SANTA CLARA (CBS/AP) — A shared stadium between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders has been discussed under the new NFL labor agreement, and executives for both teams said Tuesday they are open to future talks.
A stadium for the Bay Area rivals has long struggled to gain traction. The storied franchises have never agreed on the location of a shared site, among other things, and have explored separate plans with little success.
Jed York, president and CEO of the 49ers, said the team will listen to ideas for a two-team stadium while moving forward with plans for a new facility of its own in Santa Clara.
“We’ve discussed it, but there’s no plans. There’s nothing in the works,” said York, son of team owner John York. “And again, it’s something we remain open to, but it’s got to be the right deal for two teams. There’s nothing that anybody can force to make that happen.”
About the only thing the two franchises can agree on is that both need to replace their aging homes.
The 49ers have played in San Francisco since the franchise was established more than 60 years ago and have called Candlestick Park home since 1971. The Raiders, aside from the hiatus in Los Angeles, have played at the Oakland Coliseum since 1966.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has urged both to work together on a stadium solution similar to that of the New York Giants and Jets, who share the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
“We have an open mind about the possibility of sharing a stadium and we are discussing that possibility with the 49ers, with whom we have a terrific working relationship,” Raiders CEO Amy Trask said.
Raiders owner Al Davis wants a new stadium on the Coliseum site, and the 49ers—who couldn’t get a plan they wanted to stay in San Francisco—have focused efforts on financing a facility near team headquarters in Santa Clara.
In June 2010, voters in the Silicon Valley city signed off on a plan by the 49ers to build the 68,500-seat stadium. Under the agreement with the team, the city and area hotels would contribute $114 million to the $937 million project next to Great America theme park.
York said the team is still focused “100 percent” on the Santa Clara project. He is hopeful to start construction in 2013 and open the stadium for the 2015 season, although there’s still a major shortfall in cash to get the financing needed.
York said the soon-to-be-ratified, 10-year labor deal has removed the uncertainty and made it easier to secure the sponsors and financial backing for a facility. And under the new agreement, he doesn’t believe the rival teams would be competing for league dollars on a stadium.
“It’s not going to put anybody in competition with each other,” York said. “The way the credits work and how much credit would be available over the next several years, there’s more than enough to accommodate several new stadiums being built, so that’s not going to be an issue.”
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