As part of the celebrations for the 50th Super Bowl later this season, every NFL field has the ‘50’ painted gold, like the above photo from the Steelers’ stadium. Every NFL team, that is, except for the Raiders, who played on a field absent of gold in Weeks 1 and 2.
Sports Business Journal tracked down the man responsible for the field, and he says the Raiders told him not to:
“The Raiders have asked us not to do that,” said Chris Wright, AEG Facilities VP and the Coliseum’s GM. AEG runs the stadium shared by the Raiders and the A’s. Raiders officials did not provide AEG officials with further explanation and the Raiders did not return emails and phone calls for comment.
The NFL told Sports Business Journal that it was simply because the A’s season is still ongoing, and as soon as it ends the gold markings will be painted onto the field. (Why they could paint the lines, end zones, and everything else while the A’s season is ongoing but not the gold 50s doesn’t make much sense, but whatever.) According to Wright, however, that isn’t the case:
But Wright said, “It has nothing to do with baseball. The last six home baseball games are through this weekend, and there will be no gold marks for the rest of the Raiders’ regular season.”
Mike Florio speculates that this has something to do with the fact that Super Bowl 50 will be played at the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium, and that the Raiders are pissed that the league hasn’t helped them find a new stadium to replace the garbage dump they currently call home:
While no reason has been provided the refusal to comply, Occam’s Razer (sic) suggests that the Raiders don’t want to acknowledge a Super Bowl that will be played down the road in Santa Clara, home of the 49ers. At one level, that’s because the two teams don’t get along. At another level, it’s because the 49ers had no interest in sharing their swanky new stadium with the Raiders.
At yet another level, it’s possibly a great big eff you to a league that arguably isn’t doing all that much to help the Raiders find a solution to its longstanding stadium woes.
Al Davis may be dead, but his spirit lives on.
Photo via AP