There has been plenty of talk around the NFL about the Oakland Raiders leaving for a new location. Here are the top 10 reasons why they should.
10. Outdated Stadium
Can you blame Mark Davis for wanting out? The Oakland Coliseum is falling apart, literally. From inadequate parking, to constant roof leaks, to maintenance issues, one has to wonder how much longer fans will put up with this experience. The 1964 built stadium is currently the fourth oldest stadium in the NFL. Only Lambeau Field, Soldier Field and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum are older. The big difference between those three historic stadiums and Oakland Coliseum is the preservation. Unless the city of Oakland invests heavily into repairing the damaged stadium, the Raiders are better off starting over again elsewhere.
9. City of Oakland
Remember when the city of Cleveland refused to finance a new stadium for the Browns, and instead built the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Even the Giants headed west of the Hudson River once New York wasn’t going to fund a new stadium. If your city isn’t behind your team 100 percent, all bets are off the table. According to reports, Davis and Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf haven’t even talked to one another yet about the situation. Davis hasn’t met with the Oakland mayor, but he has in fact met with Las Vegas city officials about a new stadium. Schaaf has said she would like to build a new stadium for both the Athletics and Raiders, but the chances of that happening in Oakland are extremely unlikely because of a lack of available space.
8. Cheaper Options
We all know California is the land of high taxes, and that operates in full effect for owners as well. A lot of owners and companies (not just sports) are leaving California to save money. Think about this: both Los Angeles and New York Metropolitan area locations have an NFL stadium in which two teams are sharing it with one another. Yes, it’s that expensive in New York and Los Angeles. Las Vegas isn’t the cheapest place in the United States, but it does have financial benefits when compared to other California locations. The Raiders have even showed interest in San Antonio, which would be a very wise investment, financially speaking.
Raiders fans are very passionate, but the fact of the matter is, they aren’t filling the seats at a high enough rate. Last season the Raiders had the second lowest home attendance rate in the entire NFL. Only the St. Louis Rams had a lower home attendance rate, and now they are back in Los Angeles. On top of having the second lowest attendance rate per stadium, the Raiders had the third lowest average amount of fans per game, just over 54,000. The only two teams (Rams and Minnesota Vikings) with lower fan per game averages are currently in the middle of switching stadiums. That’s speaks for itself.
6. Support of Owners
We have to remember all the owners work together. This is a business. If a team is constantly losing money, that means they are losing the NFL and other owners money. That team right now is the Raiders. If Las Vegas or a Texas city is willing to finance a new stadium location, and it shows promise, owners will jump on it in a heartbeat. Building a new stadium and starting over is often times a better option than to continue financing an old one.
5. History Repeats Itself
This is nothing new. Teams move all the time, in all sports. Who would have thought the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants would move to California? The Raiders are no different. We’ve seen them bounce all around California for decades. Since 1960, the Raiders have played at “home” in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It doesn’t look like Los Angeles will be their next location, but the Raiders fan base is used to geographic movement.
4. Oakland Athletics
You ever watch a Raiders game on television and wonder to yourself, why is there a baseball diamond on the 50-yard line? It’s one thing for a football and soccer team to share arenas seeing as the dimensions are equal. Even the New York Rangers and Knicks share Madison Square Garden, because, again, the dimensions are equal. But baseball and football? This has had disaster written all over it since day one. You can’t expect to operate a fully functional stadium with an MLB and NFL team sharing the same arena.
3. Small Stadium
This, combined with No. 7 and No. 10, is a deathblow. The Raiders stadium is not only old and not filled, but it’s also small. The Oakland Coliseum doesn’t even have a capacity to hold 60,000 fans for an NFL game. To put that into perspective, the other 31 teams can all hold more than 60,000 fans, and the Dallas Cowboys average more than 91,000 fans per home game. Even if the Raiders do sell out, it can’t match the competition because the stadium is just too small. It’s time to expand.
2.. Mark Davis Wants to Leave
This one pretty much speaks for itself. Mr. Davis isn’t getting what he wants in Oakland, so he’s testing other areas. According to ESPN, Davis pledged $500 million to build a new dome stadium in Las Vegas. Davis has also had a history of frustration with sharing a stadium with the Oakland Athletics. CBS Sports even reported that the Raiders would “pounce on the opportunity to move to San Diego if the Chargers decide to leave.” Davis won’t sign on long-term, instead selecting to opt for a one year lease knowing full well his team could move very soon.
1. It Makes Sense
With a 52-year-old stadium that has the smallest seating capacity in the league, combined with the facts that you have to share it with a baseball team and you can’t even fill the stadium, you have to ask yourself, why stay? Other cities will open their doors for another NFL franchise, and if you’re Mr. Davis, you have to take advantage of this moment. You already missed out on Los Angeles, and you know full and well that the San Diego Chargers are looking for a new stadium. It makes perfect sense to look elsewhere.
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