Raiders want a new Oakland stadium, but can they afford it?

Good news! The Raiders, unlike their professional sports brethren in Oakland, actually want to stay in the city long term.

The bad news?

It appears they’re not able to afford their share of the cost for a potential new stadium. Cue the following sound effect:

The team is reportedly eyeing a 56,500-seat stadium — the smallest capacity in the NFL — on the current Coliseum site. City of Oakland and Alameda County officials are being advised that such an undertaking would cost an estimated $800 million (UPDATE: that’s a number that Vic Tafur reports as “premature and inaccurate“). The 49ers’ 68,000-seat Levi’s Stadium is costing $1.3 billion, just for comparison’s sake.

The Raiders, however, are reportedly only willing to foot about $300 million of that bill. Assuming the NFL could kick in $200 million for the project, as Roger Goodell has said he is open to doing, that leaves about a $300 million check (UPDATE: again, still TBD; see above) left to write for somebody who probably doesn’t want to end up writing it. The Raiders are also not expected to have a ton of corporate backing via suite and premium seating sales, either.

All of this was discussed Monday in the city-and-county-run Coliseum Authority’s meeting (which was also attended by some colorful guests).

Public officials are already reluctant to open up the checkbook for a new football stadium after falling so deep into the red to bring the team back two decades ago. But that could change under the prospect of all three local teams abandoning Oakland in the near future. The Warriors want the bright lights of San Francisco. The A’s want the money of Silicon Valley. And LA is never not an option for the Raiders. From the Tribune:

Councilman Larry Reid acknowledged that public money would be needed to help cover stadium construction costs and wouldn’t rule out supporting it.

“My primary concern is this is a city that always had three major league teams and that now there is the possibility that we will have none,” he said.

Both sides, including AECOM, the firm advising the Coliseum Authority, are reportedly conducting their own studies on the economic feasibility of the proposed stadium.

[Oakland Tribune]

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