For the Oakland Raiders, when it rains, it pours.
Officials in Oakland, California announced yet another plan to try and keep the cherished Oakland Raiders football team from moving to Las Vegas: A new $1.25 billion, 55,000-seat Oakland Raiders stadium to replace the existing Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The plan includes reserving space for a new Oakland A’s baseball team ballpark, a sizeable commercial development, and potentially a “Grand Central Station-like” transit connection to the regional Bay Area Rapid Transit system that would welcome fans to the game.
Unlike Las Vegas’s proposal—a $1.9 billion, 65,000 seat stadium designed by Manica Architecture and funded predominantly with $750 million in public money and $650 million in cash from billionaire Sheldon Adelson—the Oakland proposal would not require any public money to be built. Instead, the East Bay Times reports, the plans is to issue city-backed bonds worth $200 million to be paid back with revenues generated by the stadium’s new commercial properties to help pay for the stadium. Those funds will be augmented with money from the National Football League (NFL) and an investment group in order fully fund the new stadium. A portion of those city-backed bonds would also be used to pay back the roughly $95 million in debt the city still has stemming from the last renovation to the Coliseum, which took place in the 1990s.
The Oakland Alameda Stadium is the last stadium in the country to function as a dual baseball-football complex, so the Oakland A’s—themselves considering a move to a different site in Oakland—are being offered a carrot as part of the deal, though the details of their stadium are still unclear. Plans released by the city indicate the baseball team will have a 15-acre plot reserved for their new stadium and also mention that the Golden State Warriors’ arena could become a part of the development proposal if the team moves to San Francisco, as is currently planned.
A design team has not been announced for the Oakland proposal, but city and regional leaders are meeting Tuesday to set the plan in motion. The big question is whether the Raiders, already more-or-less committed to the Las Vegas move, will take the time to hear out Oakland’s proposal.
One thing missing from the proposal: housing. Many new football stadiums, including the HKS-designed complex in Inglewood, California for the Los Angeles Rams, include housing components as part of the stadium design or are situated within neighborhood fabric. Some see the plan’s missing housing component as a missed opportunity to have the team’s continued presence in the rapidly-changing, gentrification-prone borough meaningfully contribute to the area’s economy, especially in light of the recent Ghost Ship disaster.