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Raiders Owner Mark Davis, heading into his second full season at the helm, said it is "disappointing that I’m spending my time on stadium issues, trying to get that going and (dealing with) the football team," according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. Davis said, "I see that it’s really hard to do both. You know, you want to focus on one thing and really spend a lot of time and yet you’re off running the meetings on this and that and all of that, so that’s the (frustrating) part for me. And if we can get the stadium situation finalized, then that will give me a lot more time to really see if I can help on the other side." He added of the stadium issue and his desire to build at the site of O.co Coliseum, "Oakland is absolutely where we would prefer to get something done. And it would be on that specific site. There’s definitely issues that go along with that. ... There’s still some big, big questions that we have to get answered by both sides. Both sides are trying. Whether there’s a sense of urgency or not? I know there is on our side. We have to find out how urgent on their side." Davis: "I’ve come to the conclusion that a 53,000-seat stadium, that we played in from the 60’s and all that, is basically what our market is. ... For us the 53,000–seat stadium is good and maybe 5,000 club seats bring it up to 58,000 seats. But in all those years, I think when we moved back (to Oakland) we overbuilt the market, so to speak." Davis said the possibility of sharing Levi's Stadium with the 49ers is "out of the picture." He added, "I want the Raiders to have something that’s a legacy to my father and to the Raider brand. If in fact we’re able to get a stadium built, it will probably be the last one of my lifetime."
HOMETOWN KNOWLEDGE: Davis said of the search for a team president to replace former Chief Exec Amy Trask, "I’ve been talking to people ... but I’m leery to do anything before a stadium situation is figured out because I look at it as whoever’s going to be running the business and that’s the revenue side of it, it’s pretty much site-specific in my mind. ... But I think for somebody to deal with corporations in the Bay Area, that’s one person that’s been in the Bay Area for a long time, who knows how to do that. The other teams in the Bay Area have people that have done that very well. So you’d be looking for somebody that knows the Bay Area." He added, "I believe (finance officer) Marc Badain is doing a great job right now, carrying on ... he’s done a phenomenal job" (ESPN.com, 9/7).
HEADING SOUTH? Fox' Terry Bradshaw said of the Raiders, "I don't think they will stay in Oakland, I think they have to move that franchise. I think they've got to go back to Los Angeles." Fox' Curt Menefee added, "I don't know if L.A. wants them right now, that's the question. You've got to get a stadium before you move." Fox' Howie Long: "I think L.A. wants somebody, anyone" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 9/8).
A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN: In Oakland, Matthew Artz cited team officials as saying that the Raiders "want to build a football-only stadium at the exact location of the current Coliseum." That would "leave the A's with no home field -- not that the A's, who are still eager to move to San Jose, would mind." A's Owner Lew Wolff said, "We would not inhibit someone from building a brand-new football stadium if that is what they want to do." City and county leaders have "been surprised by the Raiders' stadium site preference and its potential to push the A's out of town." A football-only Raiders stadium "also might not pencil out in Oakland" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 9/8).
The Cubs next week will "install a mock-up" of the 650-square-foot Budweiser sign that will be erected in the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field as part of the team's deal with the beermaker, according to a source cited by Noel & Sullivan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. While it is "questionable whether construction" on the $300M ballpark renovation plan will begin this offseason as planned, the Cubs "have the go-ahead to install the sign either way." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said, "We could potentially put up the sign by 2014 (before construction begins)." Noel & Sullivan noted the Cubs are "running out of time to start the first phase of their Wrigley renovation plan, which is expected to take place over five offseasons." Meanwhile, A-B spokesperson Ana Serafin said that it "had not been determined which Anheuser-Busch brands would be available, or in what quantity, but suggested the brewery's 'Chicago-influenced beers' would be obvious candidates." The deal is a marketing agreement only, but it "gives Budweiser ample muscle when it comes time to set the Wrigley Field beer menu" for '14 and beyond (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/7). ESPN CHICAGO's Bruce Levine noted the mock-up sign will "simulate what rooftop owners will look through" when the renovation of Wrigley Field is completed in '18. The sign will "be in place to show Budweiser how the large display will look," giving the team's "main advertiser some input toward creativity and engineering of the permanent sign." A source said that Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts and his family are "looking for video board partners to defer the cost of the project that will go up, most likely in late 2014 or early '15" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 9/7).
BLEACHER CREATURES OF HABIT? In Chicago, Dan McGrath wrote under the header, "As Cubs' Season Slips Away, So Do Attendance Figures At Wrigley Field." Fans have "stopped flocking to Wrigley Field like indiscriminate lemmings." This year marks the team's "fourth straight season of declining attendance" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/8).
In N.Y., Denis Hamill wrote Barclays Center has "transformed Brooklyn into the live music capital of the country and a major pro sports cathedral without creating the traffic and environmental problems the naysayers predicted." Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO Bruce Ratner said, "Last year when Barclays Center was finished I worried whether people would come. It has exceeded all expectations" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/8).
PLUCKY DUCKS: Honda Center officials on Friday announced that the venue's $20M Grand Terrace expansion "will open Oct. 10, coinciding with the Ducks' first home game this season" against the Rangers. In California, Art Marroquin noted the Grand Terrace "adds 15,000 square feet of indoor and entertainment space at the Honda Center’s main entrance." The entrance will be "flanked by a pair [of] 15-foot-by-25-foot screens that will display high-definition game highlights and postgame broadcasts." The ground level "will include a 200-seat, full-service restaurant" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/7).
ISN'T IT ICONIC? In L.A., Scott Wolf reported the peristyle columns at L.A. Memorial Coliseum are "no longer visible inside the stadium" during USC home games because of "temporary suites erected for this season." The suites are "two stories high and block the view of the signature columns in the east end zone of the historic structure." USC recently took control of the Coliseum, and "plans to make renovations" costing up to $100M (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/8).