There was a little more to the Levi's Stadium ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday than 49ers owner Jed York and his key execs and sponsors -- and the workers who built the stadium -- celebrating this auspicious moment for the franchise.
Just a bit more. Thanks to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Speaking at the stadium unveiling, the commissioner had this to say about the Raiders' stadium situation:
"They have to make that determination, whether they're in a new stadium in Oakland or whether they feel that it's best to join this stadium," Goodell said of the Raiders. "We're working on that, and that's one of the decisions they'll have to make."
Whether the Raiders feel it's best to join THIS stadium.
Hmm. First reaction: Nice way to add some Silver & Black flourish on the 49ers' big day, Commish!
Second: The NFL has always wanted the Raiders, lacking other options, to move into Levi's at least temporarily. That prospect was an assumed part of the $200 million loan package from the NFL to get the building started, and it's part of the term sheet with the city of Santa Clara.
I'm not saying the NFL will ever demand that the Raiders and 49ers agree to split Levi's (because that day has come and gone, though it was a possibility when York was looking for funding a few years ago -- but he and former team President Gideon Yu figured out how to finance it on their own).
I'm saying the NFL loaned the 49ers $200 million and as part of that they have the right to exert some pressure on York to consider the Raiders as a tenant, now that the stadium is up and running.
And with the Raiders stuck in the Oakland morass.
Realistically, the 49ers must always seriously consider any potential second team at the stadium -- though the 49ers would have No. 1 priority no matter what, of course.
That has always been the back-end way for the NFL to settle the Raiders' stadium situation -- get the Raiders to get to Santa Clara as renters so owner Mark Davis can reassess what they can do in Oakland or decide whether to move to Los Angeles or somewhere else.
But Davis doesn't want that. He has been asked many times, many times by me, and he has been consistent: He doesn't want the Raiders to be renters in somebody else's building, and, at least for now, he thinks the 49ers deserve to open Levi's as the sole tenants.
A note: Every ownership-level person (except Davis) I've talked to says the Raiders should consider renting at Levi's for a few years. Or more.
Do you think the Yorks want the Raiders in there now? No, they do not. I mean, they would take the millions of dollars in rental revenue and Santa Clara would take the extra tax dollars, but I'm not sure they want the Raiders in there, just in general.
The 49ers and Santa Clara did this on their own, and they would like to have it as their own.
But now the Commish, on Jed York's big day, floats this trial balloon about the Raiders at Levi's, and when it's the Commish, it's always more than just a "trial balloon."
It's what he wants. And he's the commissioner.
The 49ers are the ones who cast this in an absurd "Florence in the Renaissance" backdrop -- in the Levi's opening media guide, per staff writer Daniel Brown -- so after the Goodell public comments, I wonder:
The 49ers have to consider sharing their new palace with the Raiders, per request of the Holy Roman Emperor? Hmm, what would the Medicis do?
And: What a Machiavellian situation.
Purdy: It was a great day for platitudes
49ers open their $1.3 billion stadium with glitzy ceremony.