The board that controls the Oakland Coliseum complex officially ordered a study to look into the possibility of building a new football stadium.
The so-called "feasibility" study — approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority's board of commissioners Friday — will be performed by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, a consulting firm specializing in the sports and entertainment industries. CSL, which bid for the project, will receive $125,000.
While the study was expected, board commissioners also recommended engaging the Oakland Raiders in talks to try to get the team to pay for some of the study's cost.
"The Raiders are a part of this process and therefore should be at the very beginning," said Ignacio De La Fuente, an Oakland City Council member and vice chairman of the authority's board. "The (Coliseum Authority), CSL and the Raiders are all partners in this."
De La Fuente said the Authority had not talked with the Raiders specifically about paying for part of the study, but he said he believed splitting the cost would be fair.
In a statement, Oakland Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask said, "We have expended resources in evaluating and furthering the concept of an urban redevelopment project, anchored by a stadium. In that regard, we have already engaged (at our expense) professionals to assist with this analysis. We have not heard from the Joint Powers Authority about the funding of a
If a financing deal for it is completed, the study will look at the possibility of building a new football stadium on or adjacent to Coliseum property and will analyze the cost of a new stadium and potential revenue it could bring in, offer funding sources and give a timeline for when such a facility could be built.
The study also will look at the economic impact such a project could have for Oakland and Alameda County as well as a financial analysis of the impact of a possible Raiders move out of the county.
CSL International also has been told to assume in the study that there would be little to no public money for such a stadium and that the facility should be able to accommodate two NFL teams.
The idea of the 49ers and Raiders sharing a stadium has been floated several times. More than a year ago, the NFL asked the teams to look into the possibility of sharing a stadium, and San Francisco 49ers President Jed York is on record saying Oakland would be an option if the 49ers are unable to successfully build their proposed stadium in Santa Clara.
"I think the NFL is pushing for shared stadiums in places with two teams," said De La Fuente, citing the new stadium for the New York Jets and New York Giants. He said the idea of a 49ers-Raiders stadium is well-placed in reality in his eyes.
"This is definitely a real possibility," De La Fuente said. "This is not some pie in the sky idea."
Financing for such a project, however, might be the biggest issue. The deal that brought the Raiders back to Oakland from Los Angeles has left a lingering bad taste in the mouths of some city and county officials, as well as taxpayers.
The city and county each pay about $10 million annually for the upgrades to the Coliseum that were agreed upon to lure back the Raiders in 1995. Even after nearly 15 years of such payments, approximately $150 million is still owed.