All About Sports

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Raiders, 49ers have held speaks on sharing a new stadium

Could the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, those iconic NFL organizations that seem like such polar opposites, wind up sharing a home one day?

Don't laugh. In separate email interviews as they flew Wednesday to Atlanta for owners' meetings on the labor deal, 49ers president and CEO Jed York and Raiders CEO Amy Trask acknowledged they were talking about a joint stadium.

"The 49ers are building a stadium in Santa Clara," York said the San Jose Mercury News. "We have talked about the idea of sharing a stadium at a very high level with the Raiders. The Raiders are researching all their options."

Trask repeated her position that the Raiders have an "open mind" about being partners with the 49ers on a new stadium, but she didn't show where that home would be.

The teams have been pursuing their own new stadiums for years, and things are heating up now that a new collective bargaining agreement seems imminent. The 49ers want to build a new facility in Santa Clara, where the team has its HQ, and that stadium plan could receive financial help from the league after the new collective bargaining agreement is realised. But the Raiders want a new stadium, too, and joining forces with the 49ers might be the best route for both.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has told repeatedly the teams should consider constructing a stadium together, particularly considering the current economic climate for financing. "Well, I would  encourage them to measure it, because it has worked in NY," Goodell stated in October. "Getting a stadium constructed is a challenge, particularly in this environment."

In June 2010, Santa Clara passed a measure that would provide $114 million of public money to build a 68,500-seat stadium. However, the total cost of the project could be near $1 billion, and it is not clear where the 49ers would get the rest of the money. The 49ers have stated a stadium in Santa Clara could be ready by 2015.

York stated the 49ers may need help from the team across the bay to close the deal, and said they have a long history of working together with the Raiders.

"One of the things that I think a lot of people do not realize about the 49ers and the Raiders is that the person who brokered the deal when my grandpa bought the team was Mr. (Al) Davis," York said the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday. "So it is not like there is any bad blood. You need to look at that. When you are talking about a billion-dollar investment, and there is not a lot of public money in California to build these stadiums, you need to look at those things and that's something that we have done."

The Raiders' lease at the Oakland Coliseum runs through the 2013 season.

Further complicating things, Oakland city officials on Wednesday unveiled a plan to build a new stadium adjacent to the Raiders' current home. At-large Oakland councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told the planned stadium would host the Raiders and 49ers, as well as soccer and concerts. "We have a lot going for us," Kaplan stated. "Santa Clara is nowhere near a done deal."

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