The Raiders' latest stadium initiative "remains in the preliminary stages," as no "formal proposals have been made," according to Scott Bair of CSNBAYAREA.com. AECOM is conducting a feasibility study for a possible Oakland stadium, and Senior VP Dave Stone "cautioned against taking too much stock" from a Monday exploratory meeting of the Oakland-Alameda BOD that controls O.co Coliseum. The meeting generated discussion that the Raiders are "looking for a new 50,000-seat stadium that would cost" $800M and "require public funding to complete." But Stone said that those numbers are "not concrete and are merely estimates." The discussion regarding a new stadium is "in the academic stage, with better information due in the fall." The exact size and cost "remains in question." A 50,000-seat attendance figure in the initial proposal "struck a chord locally because it would make the Raiders' facility the NFL’s smallest venue." Stone: "In terms of having 50,000 seats, that’s very preliminary. In no way is it written in stone. … It’s a rough, round-number estimate" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 7/16). In S.F., Vic Tafur cites NFL and city of Oakland sources as saying that the 50,000-seat, $800M numbers were "premature and inaccurate." No Raiders team official was "present at the meeting" on Monday (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/17).
Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Penguins officials yesterday said that they have decided against putting their sports medicine complex "at the often-discussed Village of Cranberry Woods site" and will instead build on "nearly 13 acres of land about a half mile north" of that site, according to Bill Vidonic of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. UPMC and team officials said that they "hope" the $70M UPMC Lemieux Sports complex, "featuring two ice rinks, will be open by July 2015." UMPC VP/Operations Albert Wright Jr. said that officials had been "looking at both sites for months," but working with developer Gary Sippel on his 13-acre property "made a little more sense to us." Penguins COO Travis Williams said that it also will "give the project better visibility and accessibility." Wright and Williams said that the "essentials of the project, a 190,000-square-foot building for hockey performance programs and hockey-related injury treatment and practice facilities for the Penguins, haven't changed." Williams added that officials will "proceed with permitting from the township and hope to have grading and other site approvals in the fall, with construction starting in March" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/17).
CIVIC DUTY: Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Mark Belko notes Penguins officials are "hoping to reach a deal with a developer to start the residential portion of the former Civic Arena redevelopment in a few weeks." Three of the firms "in the running for the work are McCormack Baron Salazar, KBK Enterprises and Dawson Co., all of which have ties to Pittsburgh." Williams confirmed that "all three developers are being considered for the arena project, but added that the team has talked to a number of others as well" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/16).