Santa Clara Officials Open to Raiders Shacking Up with 49ers

The Oakland Raiders’ hoped-for move to Sin City hit a major snag this week with billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson walking away from the deal, prompting Goldman Sachs to follow suit.

The Raiders and the NFL planned to pool $500 million with $750 million from Nevada taxpayers. Without Adelson and the investment bank picking up the rest of the tab, it’s unclear how the team plans to fund its $2 billion Las Vegas dream home.

News of the deal falling apart has also reignited a conversation about luring the Raiders an hour south to a Silicon Valley stadium built for two.

The city of Santa Clara’s $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers, was built with an extra locker room in case another team decided to sublet the space, according to Mayor Lisa Gillmor. But it’s too soon to say whether the city will pitch Raiders owner Mark Davis on sharing digs with Jed York’s Niners.

“There has to be willingness from the Raiders and the 49ers to work together,” Gillmor said. “But the structure is there and the space is set up for two teams.”

Gillmor said she doubts that Santa Clara’s fraught relationship with the Niners would complicate plans to accommodate a new team. The 49ers recently sued the city after Gillmor and others City Council members accused the club of withholding stadium financial records.

If anything, Gillmor said, the city is better prepared to hammer out a contract that benefits both the public and the Raiders. The mayor added that it’s up to the 49ers to bring up the possibility of sharing Levi’s with Davis, who was reportedly uninterested in calling Santa Clara home a few years ago—the last time the offer was discussed.

“The ball’s in the 49ers’ court, as far as approval rights for a second team goes,” Gillmor said. “We haven’t discussed that yet, but they seem to be doing well financially right now. We’ll definitely have to revisit that contract discussion.”

Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill said Santa Clara has a stronger selling point than Vegas or San Antonio, Texas—another location considered by the Raiders—due to the Bay Area’s larger media market and high average income.

In the event that Davis hunkers down—temporarily or otherwise—at Levi’s Stadium, the venue would need a bit of a makeover.

“Right now, it’s the house the Yorks built,” O’Neill acknowledged. “Maybe part of the presentation to Davis could be showing him how quickly they could obfuscate the impact of the 49ers branding.”

S.F. 49ers communications director Bob Lange texted a brief statement to San Jose Inside regarding the prospects of the Raiders joining the Niners at Levi’s Stadium: “It's our understanding that the Raiders are focused on their own stadium project.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Those poor neighbors! Wonder if property value dropped since the stadium was built. Any other place but here where housing is so desperately needed, it would have.

  2. > Wonder if property value dropped since the stadium was built.

    TWO NFL football teams; games every weekend from July through January. 70,000 people parking in your driveway and peeing and puking in your shrubs. Can’t go anywhere on weekends. Can’t have guests. A prisoner in your own house.

    Reduced property values? You think?

  3. What you refer to, Bubble, is quality of life, no doubt that is reduced drastically. Santa Clara politicians, former city manager especially, certainly didn’t take their constituents into consideration when the deal was made with SF. In a normal market, yes, property values would fall drastically; however, when cities are being mandated to create housing, who really knows. Maybe you have compared housing values. I just posed a question. Personally, I would never attend one of these fiascos. San Jose/Santa Clara area has always been looked down on by San Francisco. With this deal SF must be laughing all the way to the bank. In the meantime, residents suffer.

  4. Now why didn’t I think of that, I did!

    Time to buy out the neighborhood this is now an industrial area and the people in San Jose need jobs they can commute to.

    The other alternative is high density low income housing with huge parking garages that will offset the cost of money losing public housing, there goes the neighborhood again!

    Residents can make cash on the side by breaking into your car or guarding it for a fee. Great tailgate parties no rain!

    There I have solved another problem!

    • Aren’t you clever.
      Going to be something when Coleman Ave. adds Bart and whatever level of density.

  5. Only if they change their name to the San Jose Raiders. The 49ers should not have permitted to move to Santa Clara without changing their name as well. No other NFL team plays as far away from the namesake city as the 49ers. Although the Giants and Jets play in East Rutherford, NJ, their stadium is approximately 15 miles from New York City, not 50.

  6. The Raiders and the 49ers are basically the ultimate NFL whores. They could care less where they “play” and who pays for their service. They have no problem moving to a new neighborhood if the money is better. It’s time to put childish things behind and move on.

  7. Nice try on the part of Santa Clara City Hall.

    But the language in the Stadium Lease for Levi’s is much stronger than described in the article, or by Mme. Mayor:

    The 49ers specifically demanded and got exclusive control over any “second team lease.” – Not one penny of the rent payments from any 2nd team are payable to our City’s General Fund or to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.

    They’re payable only to Jed York. Mark Davis, meet your new landlord.

    As for the stadium deal in Vegas imploding like the Sands Casino: Sheldon Adelson learned exactly what Ed Roski learned after the NFL stadium “deal” in City of Industry collapsed: That for the hundreds of millions they said they’d be willing to put up, they’d never be considered for any NFL team co-ownership – and they’d never get a share in any of that lovely NFL Revenue $millions. Of course both guys backed

    Think of the National Football League as a highly-connected club of oligarchs, and you won’t be far wrong.

    Our city of Santa Clara is merely their plaything.

  8. Nice try from Santa Clara City Hall.

    But the actual terms of the Levi’s Stadium Lease favor completely the interests of the San Francisco 49ers and Jed York – much more than Mme. Mayor and this article’s author are willing to admit.

    The Stadium Lease is very clear: The SF 49ers demanded and got absolute control over the 2nd Team Lease. Any lease rents from a 2nd NFL team go straight into Jed York’s pockets – not into our city’s General Fund, and not to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.

    You can ask Jed York’s marketing consultants, but I’ll bet the answer is as clear as it was when Levi’s was built: Making room for “the Black Hole” at Levi’s Stadium does nothing but dilute Jed’s red-and-yellow branding and it sucks away his revenue from silly pennants and bobble-headed dolls. No way he’s going to allow that.

    Anyway: Bear in mind that any calls for a 2nd NFL team in Santa Clara are totally meaningless when the bleat is coming out of our City Hall. The Stadium Lease itself ensures that Jed York will be the only guy with the legal power to make that happen. It was our City Council that signed on that same dotted line.

    As for the Vegas stadium “deal” imploding like the Sands Casino: Sheldon Adelson just learned what Ed Roski learned when the City of Industry stadium “deal” collapsed: You can promise all the hundreds of millions of dollars to build that playpen – but the exclusive NFL owners club will never allow you to be a team co-owner, and it won’t give you a penny of those lovely “NFL Revenue” dollars.

    No wonder that Roski – and then Adelson – backed away from their respective deals.

    The nearest thing we have to Russian oligarchs in the United States are the NFL owners.

    And – as usual – the City of Santa Clara is only a plaything for them.

    This 2nd team “buzz” will fade away like a fart in an elevator, just as it did back in 2014, in 2011, 2009 and 2008.


  9. Guess San Jose Inside doesn’t look into facts anymore than the Santa Clara throw away oater does.

    The San Francisco 49ers have total control over if the Raiders occupy the stadium in Santa Clara. The City of Santa Clara gave that right away to Jed too. Shame on the Mayor for not knowing that or pretending it is possible … Another stupid deal that hurts Santa Clarans again …

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