Alameda – If a nuclear bomb set off in Oakland, at least few would live to see the aftermath. News is suggesting the Silver and Black are favoring relocation, and alas we will all have to witness the horror.
In the midst of meetings with San Antonio city officials and connections to Los Angeles, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on August 13 that the Raiders will not seek an extension on the O.co Coliseum lease expiring at the end of the season. It doesn’t take the Hubble telescope to see the writing on the wall.
Sports Out West asked Raiders captain Charles Woodson, who played his first eight NFL seasons in Oakland and spurned contenders to sign last offseason, his thoughts on the coming Armageddon. The 37-year-old was blunt:
“I think it’d be devastating. It’s happened once before and a lot of people are still bitter about that, and I think this would be doubling down on that bitterness if they were to leave again. I think it’d be tough for the city of Oakland.”
The Raiders left Oakland and moved to Los Angeles in 1982 primarily due to the city’s refusal to upgrade the Coliseum. The club came home in 1994 after the city agreed to build “Mount Davis” and pay for operating costs, among other expenses.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, a potential 56,500-seat stadium would cost around $800 million to construct, but the team would chip in only $300 million or so, with Oakland covering the rest.
The city of Oakland is not keen on such a lopsided deal, despite the NFL’s leverage. Committing large public funds to keep the Raiders with so many other pressing needs may be irresponsible.
Either way, Woodson’s opinion clearly speaks for the soul of Oakland and surrounding regions. His sway on Mark Davis and Oakland politicians is unknown.
Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports