The City of Oakland could very well lose all of their professional sports teams if they aren’t careful. The Warriors are a few years away from moving to San Francisco, the Oakland Athletics would have fled to San Jose if MLB would allow it, and the Raiders — the only team who appears to have a desire to stay — have one foot in Carson, California already.
On Tuesday two things occurred that don’t bode well, at least to fans who hope the team remains in the city where it was founded. First, the Carson City Council unanimously approved the plans for the $1.7 billion stadium that would be shared between the Raiders and the Chargers. This comes as no surprise since it was fully expected that the City Council would approve the plan, but it does represent another step taken in a project that is moving quickly along. The City Council could have put the issue up for a public vote but opted for the quicker and more efficient City Council vote. That has been a theme for Carson, quick and efficient. Ever since the idea was announced in mid February, things have progressed consistently and without any stumbling blocks.
Oakland, on the other hand, has taken the road with nothing but stumbling blocks and pot holes the size of Coliseum City (if Coliseum City existed). On Tuesday, the NFL official in charge of relocation efforts, Eric Grubman, said in an interview that after numerous visits with City of Oakland officials over the years, things haven’t gone all that well.
I have multiple visits to Oakland and in those visits, each of those for the past three years, I’ve visited with public officials and I feel like we’ve gone backwards. So I feel like we’ve lost years and gone backwards and that usually doesn’t bode well.
While Grubman is far from the final word on what will happen to the team, he is one of the only neutral voices currently speaking on the matter. Thus far, the only people we tend to hear from are city officials of Oakland and Carson who wish to paint a flowery picture of their position, and officials from the Raiders who are walking a tight rope trying to preserve their options in both locations. Grubman has no vested interest in the team staying or leaving, just in getting a new stadium the best and quickest way possible.
By Grubman’s account, the Raiders seem more likely to move into Levi’s stadium with the Niners than get a new deal in Oakland … and we all know that’s not going to happen.