Thursday, November 03, 2005
Another Public and Private Partnership Triumph
In Oakland:
    It's official. The deal that brought the Raiders back to Oakland 10 years ago is an unmitigated disaster. At Wednesday's news conference announcing the extinction of personal seat licenses, city and county officials smiled bravely.

    And why not? It's better than crying.

    As it stands right now, Oakland is clinging to the Raiders with a hope and a prayer, neither of which have proved to be an especially effective tactic in dealing with Raiders owner Al Davis. The team's lease on McAfee Coliseum expires in 2011, which means it has until then to complete one of the greatest marketing turnarounds in the history of the NFL or the team will almost certainly leave.

    As Davis said at the news conference, "We have a deal we can live with -- at least for the next five years."

    Now there's a rallying cry.

    The facts are these: Personal seat licenses, which were supposed to painlessly and effortlessly retire the $200 million bond issue used to spiff up the Coliseum-Arena complex, were the worst idea since drafting Brigham Young University quarterback Marc Wilson. The licenses not only weren't selling, they were less popular than the Denver Broncos. Even the stopgap idea, proposed by several pundits, that the Raiders should take the 10-year licenses and turn them into lifetime licenses, wasn't going to fly.
So a professional sports team has screwed its fans with the "Personal Seat License," nothing more than a convenience surcharge on the convenience surcharges inherent with buying season tickets, and has screwed its host city with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

And the cities come back for more.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."