Oakland Raiders look to Levi’s for season home
The Santa Clara
February 7, 2019
Last time the Oakland Raiders and 49ers met in Levi’s Stadium, the result was violence between fans on each side of a bitter rivalry. That makes the most recent proposition—that the two may share the stadium the entire 2019-2020 season while the currently homeless Raiders try to find a home field—a bit daunting.
But for some Santa Clara students, the possibility of having the Raiders closer to campus for a season doesn’t sound too bad.
“If I didn’t go to Santa Clara I wouldn’t like it, but because I’m a student here I would be really excited about that because they are so much closer,” Raiders fan and junior Caitlin Colbert said.
In December 2018, the Raiders withdrew from a possible agreement that would have allowed them to finish next season at the Oakland Coliseum—their regular home field—before moving to Las Vegas in 2020.
By withdrawing from negotiations, the Raiders are now in search of a new home around the Bay Area.
While the prospect of sharing a field with the Niners does not seem too likely at this point, having Levi’s Stadium as a backup plan may help to push negotiations forward with one of the Raiders’ other options.
Many think that both teams would try extremely hard not to be forced to share a stadium, both for competitive and logistical reasons.
“I would hate sharing Levi’s with the Raiders—part of it being competitive pride, but the other being logistics,” senior Niners fan Max Elfrink said. “Levi’s Stadium is notoriously hard to get in and out of and I couldn’t imagine having two fanbases share that same space. Plus, the last time the Niners and Raiders were in a stadium together, 32 people were arrested.”
He’s not wrong. During the last meeting between the Raiders and 49ers, in a Thursday night football game only three months ago, more than 30 fans were arrested on charges of public intoxication while others faced charges of assault after fights broke out in the stands.
Even though sharing a home field for 2019 would not put both fanbases in the stadium at the same time, the incident certainly emphasizes the competitive rivalry between the two teams.
The most likely alternative? Oracle Park, formerly known as AT&T Park and home of the San Francisco Giants during baseball season.
It is possible that the Raiders will officially be playing next football season in a baseball stadium—not that this is anything new to them. In fact, if anything, Raiders’ fans may be less sensitive to this than any other fanbase.
From 1968 until the end of the 2018 season, the Raiders shared the Oakland Coliseum with the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball, making it the only remaining stadium in the U.S. shared by professional football and baseball teams.
“That’d be great for us as general football fans,” junior Shane Hughes said. “We could go to so many more football games if they played [at Oracle Park].”
Colbert agrees. “That would also be really great because I could take CalTrain up to the field and be right there,” she said. “[However] it would a bit of a bummer because there is something great about having everyone in the home stadium rooting for the same team. I know I’m going to miss the atmosphere at the old stadium in Oakland.”
Reports surrounding the newly named Oracle Park were released on Sunday, when NBC Bay Area reported the Raiders and Giants had reached a deal to use the stadium for the 2019 season.
However, while the two may have allegedly agreed to a plan for the next year, the deal still needs to be approved by the NFL before the official announcement is confirmed.
Along with approval from the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers would need to waive their territorial rights in San Francisco, which also has not happened yet.
This is due to the league’s bylaws, which state that both teams have “exclusive right” to play in their respective cities and that “neither the San Francisco nor the Oakland club shall have any right to play professional football in the city of the other without the consent of the other club.”
While the Oakland Coliseum is sure to be missed by life-long Raiders fans and a temporary home is yet to be officially announced, a certain move to Las Vegas in 2020 will keep 49ers and Raiders fans separated long enough to settle some court cases—at least for a while.
Contact Kyle Lydon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.