Tagged: Oakland Raiders Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 10:01 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Oakland Raiders, , Stadiums   

    The Raiders moving to Vegas is a symptom of a much larger disease 

    The Raiders moving to Vegas is a symptom of a much larger disease

    When it came to the NFL, for many years the city of Los Angeles was always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Whenever an NFL team wanted their city to chip in public money for a new stadium, the team would always threaten to move to L.A. Two teams finally made good on those threats when St. Louis and San Diego told the Rams and Chargers respectively, to take a hike. L.A. went from being a the biggest major market without a football team, to having two teams in less than a year. At one time, the Raiders themselves were in an agreement with the Chargers to share a stadium in L.A. with their AFC West rivals.

    Now with the second largest media market out of reach, where could the Raiders threaten to go to try to get a new stadium out of Oak Town’s coffers? With Los Angeles being at capacity Las Vegas became the next logical market to court. While not as large a market as Los Angeles, or even Baltimore, Las Vegas does attract many travelers from across the country to its glitzy attractions.

    The problem here is that it seems more than likely that the Raiders had no intention of staying in Oakland. Former Raiders and 49ers Hall of Fame player Ronnie Lott headed a business consortium that not only would have created a smaller but more modern and lucrative stadium, but the City of Oakland itself agreed to the deal and had promised to kick in a share of the cost. It would have been a new stadium with luxury suites and plenty of space for concessions which the aging Oakland Coliseum is said to have lacked. It also would have kept the stadium in the same relative area as the Coliseum. However, Raiders owner Mark Davis, and his haircut, had been visiting Las Vegas for the past year, entering into talks with various businessmen including local billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Even when Adelson pulled out of helping the Raiders financially in their move to Vegas, Davis went full speed ahead with the move anyway. while it’s not the Colts moving out of Baltimore in the middle of the night, it’s still an egregious show of disrespect to the Raider faithful. To make matters worse, Davis has sent out e-mails to Raiders ticket holders to make their deposits now for their games in Vegas. That’s a 9 hour drive at over 500 miles, which basically shows that the Raiders don’t want the lunch pail fans, but more of the wine and cheese crowd which goes against everything the Raiders have stood for in the past.

    Therein lies the problem with the modern NFL, it hasn’t been about the fans for years now. It’s all about the owners and their greed. The NFL owners voted almost unanimously to approve the Raiders’ move to Vegas. The lone holdout was Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, who used private money to renovate the Dolphins’ stadium. With the exception of stadium stalwarts like Lambeau Field in Green Bay or Soldier Field in Chicago, stadiums have become largely disposable. Stadiums that had been previously thought of as hallowed grounds like Three Rivers in Pittsburgh and Texas Stadium in Dallas have all fallen to the proverbial wrecking ball, however, in those cases at least the teams stayed in their markets. Who’s to say that with the current climate among NFL owners we wouldn’t one day see the Portland Steelers or the San Antonio Cowboys? In a few years the new sign of urban, and in some cases suburban, blight will be the carcasses of old sports stadiums littered across the country. While the Raiders may have not been the first to eschew their fans in pursuit of the almighty dollar, they’re certainly a huge part of a much larger problem that one day just may price the NFL out of existence.

  • Geebo 11:16 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Oakland Raiders   

    The Raiders’ move to Las Vegas is a losing gamble 

    The Raiders' move to Las Vegas is a losing gamble

    Very few teams in the NFL have a history as storied as the Raiders. Between their origins and history in Oakland and their 12-year stint in Los Angeles, the Raiders are synonymous with football in California. That’s why it came as a shock to many that the NFL owners almost unanimously approved the Raiders’ request to move to Las Vegas. While Raiders ownership may be dazzled by the promise of a $1.9 billion brand new stadium in Las Vegas, this move may be a losing bet not only for the Raiders but for Sin City as well.

    Las Vegas has been unsuccessfully trying to get a pro franchise for decades. They had a CFL team during the American Expansion period of the 1990s, which only lasted a single season. Similarly the city had the Las Vegas Outlaws of the ill-fated XFL. Las Vegas also has a similar problem to that of Los Angeles. While LA now has the Rams again and the incoming Chargers, most Southern California football fans spend their entertainment dollars on the established USC Trojans. Currently in Las Vegas, the big football ticket is the UNLV Rebels. The NFL will have a hard time pulling Las Vegas diehards away from the Rebels to see the Raiders.

    Las Vegas is paying for the new stadium with a hotel tax. That amount represents their contribution of a much larger price tag. You’d think that if any town could pull that off, it’s Las Vegas due to the fact that they are a top travel destination in the US. The problem is that hotel tax is also used for things like schools and public transportation. You could raise the hotel tax but that could start making hotels more expensive than your average traveler is willing to pay, and with gambling legal in many states now, Las Vegas doesn’t have the must see appeal that it used to. Combine that with the fact that Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson pulled out of his part of the deal, the Raiders have to pony up $650 million of their own money.

    This also isn’t taking into account that the Raiders will only be using the new stadium for 8 days out of the year without counting preseason games or possible playoff appearances. How is the city going to fill the stadium for the rest of the year as Las Vegas has no shortage of already established entertainment venues? As Stanford sports economist Roger Noll said to the Bay area media

    “It’s not in the casinos’ interest for you to fly into Vegas for the weekend and then have you spend half a day at the football stadium,” Noll said. “They attract you to gamble, go to the shows and eat at the expensive restaurants.

    He also added that “This is the worst deal for a city I have ever seen.”

    The reality is that the City of Oakland needs the Raiders. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unimpressed with the offers made by the city, necessitating the move to Las Vegas. With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors of the NBA moving to San Francisco, not only is the city losing two major revenue streams but also the number of jobs that went along with both of those franchises. As a city, Oakland was on the upswing when it came to being a viable market as an alternative to the other much more expensive cities in the Bay Area. With the loss of the Raiders, not only has it lost one of its few major attractions, but it may have lost its ability to attract bigger financial opportunities for the city which in the long-term will see a decline in Oakland’s standard of living.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc