Poole: Can 49ers, Raiders team up on a new stadium?

During his visit to Oakland last Sunday, NFL commissioner Roger

Goodell stood among fans at the Coliseum, watched a rare Raiders

victory and met with team owner Al Davis.

Nice of the commish to stop by, but his timing could have been

better.

A trip to the Bay Area this weekend would have been more

efficient and conceivably more productive.

Goodell would see the Raiders and

49ers today at Candlestick Park and,

more to the point, could arrange a meeting with both owners to

provide a gentle reminder why a shared stadium is in the best

interest not only of the NFL but also of both teams and their

fans.

With a little cooperation and a lot of money, this Raiders-

49ers battle might be the last

regular-season game these teams play in this dump of a stadium.

Goodell shouldn’t have to make the slightest veiled threat or

twist a single arm. With both franchises and their frustrated fans

mired in the most unsatisfying conditions they have simultaneously

known, how much persuasion would it take?

Once among the global sports elite, the Niners and Raiders have

made stunningly graceless falls from royalty. Neither has reached

the playoffs since 2002, when each last managed a winning record.

Neither has a designated, full-time general manager. The

49ers are on their fourth coach in

nine years, the Raiders on their fifth in eight. While the Raiders

and their fans long for a .500 season, the

49ers and their fans are praying for

a miracle to reach that.

And, no, we haven’t forgotten that neither team likes its home.

That’s where Goodell comes in.

Candlestick Park and the Oakland Coliseum are among the NFL’s

oldest and dowdiest venues, ranking 2-3 (behind the Metrodome) in

the category of most repellent. The Coliseum is usable but less

than ideal. The ‘Stick is, well, downright embarrassing for a

league of such obscene wealth.

The

49ers say they need a new stadium

and have proposed building it in Santa Clara, across the street

from team headquarters. They have made incremental progress but

remain nowhere near a desirable funding level, much less the

plunging of a shovel.

The Raiders, meanwhile, simply want a stadium more befitting of

today’s NFL — something along the lines of the new 82,566-seat

palace the Giants and Jets, both of whom happen to be strong

postseason contenders, share in New Jersey.

The best and probably only chance of the

49ers and Raiders satisfying their

stated desire is a shared facility. Given the brutal fiscal

climate, especially in California, it is the most logical and

efficient path to the modern NFL experience.

And as for any

49ers fan who can’t stomach the

thought of sharing a building with Raiders fans, or vice versa,

please take a deep breath and consider the big picture.

Understand that Goodell and, by extension, the NFL have endorsed

a shared stadium and that Davis has not ruled out the possibility.

Understand, too, that

49ers owner Jed York not only has

said he is open to the idea but, in the event the Santa Clara

vision evaporates, also considers the Oakland Coliseum site as an

option.

The Coliseum, York told the San Francisco Chronicle last year,

“has the location and the infrastructure. It’s right on a freeway

and it has BART access.”

Last year, in his most recent public comment on the subject,

Davis made clear that he likes the location of the Coliseum, if not

all the aspects of it. During that same session, Al praised Jed as

“a very bright young man.” A new stadium would improve the image of

both franchises, dramatically improve the fan experience and

immediately become part of the Super Bowl rotation. In short, it

would further enrich a league that hoards every dime it finds. It

would be a win-win-win.

“I’d encourage (both teams) to evaluate it, because it has

worked in New York,” Goodell said the other day. “I encourage them

to take a look at that and evaluate it.”

A recent analysis commissioned by the Coliseum Authority

concluded a shared stadium would be doable, at an estimated cost of

$860 million. The NFL, which helped pay for New Meadowlands, would

pitch in for a shared stadium in Oakland.

Though no one from the

49ers or Raiders says it publicly,

several knowledgeable sources say the franchises have engaged in

discussions.

This weekend would have been the perfect opportunity for the

commish to offer his input, with an interested audience, in one

room. How can Al and Jed afford not to listen?

Meanwhile, we can always envy New York, where fans in that area

know they will host the 2014 Super Bowl and have reason to imagine

a Giants-Jets Super Bowl even sooner.

Contact Monte Poole at mpoole@bayareanewsgroup.com .