In early June, the Chargers will commence the process of figuring out whether they can stay in San Diego. Within a few weeks, the Raiders will learn more about whether they can stay in Oakland.
Raiders owner Mark Davis explained to ESPN’s John Clayton that an update on the efforts of Floyd Kephart to find the extra money needed for an Oakland stadium will be provided by the end of next month.
“They are attempting to come up with that $400 million gap through some type of a real estate development deal,” Davis said. “By June 21, they’re supposed to come with a financing plan to the city and the county and then to us. We’ll see if it’s a doable deal or not. We’re hoping that it is.”
Davis wants to build a new Oakland stadium in the site of the current one, with a $500 million private contribution that includes a $200 million loan from the NFL. The estimated price of a new Raiders stadium in Oakland is $900 million — far cheaper than most modern football venues.
“If we were to be in Oakland, we don’t really need to have all the bells and whistles on the stadium,” Davis said. “What we want is a football stadium. We don’t need massive clubs and things of that nature. The three things that are most important to me in a stadium up here would be ingress, egress and parking. The reason I bring those things up is that it makes it easy for people to get in and out and the parking. Tailgating is such a major part of the Raiders game day experience for our fans, that it’s something that I’m not willing to give up. Parking is such an important thing. If we have those things and were able to build a football stadium, similar to Seattle or something of that nature, we’d be more than happy.”
If that can’t happen, happiness would come via a move to Carson, in a joint stadium to be shared with the Chargers. Which has sparked an unlikely alliance between Davis and Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
“Dean and I have always seen each other but we’ve rarely talked, and I think it was a competitive-type thing,” Davis said. “We did have a vicious and we still do have a very vicious rivalry going on the football field. But once Dean and I got together about three or four months ago to talk about this project, we really got along. We have similar business principles and things are working out pretty good in that respect.”
It’s believed that a shared stadium would end the twice-per-year rivalry by resulting in one of the two teams changing conferences. Davis calls that angle premature.
“That hasn’t been brought up to me yet,” Davis said. “That hasn’t even been one of the discussion points. I know it’s been brought up by other people in the media and things of that nature, but that issue hasn’t been brought up. I think that’s something that the League will deal with when the time comes.”
Or “if” the time comes. Davis presumably hopes it’s an “if” not a “when.” And it’s possible that his use of “when” was a slip that reveals what he truly wants for the Chargers.