In case you’re keeping track, NFL training camps are set to open in less than six months and the regular season in roughly eight, and the Oakland Raiders don’t have a home stadium for the coming season.
The dumbest idea floated to this point, we thought, was the Raiders being based in London for the season, which comes with a host of questions.
But a new idea might be even dumber.
Tucson, Birmingham want to share the Raiders
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona, and Birmingham, Alabama, are joining forces in a bid to host the Raiders for the coming season.
The Raiders have seven home games — they’re already committed to playing a “home” game in London — and the two cities want to split them.
The team would play in the University of Arizona’s Arizona Stadium in Tucson (capacity: 57,400), and Legion Field in Birmingham (capacity: 71,500), home to Alabama-Birmingham and the Alliance of American Football’s Birmingham Iron.
Birmingham City Council President Pro Tem William Parker and Tucson attorney Ali Farhang are spearheading the effort.
The Raiders in Birmingham is “a great marriage waiting to happen,” according to Parker, who claims there are a lot of Raider fans in his city.
This proposal also brings a number of questions, as the London notion does.
Will the team be pingponging all over, as in “home” game in Birmingham, road game in Denver, “home” game in Tucson? Or will the Raiders play their first four home games in Birmingham, and final three in Tucson, with the London game in there somewhere, plus road games?
Where will the team be based? NFL team facilities have locker rooms, meeting rooms, video rooms, medical and treatment rooms, weight rooms, 2-3 fields and ideally an indoor field. Will the Raiders use their Alameda, California, facility and fly out before games?
What will the NFL Players Association say? This seems like an idea that puts player health and recovery on the back burner.
The Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium won’t be done until 2020, the San Francisco 49ers aren’t amenable to letting them on their turf, the city of Oakland has filed suit against them and the clock is ticking. Not great.
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