O.co Coliseum site, something the city has been unwilling to concede. Baseball’s Oakland Athletics also hope to build a stadium on that land, and the city wants to accommodate that franchise as well.
Davis has explored stadium prospects in Las Vegas and San Antonio. He has been approved to join the Rams’ Inglewood project -- a vast, entertainment hub that doesn’t seem to fit Davis’ vision for a Raiders stadium -- should the Chargers remain in San Diego after 2016.
Success building a stadium in Oakland would make the Bay Area the only market with two NFL stadiums. The Jets and Giants share a stadium in the New York area. The Inglewood project would house two teams in LA.
Though he has grown frustrated with recent talks with Oakland, Davis hasn’t given up on his long-stated hope of staying put.
“Tomorrow is another day,” Davis said on Saturday. “You never know what can happen.”