NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday said that the league is "willing to contribute funding to help build a stadium in Oakland to keep the Raiders in town," according to Vic Tafur of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The fact that the 49ers got $200M for their stadium "would not prevent the Raiders from getting the same nearby." Goodell said, "We wouldn't look at that as double dipping. We'd look at that as getting stages built in the community and we want to continue to do that." He said that "having a more modern stadium is crucial because that is the stage on which the league presents its games," and the NFL could contribute up to $200M to "help fund a project if the Raiders and local officials agree on a deal." He also said that it is "up to the Raiders and 49ers whether they want to share the new stadium, though many think that ship has sailed" (SFGATE.com, 12/6). In Oakland, Jerry McDonald notes Goodell "spent some time touring the 49ers stadium construction site Thursday and hopes to be doing the same thing someday for the Raiders." Goodell said that any idea of sharing the 49ers stadium would "have to come from the two teams." McDonald notes both teams have publicly said that option it is "not off the table, but neither organization has made any move in that direction" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 12/7). Goodell said that because there still is no stadium solution in L.A., there is "no movement toward a team there." In S.F., Ann Killion writes those "rote answers" from Goodell will not "quell speculation that [Raiders Owner] Mark Davis would like to move the team back to L.A." (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/7).
Edmonton City Council member Bryan Anderson said that Oilers Owner Daryl Katz "probably has until March to reach an arena deal with the city before it becomes a 'full-blown election issue,'" according to a front-page piece by Gordon Kent of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Anderson "thinks the council chosen next October could have fewer backers for the project than the current group, and a majority might even oppose it." He said, "If anybody on that (Katz) side of the table is waiting for a new mayor or new council, they’re probably sadly mistaken." Anderson added, "I think this is the most sympathetic mayor and sympathetic council that an NHL team could have ... I’m not sure you’re going to get that kind of support on a new council." Kent notes city council members are "scheduled to have their first update on the arena Wednesday since they voted unanimously to end negotiations with Katz in October" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/7). In Edmonton, Julia Parrish wrote some council members "aren't optimistic a plan will be laid out before the New Year." It appears "not much has changed since" the October vote (EDMONTON.CTVNEWS.ca, 12/6). Meanwhile, an EDMONTON JOURNAL editorial was written with the header, "Oilers No Longer The Toast Of The Town." The editorial stated, "It is that waning devotion for Canada’s game that should most alarm both sides in the ongoing labour dispute. ... Beer and hockey are hard habits to break, but it’s happening out there. The NHL and its players ignore that at their peril" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/5).