The Vikings could break ground on their new stadium in a little over two months. The Falcons are kicking the tires on new stadium plans and financing in Atlanta.
Next up: the Raiders.
The Oakland Tribune is reporting that the team and the city are looking to build a replacement for the O.co Coliseum, formerly the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, the Network Associates Coliseum, the McAfee Coliseum and the Overstock.com Coliseum. The next version's chief feature, apparently, will be eliminating nearly a quarter of the 63,000 seats in the team's current home.
The price tag for what would be the smallest stadium in the NFL is pegged at $800 million. The team already stopped selling tickets for nearly 10,000 of the Coliseum's seats for this season, in part to avoid the regular danger of TV blackouts. They'll have just 53,000 seats, the fewest in the NFL for 2013.
There are some familiar tropes in the debate: the Raiders are offering to pay $300 million of the cost. The NFL seems to be promising its usual G-4 financing package, and Commissioner Roger Goodell is hinting darkly that the team might go elsewhere -- like maybe to the new stadium the 49ers are building across the bay.
And then there's this familiar excerpt from the NFL stadium playbook, via the Oakland Tribune:
There is a growing urgency in Oakland to strike a deal with the Raiders to keep the team from returning to Los Angeles, where a 75,000-seat stadium has been proposed in the nearby City of Industry.
With the Raiders lease expiring after the upcoming season, team owner Mark Davis has said he wants to stay in Oakland but doesn't want to sign another short-term lease at the Coliseum without an agreement in place for a new stadium.
Oakland is already losing one of its three professional sports teams to San Francisco, where the Golden State Warriors are expected to open a new arena in 2017. Major League Baseball's Athletics are also threatening to bolt, for San Jose. The A's play in, and don't much like, the Coliseum as well. (Ick factor: a "sewage problem" forced the A's and the Seattle Mariners to share a locker room there on June 17th this year.)
Complain as you will about the Metrodome's bathrooms, but at least the toilets flush.