It’s a question that has sparked skepticism, intrigue, opposition, lots of chatter and even laughter over the past couple days among local sports fans.
Could the Raiders really come to San Diego?
The interwebs love to speculate and look at “what-if.” But in looking in financing and the interests of the city and Raiders, is it really actually viable?
Here’s what we know: The Raiders' proposal to move to Las Vegas is falling apart at the seams. Team owner Mark Davis needs another stakeholder to pitch in more than half a billion dollars to make up the difference in the estimated $1.9 billion stadium and the NFL has rules against casino owners sharing ownership of their franchises.
Unless Davis can find another private investor willing to jump in there will not be enough cash to build the Vegas facility.
Oakland has had less movement on a stadium front than San Diego. The MLS group looking to redevelop the Mission Valley site will leave acreage to construct a new NFL-caliber stadium, about 16 acres worth of land. That would drastically drive down the cost of a new facility because land acquisition is minimal there.
If the Raiders are willing to pay $200 million for a new stadium and the NFL is willing to pump in $300 million, you are half way to a new facility in Mission Valley.
State-of-the-art stadiums are being built for $7,000 a seat in Europe and that is commensurate with what they can be built for here: for a 60,000-seat stadium that is $420 million.
If the city and county combined is willing to provide the $1-per-year rent on that 16 acres and hand over the $175 million they were offering the Chargers during their last round of discussions, then we can have two new stadiums in one place in a completely redeveloped Mission Valley, without raising one single tax.
But is there interest? Again, here is what we know: A spokesman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office confirmed to NBC 7 that the mayor spoke to an NFL official this week, but did not say which league official.
A spokesman for the investor group hoping to get an MLS stadium here also told NBC 7 that the chatter surrounding the Raiders does not change any of the plans.
Then there’s the NFL commissioner. Roger Goodell told NBC Sports on Wednesday that any team going to San Diego would “have to find a solution to” the stadium problem.