The Dark Side’s Groping in the Dark for a Stadium

If Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf can stick to her guns, it pretty much guarantees the inevitable departure of the Raiders from her city:

Raiders owner Mark Davis and his colleagues at the NFL might have to wait a long time to hear from Oakland and Alameda County on a plan to help finance a new $900 million stadium.

That’s because elected officials are in no hurry to help the team close a $400 million funding gap, partly because taxpayers in Oakland and Alameda County are still paying millions of dollars a year for the Coliseum renovations that lured the team back in the mid-1990s. And that debt won’t be paid off until 2026.

“That money we’re paying now is general-fund money we could spend on police, parks or libraries,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who has said she cannot support spending a dime of public funds for a new stadium.

In my not so humble opinion, I completely agree, and it’s not just because Oakland and the Bay Area in general deserve better than to be infested with the presence of the Raiders.  Schaaf’s quote above makes clear that Oakland would be wise to let the Raiders walk, just as Seattle was wise to let the Sonics walk.

Meanwhile, via Mike Florio, Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal delivered some juicy nuggets over what was apparently some drama in the Carson Los Angeles stadium project regarding installing an “eternal flame” for Al Davis:

[C]urrent Raiders owner Mark Davis agreed to remove the tribute to the team patriarch, who also was a pariah of sorts in league circles. As Kaplan explains it, “many in the league . . . were not pleased” by the decision to commemorate a man who had a habit of suing his partners.

I was confident that, as much Robert Kraft disliked the severity of the discipline just handed down upon the Patriots, that he was not going to challenge this, using Al Davis as a cautionary tale.  And it should also be a cautionary tale for Stan Kroenke if he thinks of trying to bully his way into LA.

Then there’s also this:

Kaplan writes that the former 49ers and Browns exec Carmen Policy recently joined the project in part to address “the apparent tone deafness” of Mark Davis to the importance of abandoning the tribute.

A popular sentiment around this community is TYJE, and we can also say TYPB as well. But as heretical as it sounds, perhaps we do have to give just a bit of thanks to Al Davis for willing the Raiders to his son without properly preparing him for the responsibilities that ownership would entail.