The Raider Nation Times – July 16, 2012 – By Stuart Kovacs –
The speculation has been out there for some time now that the Oakland Raiders are one of several teams that have been rumored to potentially move to the city of Los Angeles.
Along with the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams, the Raiders are in a situation in which stadium issues are leading to conversations about relocating.
For the Raiders specifically, there are two main issues regarding the team’s location in the future.
First, the team’s lease with the O.co Coliseum ends after the 2013 NFL season forcing the Raiders to get a stadium built, or to make a move soon.
Second, the current home of the Silver & Black is regarded by many as an old facility that lacks many of the amenities that are necessary for an NFL team to succeed.
These two problems will undoubtedly lead to something being done. The team will have to extend its lease, rebuild on the O.co Coliseum’s existing site, move the team to another location near Oakland, or of course, which many Raiders’ fans fear, move the team to the city of Los Angeles.
Of all of these scenarios, the one that the Raiders have been desperately looking into is the idea of rebuilding on the team’s current site.
The study itself looked at viability of the site, the site’s optimal uses, a financial feasibility study, analysis on new stadium development, master planning concepts, construction costs, revenue projections, and potential project funding sources.
In this study, JMI Sports truly believes that the team’s current location is sufficient to hosting an NFL franchise.
The group thinks this is due to the area’s many positive characteristics including abundant parking, proximity to major highways, a multitude of public transportation, the nearby Oakland International Airport, and numerous hotels in the area.
JMI Sports worked closely with many development groups, including ROMA Design, as well as the Raiders, and two prominent contractors with stadium building experience to analyze the optimal stadium placement within the existing location.
This was done to make sure the stadium allowed efficient ingress and egress for traffic, worked with the existing site constraints and utilities, offered prime visibility to major thoroughfares for a potential naming rights partner, and created a connection with proposed ancillary development that would activate the site year-round and provide a needed funding source.
The potential project would keep the Raiders in their current location and would end any discussion about the team leaving Oakland for Los Angeles.
The new stadium would have 65,000 seats and all the amenities that the newest NFL stadiums such as Met Life Stadium, Cowboys Stadium, and Lucas Oil Stadium include.
While the project would cost an estimated $735 million, the keeping of the Raiders in Oakland would be priceless to many who reside in the city and root for their beloved team.
There is obviously a long way to go in resolving the Raiders’ stadium issue. However, this news of JMI Sports conducting a feasibility study is a critical first step in keeping the team in Oakland.