Commissioner Roger Goodell attended Thursday night’s game in Oakland. And it sounds like he’s hoping that the Raiders’ home stadium will soon be replaced with Black Hole 2.0.
According to the Associated Press, Goodell said that it’s crucial that the Raiders get a new venue.
“It’s our stage,” Goodell said. “It’s part of where we present our game. It’s the biggest part. It’s also really important to the fan experience. Having full stadiums is critical for us. We want to have our fans in the stadium, we want to make sure they have the best facilities, we want to make sure the teams can generate enough revenue to be successful and competitive.”
Oakland’s 26-13 loss to the Broncos, televised on NFL Network, had large patches of empty seats in the upper deck. Though the game was televised locally, the Raiders are one of the handful of franchises who took full advantage of the rule that reduces the minimum threshold for lifting a blackout from 100 percent of all non-premium ticket sales to 85 percent. The league prefers that every ticket be sold.
“The priority is what the community and the team work out,” Goodell said. “I think it’s a great benefit that there’s a stadium across the bay that’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility. That’s terrific. So that’s an option if this community and the Raiders choose that. But that’s a decision they have to make.”
Goodell is referring to the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. But the Raiders have shown no interest in playing games there, even though it makes plenty of sense to use the place 20 times per year instead of only 10.
The unsettled situation leaves the door open for a return by the Raiders to Los Angeles. And while Goodell was careful to avoid that topic on Thursday night, the option surely is on the table.