(KPIX 5) — The Raiders are in Oxnard practicing with the Dallas Cowboys. Anywhere the Raiders travel the stadium rumors follow like a dark shadow. One month ago it was San Antonio. Today it’s Los Angeles.
In a recent blog, I suggested the Raiders bite the bullet and join forces with the 49ers. Pride being what it is, Mark Davis can’t fathom the thought. Hence, suggestion number two.
The more I travel the more I like the idea of the Coliseum City in Oakland. Check the link for more information on the plan along with an artist rendition.
I spent a couple of days in Baltimore last week where the Ravens home, M&T Stadium, was built next to Camden Yards where the Orioles play. M&T was built on the site of an old Piano factory long since closed. Both venues are within easy walking distance to restaurants, bars, and rail transportation.
During the NFC championship, I spent a week in Seattle where the 49ers played the Seahawks. Again, a beautiful baseball park adjacent to a fantastic football stadium. And, again, easy walking distance to restaurants and bars.
Why not rebuild O.co Coliseum into a city? Why not incorporate housing, shopping, restaurants, bars, an arena, a baseball stadium and a football stadium? Turn the Coliseum into more than a destination location. Make it a fashionable place to live, meet, greet and eat?
Economically speaking, football stadiums don’t make a lot of sense. Check out what Stanford’s economic sports expert had to say on the topic in comparison with an arena.
“A well-managed arena can be occupied 250-300 nights a year. And they can break even. And indeed, I don’t think there are very many cities out there who regret having built an arena, unless the city next door also builds one. And then you have two that are half occupied. So, you can’t really argue vociferously against building an arena. Baseball and football stadiums, however–there aren’t any that have been substantially subsidized where the local community has received anything remotely resembling a reasonable return on investment. They are financial black holes. Especially football stadiums.”
So there you have it. The arena would be an important economic component of any “Coliseum City.” That was the original plan which is no longer feasible because the Warriors bought a piece of real estate at Mission Bay in San Francisco. Party poopers.
So that brings me to my city tours of Baltimore and Seattle. Neither town has an NBA team. The Warriors scaled-down version of the Coliseum City would mirror those cities, except that the “city” would be constructed adjacent to the sports venues, while the downtowns of Baltimore and Seattle already existed. The residential units and restaurant development are critical for the investors who aren’t in the business of charity work.
I’m not buying into Magic Johnson’s proclamation that Los Angeles is primed for an NFL team. It’s not. Can someone show me a plan? Any plan? San Antonio? Even Daniel Boone is laughing at the one.
To steal a line from John Lennon, “You might say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”