SBD/Issue 88/Facilities & Venues

NFL Urging 49ers To Consider Sharing Stadium With Raiders

49ers, Raiders Have Not Formally Discussed 
Sharing Stadium, But Not Opposed To Idea
The NFL is "urging the 49ers to explore sharing a new stadium" with the Raiders, "hoping the Bay Area could follow the lead" of the Giants and Jets, according to Mike Swift of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello said that Commissioner Roger Goodell in recent weeks has had discussions with both the Raiders and 49ers "asking the Bay Area teams ... to consider a joint project." Aiello: "Building a stadium today is more challenging than ever, and this could be a way to address the challenges -- the economic challenges, the financing challenges." The Giants and Jets owners said that they also "believe joining forces may be the best hope for the Bay Area's two teams to build a new stadium, especially in such dire economic times." The 49ers "have not begun formal discussions with the Raiders, but the team plans to expand the scope of its environmental review in Santa Clara for a stadium that could accommodate two teams playing at least 20 games a year." The environmental impact study currently under way in Santa Clara is "for one team only, but the site is equally distant" from S.F. and Oakland, with "rail links to both sides of the bay." 49ers President Jed York said that the "only talks the 49ers have had with the Raiders have been informal discussions at league owners' meetings," and he "cautioned that the teams are nowhere near a decision to share a stadium." But York added that he "wanted to dispel the perception" that he and Raiders Owner Al Davis "would be an NFL 'odd-couple' who could not work together on a new stadium." Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask added, "There seems to be a perception, fostered in large part by the media, that the 49ers and the Raiders have an adversarial business relationship and that perception is wrong" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/25).

LIVING TOGETHER: In Sacramento, Bill Bradley writes, "It makes sense: Both teams need a new stadium and cooperation could help build it with private funds." The idea "has merit," as the 49ers and Raiders "only have to cohabitate a stadium for one exhibition game a year and a regular-season game every four years" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/26).

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