No one saw this coming, but the Raiders and 49ers have been talking about the possibility of rooming together. In preliminary meetings, they have floated the idea of building one fancy new stadium, with both teams sharing it. Considering is not the same as committing, and even farther from actually doing, but they sound oddly amenable to the concept.
"It doesn't mean we're going to find the right deal that fits for both teams," says Jed York, "but we're certainly going to get a look at those options." His Oakland counterpart says that "an open mind means an open mind as to sharing a facility with the 49ers."
Whoa. Big news. Certainly the Raiders need a new stadium, and the Niners are hoping to be out of Candlestick and in Santa Clara by 2015. So why not cut costs in half, especially since the 49ers have only procured a small fraction of the money needed to build their new place? Then the important question becomes whether we could still call them the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers. Or would they have to go with something awkward like the "San Francisco 49ers of South Bay?"
I say, let's not even let it get to that. While Santa Clara is roughly equidistant between their current sites, it's also 35 miles out of the way. The point of land closest to halfway between San Francisco and Oakland happens to be Treasure Island, smack dab in the middle of the Bay. The former naval base is now lightly residential but still largely undeveloped, and geographically makes the most sense.
Imagine it: an island stadium. Think of the views! But also think of the traffic: the Bay Bridge would be Carmaggedon, 20 home dates a year. To that end, build an enormous ferry terminal capable of handling gameday crowds, and what would amount to stadium parking lots at the mainland terminals. And if people really, really want to drive, make parking cost $50,000 or some obscene amount for a season pass, so the rich folk won't have to mingle with the plebs on the party boats.
Doesn't this sound a little too logical and simple? (Actually, no, there are many funding and zoning and environmental and transportation issues standing in the way, and it could never happen. But forget all that: an island stadium!)
49ers, Raiders considering joint football stadium [San Francisco Chronicle]