The Oakland Raiders proposed 50,000 seat stadium for Oakland at the current Oakland Coliseum site, and part of the planned Coliseum City development, is 20,000 seats less than the minimum seat capacity requirement a new or existing NFL city stadium must have to host a Super Bowl game.
This came directly from Greg Aiello, NFL Senior Vice President of Public Relations. In an email, Mr. Aiello said:
That number is below our required number of seats for a Super Bowl (70,000) but it would be up to the Super Bowl Host Committee and the owners. They determine the awarding of Super Bowls.
At 50,000 seats, the proposed Oakland Raiders stadium would have to add 20,000 seats just to meet the minimum requirement. By contrast, the 68,500 seat Levi Stadium for the San Francisco 49rs, has a Super Bowl host plan that allows the addition of 75,000 seats for Super Bowl L, which the 49ers and San Francisco / Santa Clara won the right to host this year.
And while the Super Bowl Host Committee (the NFL committee, not any local group) makes the decision, if Oakland were to submit a bid to host a Super Bowl game, it would be less than competitive with any bid from any one of the NFL cities that have regularly bid for the Super Bowl: Houston, Dallas, Miami, Jacksonville, New York, Indianapolis, San Diego, Detroit, Tampa, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
To put this in its right perspective, the Super Bowl Oakland Bid submitted by the Oakland Alameda County Sports Commission and the Super Bowl XXXIX Bidding Committee in 2000, and of which this blogger was the head of, called for adding almost 12,700 seats to the current Oakland Coliseum’s Stadium capacity of just over 64,000 seats. That came at a cost of $11 million and produced plans for a temporary fourth deck at the Oakland Coliseum (I still have the plans, by the way. And the photo in this blog post is an artist rendition I commissioned to have made for Oakland’s Super Bowl Bid in 2000 for the 2005 game. It contains the new seat level, if you look carefully, you’ll see it.)
Given that as a rule of thumb, and adding for inflation, it would cost an additional $20 million to temporarily expand the proposed Oakland Raiders Stadium just for the Super Bowl.
Oakland Raiders Are Playing Games With Oakland
The Oakland Raiders need to stop playing games with Oakland. At 50,000 seats, the Raiders would give up potential revenue gains from big games that help pay for player payrolls.
The only way to adjust for that is to have larger ticket price points, and that comes at a time when the elasticity of demand for NFL football tickets doesn’t support higher prices. NFL overall attendance has been on a declining slope for the last five years because of the teams collective failure to read the economy and reduce ticket prices.
The LA Stadium Is Larger
Even though the Oakland Raiders say they’re committed to staying in Oakland, there’s no contract signed to back that claim, just words. Meanwhile, the move to develop a 76,000 seat stadium in Los Angeles speeds ahead.
In the Oakland proposal, the Raiders have said they will commit $300 million to the stadium’s financing. They’re expecting $200 million in loan money from the NFL, but at 50,000 seats, and with a small base of personal seat license locations in the proposed stadium, and leading to an expected $100 million revenue take, it’s going to be harder to convince the NFL to help finance a stadium proposal that it, first, has to wait a longer period of time to collect its money from, and second, has almost no chance of landing a Super Bowl game to help the NFL recoup some of its investment.
The NFL Super Bowl Committee would have to be drugged, then paid off, to even think of choosing an Oakland Super Bowl Bid over that from any other eligible NFL city.
This proposal, in short, is a joke. And it’s not funny.
Oakland Right Back To Planning For Failure
The City of Oakland finds itself, once again, in the position of planning for the creation of a stadium that just maintains the Raiders, but is not competitive from a revenue or events standpoint. In 1995, the changes to the Oakland Coliseum resulted in a stadium for the Raiders, but since no attention was paid to the changing state of the art, the new Coliseum was obsolete two years after it was opened in 1995.
Now, with this proposal made just to give the Raiders a stadium in Oakland, but not the best facility, it’s all history repeating. That’s not good for either the Oakland Raiders, or Oakland and the East Bay.
We all deserve a better Oakland Raiders New Stadium proposal. And one that includes what this one does not have: an aggressive naming rights plan that brings in $200 million.
In LA, the AEG planners lined up Farmers Field to give $700 million for a facility that still isn’t even built yet. There’s no reason Oakland can’t go out an line up a $200 million naming rights investment for the planned Oakland Raiders Stadium.
The current proposal needs to be dumped.
And here’s the study that was presented at the JPA Meeting on Monday: