Goodell encouraging 49ers/Raiders joint stadium

Roger Goodell (AP)
October 11, 2010 7:49:45 PM PDT
The San Francisco 49ers have been looking for a new home for years, but with the cost of new stadiums pushing $1 billion these days, money is an obstacle. That economic reality is re-igniting debate about killing two birds with one stadium stone.

In the competitive world of sports, you won't find a lot of fans cheering the idea of the 49ers and Oakland Raiders sharing a stadium.

"Not a good idea, those are two fans that shouldn't mix," says 49ers fan Brent Lindquist.

However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has a different idea. At the Raiders game on Sunday he suggested the two Bay Area teams share a stadium just like the New York Jets and Giants.

Paul Staudohar is a professor emeritus of business at Cal State East Bay who has written three books on sports and economics.

"This makes sense for them to try to light a fire under the parties to try to get them to do something constructive which I think a shared stadium between the 49ers and the Raiders would do," says Staudohar.

The commissioner's nudging comes as the 49er's move forward with plans for a new $947 million facility in Santa Clara and the Raiders struggle with an aging coliseum.

When Santa Clara voters approved the stadium concept in June, they signed off on the possibility that it would be host to two NFL teams.

The stadium is designed to accommodate two teams and the necessary environmental impact report addressing traffic, noise and other issues is already approved, but the 49ers say that's only an option and not the plan.

"If at any point it gets to some negotiations and discussions that are serious about it, then we would have to look at what are complications and how would one work that through," says 49ers spokesperson Lisa Lang.

In light of the commissioner's comments, the Raiders CEO, Amy Trask, issued a statement to ABC7 that says in part "We do have -- and are keeping -- an open mind about the possibility of sharing a stadium."

Not all observers though think Raiders owner Al Davis would buy into such a plan.

"Al Davis might not like being in a position to play second fiddle to the 49ers in what would essentially be their ballpark," says Staudohar.

It certainly gives the fans of both teams something else to talk about when they meet up on Sunday.


Load Comments