Over the past decade, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have been working separately to try and build new stadiums in the Bay Area. The 49ers have taken more significant steps as they have looked at options ranging from a shopping mall-based stadium to their current strategy of moving to Santa Clara. The Raiders have discussed a need for a new stadium, but given the bad blood that sometimes exists between the Raiders and their host city, a lot of people just make the assumption they'll move back down to LA at some point in the near future.
Now it sounds like Northern California's two NFL teams might finally be figuring out an alternative that would suit both their needs and keep both teams in the greater Bay Area. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting the 49ers and Raiders have recently been meeting to discuss the possibility of sharing a new football stadium somewhere in the Bay Area.
The current economy precludes much in the way of public money from California and naming rights deals have generally gone down in value since the Internet bubble burst. The best way to finance a new stadium is to follow the model of the New York Giants and New York Jets and share the continually increasing costs of a facility. The NFL is working to rebuild the G3 fund, which is used to provide low interest loans to teams. Roger Goodell has previously stated the 49ers and Raiders should look into a shared stadium and a shared stadium could mean more G3 funding than a single team stadium.
For now the discussions are very much in the preliminary stages. The 49ers have plans in place for a new stadium in Santa Clara, but Raiders owner Al Davis seems more inclined to build a new stadium at the Oakland Coliseum lot. The location alone would take some time to figure out whether it be in Santa Clara, Oakland, or San Francisco. The 49ers current plan is to open their new Santa Clara stadium in 2015. That start date would like be impacted by a change of plans to a join stadium.
We'll be keeping a close eye on this developing story as it is of huge importance for both franchises. Throw in the impact it could have on the Oakland Athletics stadium future at the Coliseum and it's just a mess of issues. For more on the Raiders side of things, check out Silver and Black Pride. For more on the 49ers side of things, check out Niners Nation.